EU CosIng Cosmetics Ingredients Database: All You Need to Know

Eu Cosing Cosmetics Ingredient Database All You Need To Know

The global cosmetics market size of the cosmetics industry, one of the largest industries in the world, was USD 277.67 billion in 2020, and is projected to grow from $287.94 billion in 2021 to $415.29 billion in 2028, according to the Fortune Business Insights[1]. With new products constantly being invented and launched into the market, there has been a rise in the use of chemicals in cosmetic products. Manufacturers need to ensure that such chemicals or ingredients are safe and are correctly labeled on cosmetics.

To help achieve this purpose, the European Commission (EC) launched a common ingredient names database, called CosIng, which contains over 15,000 cosmetics ingredients. However, many cosmetics companies still struggle with the process of labeling their products in a compliant and easy-to-understand way, which may hinder their commercial success as they try to expand in the EU.

The goal of this article is to give a brief overview of CosIng to help regulatory affairs professionals understand more about the database for a higher rate of product compliance. We will discuss the following topics:  

  1. What is CosIng?
  2. How did CosIng come into existence?
  3. Who will use CosIng and how does it impact the industry?
  4. CosIng equivalent cosmetics ingredients databases in other countries
  5. Ensure compliance with cosmetic ingredients and labeling regulations

What is CosIng?

CosIng is the official online database for cosmetic ingredients in the EU, including a list of the regulated and banned cosmetics ingredients contained in the following[2]:Make-Up Cosmetics And Brush

  • Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council[3]
  • Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC (cosmetics directive), as amended[4]
  • Glossary of common ingredient names[5] for the purpose of labeling cosmetic products placed on the market (as established by Decision (EU) 2019/701 of 5 April 2019[6])
  • Opinions on cosmetic ingredients of the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (list of SCCS opinions[7])

CosIng also allows searches for CAS, ELINCS or EINECS numbers.

The main purpose of the CosIng database is to allow companies to search for common ingredient names used for the labeling of cosmetic products, because “article 19(1)(g) of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 requires the labeling information on cosmetic products to include a list of ingredients[8].”

The ultimate objective of this regulation is to ensure that all cosmetics on the market are safe and suitable for human use. It would also give consumers more information about the potential risks of using certain ingredients, which is an important step for consumers to make informed choices about the products they use.

However, it should be noted that the CosIng database serves as a tool for informative purpose only and has no legal value. Ingredients listed in the database do not necessarily mean they are authorized or safe to be used in cosmetic products. Cosmetic manufacturers are required to conduct a product safety assessment for the use of any ingredient in cosmetic products, to ensure that their products on the market are safe for human health and the environment.

Need regulatory support on cosmetic ingredients? Get in touch with RegASK experts

How did CosIng come into existence?

The beauty industry has been notoriously opaque in the past. It’s difficult to find out what is allowed and what isn’t, and it’s even harder to get a list of ingredients that are banned. As a result, the EC launched the CosIng online database in 2008 to provide easy access for companies and authorities to check common ingredient names, how they are used in labeling and the potential risks they pose. The database includes all data since the adoption of the Cosmetics Directive in 1976 and is updated continuously with new entries being added each year.

Who will use CosIng and how does it impact the industry?

This database is beneficial for regulatory authorities, regulatory affairs teams working in cosmetics companies, beauty professionals, and even consumers to check on cosmetics ingredients. It creates a new necessity for cosmetics companies who want to sell their products in Europe and is an important step towards better consumer safety. Companies must prepare for the change and reshape their product strategies.

First, the database is perfect for regulatory affairs professionals because it provides them with information about the ingredients used in their products and allows them to make informed decisions on what they can use and what they cannot, and how they should be labeled on the packing. For instance, in Europe, over 1,400 chemicals or substances have been banned for cosmetic use, such as chlorine, cadmium chloride, lead, mercury, etc. This database will help companies comply with legislation and avoid any future product recalls or safety issues.Selling Cosmetics On Alibaba And Amazon What You Need To Know

The database will also benefit consumers by providing them with more information when it comes to what they put on their skin or in their hair. Consumers can use this resource to make educated decisions on what they should buy and what they should avoid buying from beauty brands. Beauty professionals can use the database to double-check if an ingredient in makeup, lotions, and other skin-care products contains any of the listed allergens, in addition to checking product labels, before they apply anything onto a customer’s skin to ensure that it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction.

The overall benefits of the CosIng database:

  • It saves time on research by providing all the information in one place.
  • It helps in making informed decisions.
  • It helps promote transparency in the industry and boost consumer confidence.

CosIng equivalent cosmetics ingredients databases in other countries

United States

The U.S. FDA website has information on requirements for ingredient nomenclature and labeling cosmetic products for the international market[9]. When it comes to cosmetic ingredients safety, FDA recommends that cosmetic manufacturers use safety data that’s already available on individual ingredients and on products with similar formulations, such as the safety data published in PubMed[10], TOXNET[11], and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) website[12].


The Japan Cosmetic Industry Association (JCIA) has a public database of cosmetic ingredients names listed in Japanese. Companies can check ingredient names to be displayed on the outer packaging of cosmetic products, following a requirement by the Japanese Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Law (PMDL) that a complete list of ingredients must be labeled in Japanese on product packaging.


In Australia, cosmetic ingredients are searchable in the Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals[13]. There is no single list of banned or restricted chemicals for viewing or downloading. Bans and restrictions on chemicals and cosmetic ingredients are regulated by each state and territory authority[14]. Cosmetic products that make therapeutic claims (therapeutic goods) have separate standards and regulatory controls for safety, quality, efficacy, labeling and claims which can be found on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website[15].

Need regulatory support on cosmetic ingredients? Get in touch with RegASK experts

Ensure compliance with cosmetic ingredients and labeling regulations

Selling your cosmetic products in foreign markets can be a great way to grow your business, but you must make sure that you comply with the local laws and regulations. It is best to research the compliance requirements for each country before you start selling. Regulators require a safety evaluation and clear labeling of all ingredients used in your cosmetic products, so it is important to research which ingredients are restricted or prohibited.

Some companies may struggle with researching ingredients regulations and keeping track of regulatory changes. We understand the process can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. That is why we are here to help you do the task efficiently!

RegASK is a RegTech leader with rich experience in the areas of cosmetics ingredients and labeling compliance. Using our AI-powered regulatory intelligence platform and global network of local regulatory experts, we track domestic cosmetic regulations for you and ensure your product ingredients and labels stay compliant. From regulatory monitoring, product development and regulatory submissions to go-to-market plan, we map out every step for you.

Do not risk rejection from authorities or consumers’ mistrust. Connect with our experts today to get everything you need to know about cosmetic ingredients and product compliance.

What you'll get with RegASK

  • Early detection and mitigation of regulatory risks 
  • End-to-end regulatory support throughout your product lifecycle
  • Strategic consulting to build the optimal business strategy for your commercial success

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What you'll get with RegASK

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  • End-to-end regulatory support throughout your product lifecycle
  • Strategic consulting to build the optimal business strategy for your commercial success



[1] Fortune Business Insights – The global cosmetics market is projected to grow from $287.94 billion in 2021 to $415.29 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.0% in forecast period, 2021-2028.

[2] European Commission – Cosmetic ingredient database

[3] European Union – Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products (recast)

[4] Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products

[5] European Commission – 96/335/EC: Commission Decision of 8 May 1996 establishing an inventory and a common nomenclature of ingredients employed in cosmetic products

[6] Official Journal of the European Union – COMMISSION DECISION (EU) 2019/701 of 5 April 2019 establishing a glossary of common ingredient names for use in the labelling of cosmetic products

[7] European Commission – Public Health – Preliminary Opinions open for comments

[8] European Commission – CosIng – Glossary of ingredients

[9] U.S. FDA – Cosmetic Ingredient Names

[10] U.S. Government – National Library of Medicine

[11] U.S. Government – How to access TOXNET information

[12] Cosmetic Ingredient Review – Find Ingredient Reviews and Documents

[13] Australian Government Department of Health – The Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals (Inventory)

[14] Australian Government – Banned or restricted chemicals

[15] Australian Government – Advertising: when cosmetics are regulated as therapeutic goods


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