Regulatory information for cosmetics

All cosmetics sold in Canada must be safe to use and must not pose any health risk. They must meet the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and the Cosmetic Regulations.

Requirements under other legislation must also be met, if applicable. See related links below for more information.

On this page

Cosmetics legislation

Under the Food and Drugs Act, a cosmetic includes "any substance or mixture of substances, manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth and includes deodorants and perfumes." This includes:

  • cosmetics used by professional esthetic services
  • bulk institutional products such as hand soap in school rest rooms
  • "handmade" cosmetics sold through home-based businesses or craft sales

The Cosmetic Regulations and the Food and Drugs Act require that cosmetics sold in Canada are manufactured, prepared, preserved, packed and stored under sanitary conditions. The manufacturer and importer must:

  • provide a list of the product's ingredients
  • notify Health Canada that they are selling the product

Requirements under other legislation, such as the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA), the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) and the Cannabis Act, must also be met, if applicable. See related links below for more information.

Guidance documents



Test Method

Related links

Some other legislation and guidance that may apply to cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients:

Other resources:

Questions regarding requirements under legislation other than the Food and Drugs Act and Cosmetic Regulations should be sent to the relevant program.

Page details

Date modified: