What cosmetic claims can I make with my formula?


You’ve created a fantastic cosmetic formula using the Create Cosmetic Formulas program, and you absolutely love your product samples – so do your friends and family! Now it’s time to take it bigger, and you want to promote and sell your product online or at the markets. What cosmetic claims can you make with your formula, and when are you crossing the line? Read on to find out the essentials of cosmetic claim compliance…

What cosmetic claims can I make with my formula

Cosmetic claim essential #1: What is a cosmetic?

The definition of a cosmetic, while it differs technically around the world, is essentially summed up, and agreed on globally: cosmetic products are for use on the skin or hair to improve or maintain its appearance and aroma.

What this means is that your cosmetic product should only make claims that relate to appearance or odour based changes, and not refer to anything happening on a cellular or physiological level. Here are some key concepts:

  • A cosmetic product can claim to reduce the appearance of ageing, or visibly restore youth – but it can’t talk about the physiological way it does this, for example, a cosmetic product cannot claim collagen boosting – because that is a physiological process. Even if your active ingredient works to boost collagen, you can’t make that claim; but instead, focus on the visible results for your consumer – smoothing fine lines and wrinkles – as that is a cosmetic benefit that complies with cosmetic claim regulations.
  • Be careful in some regions with anti-bacterial and anti-acne claims – some countries consider these to be drug-based claims only. You can claim visible reduction in blackheads and pimples, if that is what your product achieves instead.

Learn what can and can’t be said with our Certificate in Cosmetic Labels and Claims here.

Cosmetic claim essential #2: Evidence is needed to support your cosmetic claim

Even if your claim has a known history of use, or is just known in the beauty and personal care industry, your company must hold evidence to support the cosmetic claims they make specific to the cosmetic formula you are promoting. For example, everyone knows that vitamin C has lightening and anti-ageing benefits, but you need to hold evidence specific to your formula before you make the claim. Make sure your evidence shows:

  • The benefits specific to the active ingredients you have in your cosmetic formula;
  • The input used in your cosmetic formula matches the amount used in the evidence to ensure the same results;
  • The application instructions also match the evidence to ensure performance results are obtained;
  • The cosmetic formula is compatible with the active ingredients to ensure best results.

The Create Cosmetic Formulas program has been designed to guide you with the right inputs to get the best results from your cosmetic formulas, but you still need to hold the evidence specific to the ingredients you use to ensure you comply with cosmetic claims regulations. The Create Cosmetic Formulas program has also been designed to prevent known incompatibilities and ensure good theoretical stability from your product to help your cosmetic formula ensure good delivery and great results every time.

Cosmetic claim essential #3: Your company is responsible for the cosmetic claims it makes

There are, unfortunately, a lot of small brands out there that don’t know the cosmetic claims rules properly, or don’t think the rules apply to them. All cosmetic brands of all sizes are responsible for the claims they make, so don’t make the mistake of thinking ‘well if they say it, I can say it too.’ The truth is, cosmetic regulators do track down cosmetic brands that blatantly break the rules and this can lead to removal from the market and fines being imposed.

Just because someone else does the wrong thing, does not mean you can too. Protect your cosmetic brand and grow the right way with compliant cosmetic claims that help your products stand out and really deliver on their promises.

Make sure your products have a strong point of difference and build your cosmetic formulas to have strong, compliant claims with our Certificate in Cosmetic Market Research.

Remember to learn how to ensure compliance with our Certification in Cosmetic Labels and Claims too, or learn more with our Cosmetic Brand Management courses.

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Most of all, enjoy formulating with the Create Cosmetic Formulas programs – the program that lets you pick and choose the ingredients you want to use, so you can build cosmetic formulas fast without needing to learn. Get making cosmetic formulas easily, get started today!

Happy formulating!