Use of parabens in cosmetics banned in Southeast Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Cosmetics Committee has banned the use of five parabens as preservatives in cosmetics.

The substances include isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben, and pentylparaben.

The compounds will be added to Annex II of the Asean Cosmetics Directive, the list of substances prohibited from use in cosmetics formulations.

Existing products containing the parabens will be allowed to remain on the market until 30 July in most Asean member countries. However, a longer grace period applies to Thailand and the Philippines, where products can be sold until 31 December.

The decision brings Asean rules in line with EU law, which banned the use of parabens last year under EU Cosmetics Regulation.

Also in line with the EU Regulation, the Southeast Asian Nations’ Cosmetics Committee confirmed that it will restrict the maximum concentration of the biocidal active substance triclosan to 0.2% in mouthwashes, and 0.3% in other cosmetic products, such as toothpastes, hand soaps and face powders. The deadline for this ban has not yet been confirmed.