Endocrine Disruptors in Europe

A New Allowed Use of Thioglycolic Acid and its Salts

Thioglycolic acid and its salts (mainly sodium and potassium thioglycolate) are cosmetic ingredients regulated by Annex III (entry 2a) of the EU Cosmetics Regulation and used for their depilatory and hair waving / straightening properties.

According to the Regulation, hair products do not include application on eyelashes because the level of risk is different when cosmetic products are applied on the hair on the head and on eyelashes. As a consequence, and until now, Thioglycolic acid and its salts were not allowed for use in products intended for eyelash waving.

At Industry’s request, the SCCS evaluated in 2013 the use of these ingredients when applied to eyelashes and concluded that they are safe at up to 11% in professional products but should not be used by consumers given the risk of eye irritation during self-application.

Therefore, the European Commission published a new amendment (EU No 2015/1190) to allow the use of Thioglycolic acid and its salts at up to 11% in products intended for eyelash waving and used by professionals (entry 2a[d]).

Furthermore, this amendment slightly changes the conditions of use of these ingredients by replacing the sentence ‘In the event of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice’ by ‘Rinse eyes immediately if product comes into contact with them’.

This amendment officially applies since August 10th, 2015.

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  • Frédéric Lebreux

    Dr. Frédéric Lebreux is Biorius's Chief Executive Officer and has worked in the cosmetic industry for more than 13 years. He is regularly invited as a speaker or Professor to cosmetic events.