Restrictions on the use of M-N-MA in cosmetics

February 21, 2022 – On February 1, 2022, the European Commission published the Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/135 that introduces some restrictions on the use of Methyl-N-methylanthranilate (M-N-MA) in cosmetics.

What is M-N-MA?

Methyl-N-methylanthranilate (CAS No 85-91-6) is a fragrance ingredient.

Until now, the EU Cosmetics Regulation does not regulate the use of M-N-MA. However, the 49th Amendment to the IFRA Standards limited its use at 0.1% in several product categories due to its phototoxic effects.

Considering the M-N-MA photosensitivity, the European Commission mandated the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) to assess whether its use is safe in cosmetic products.

The new restrictions

The Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/135 transposes into the EU Cosmetics Regulation the conclusions of the SCCS Scientific Advice 1616/20 and the SCCS Opinion 1455/11.

According to the new entry in Annex III to the EU Cosmetics Regulation, M-N-MA must meet the following concentration limits:

  • In leave-on products up to 0.1%;
  • In rinse-off products up to 0.2%.

Moreover, M-N-MA is prone to nitrosation. Thus,

  • It cannot be used with nitrosating agents;
  • The maximum nitrosamine content allowed is 50 μg/kg;
  • Products containing M-N-MA must be stored in nitrite-free containers.

Lastly, M-N-MA cannot be used in leave-on “sunscreen products and products marketed for exposure to natural or artificial UV light” (EC, 2022).   


These new restrictions may require a reformulation of cosmetics or a change to their container. Hence, the European Commission provided some deadlines to implement them fully: new cosmetics not compliant with these restrictions cannot enter the market after August 21, 2022. Additionally, as of November 21, 2022, products that do not meet the requirements must be off shelves.


Take action now! Contact us for additional information on the EU compliance process.

And do not miss the M-N-MA entry in our Watch-out Database – where you can find all the cosmetic ingredients recently banned or restricted.




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