Chinese government issues guidelines to streamline application and approval of children's cosmetics

BEIJING , October 22, 2012 (press release) – China has issued a guideline to streamline application and approval of children's cosmetics, raising safety bars for the market, according to a statement released on Monday by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

The SFDA-enacted guideline provides that cosmetics used by children of 12 years or younger fall into the category of children's cosmetics. All products that claim to be such have to apply for approval. The guideline also demands clear, unambiguous signs on packages indicating cosmetics for children.

According to the guideline, children's cosmetics should minimize certain varieties of ingredients. "Producers should avoid using or use less resinoid, coloring agents, antiseptic and surface-active agents," it says.

Ingredients designed for whitening, acne treatment or removal, hair removal, drying, deodorizing, hair waving and dying, or breast care are "not appropriate" in children's cosmetics, the guideline says.

Furthermore, children cosmetics should select ingredients which enjoy a relatively long safe-use history. Ingredients produced with genetic or nano technology are "not encouraged", the guideline says.

However, the guideline does not specify amounts of each ingredient.

China had no testing standards for baby's or children's cosmetics, before this point. Due to lack of regulation, the technology and formulas used to produce cosmetics for children are mainly copied from those of adults.

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