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.

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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

All cosmetics must also follow the requirements outlined in the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and its associated Regulations. Any chemicals found in cosmetics may be subject to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Guidance documents



Test Method

Related links

Other legislation and guidance that may apply to cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients:

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