Cosmetics: EU Restricts the Use of Peanut Oil

The EU Commission has defined threshold values for peanut oil and hydrolyzed wheat proteins and revised Annex III of Regulation (EG) No. 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulation) accordingly.

In the past, several member states repeatedly noted the safety problems connected with use of peanut oil and its extracts and derivatives in cosmetics. The concern is that skin contact with cosmetics that contain peanut oil can trigger a sensitivity to peanuts. In its Opinion of September 23, 2014, the Scientific Committee of the European Commission for Consumer Safety (SCCS) confirmed this concern.

To guarantee the safety of these kinds of cosmetics for human health, a maximum concentration of 0.5 ppm was set for peanut proteins in peanut oil and its extracts and derivates when used in cosmetics. In addition, the molecular weight average of peptides in hydrolysates may not exceed a maximum value of 3.5 kilodalton (kDa).

Peanut oil is used in face creams, massage and bath oils, emulsions, and other cosmetic products. However, peanut oil contains proteins that can cause allergies. It is known that the rate of allergies increases along with greater consumption of peanuts.

As of September 25, 2018, cosmetics that do not meet these restrictions may no longer be marketed. As of December 25, 2018, such cosmetics may no longer be made available on the market within the European Union.

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