Could the EU be about to bring the ‘free from’ trend to a premature end?

Could the EU be about to bring the ‘free from’ trend to a premature end?

A European Union guidance document could have far-reaching implications for one of the beauty industry’s favourite new marketing trends – free-from claims – according to a report published by Chemical Watch.

The guidance (in Annexes III and IV) sets out criteria for the use of ‘free from’ claims in cosmetic products, namely legal compliance, truthfulness, evidential support, honesty, fairness and informed decision making. The criteria could come into force in some member states from July 1.

Under these criteria, claims such as ‘free from corticosteroids’ would be banned in some member states as that ingredient is banned for use in cosmetics under EU law. Preservative-free would not be allowed where a product contains an ingredient that provides protection against microorganisms, paraben-free would be banned because the term implies the entire group of ingredients under this banner are unsafe, which isn’t true, and fragrance-free won’t be sanctioned if the product contains ingredients with a perfuming function.

Permitted free-froms, as long as they are made in compliance with the above criteria, include free from animal-derived ingredients and free from alcohol, Chemical Watch said.

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