Upcoming restrictions for cosmetic substances in the United Kingdom

April 12, 2024. On 10 April 2024, the United Kingdom notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of a draft Regulation amending the UK Cosmetics Regulation. This is the draft of The Cosmetic Products (Restriction of Chemical Substances) (No. 2) Regulations 2024, and the legislator aims at publishing it on 25 June 2024.

The Regulation will apply to England, Wales, and Scotland. Conversely, in Northern Ireland, the EU Cosmetics Regulation continues to apply after Brexit due to special agreements.

Kojic Acid

According to the draft, Kojic Acid will be added to Annex III to the UK Cosmetics Regulation – the list of restricted substances. The use of Kojic Acid will be allowed up to a maximum concentration of 1% in face and hand products. These limits will apply from 20 April 2025 for placing cosmetics on the UK market, and from 20 August 2025 for making them available.

The EU has recently introduced the same restrictions on Kojic Acid as of 1 February 2025 for new products, and 1 November 2025 for products already on the market.

Prohibition of CMR substances

The draft Regulation also bans 52 substances classified as CMR under the GB CLP Regulation. The complete list is available here. The European Union has already prohibited the use of all these substances through the Omnibus Act V and Omnibus Act VI. However, there are some EU banned chemicals that were not classified as CMR under the GB CLP Regulation. Those used in cosmetics are the following:

  • Pentasodium Pentate
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Pentapotassium salt

Hence, the above substances can continue to be lawfully used in cosmetic products for the UK market. Consequently, there will be some divergences between the EU and UK Cosmetics Regulations.

The compliance deadlines are the same as those for the restrictions on Kojic Acid.


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  • WTO. (2024). The Cosmetic Products (Restriction of Chemical Substances) (No. 2) Regulations 2024. Retrieved on 11/04/2024

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