06Jun

By Rob

In Cosmetics

China FDA Creating Different Classifications of Cosmetics

Cosmetics sold in China are currently placed into two different regulatory classifications: General Cosmetics, and Special Cosmetics. Special cosmetics include SPF products, acne products and slimming products. These products require extra regulatory consideration than General Cosmetics, which include simple cleansing products. This is quite an interesting regulatory structure, as it recognizes that not all cosmetics carry equal risk or benefit. We have now learned that the Chinese FDA is considering further evolving this model by creating three different levels of cosmetics, plus a fourth category of products that are not going to be considered cosmetics. In the latter category could be hair growth, products for pregnant or nursing women, and other products that are considered higher risk. What is interesting about this model is it parallels the global regulatory system for Medical Devices. Medical devices include everything from a simple bandage or toothbrush (which are called Class I), to an implantable cardiac pacemaker (Called III or IV depending on Country). Such a system created for cosmetics recognizes the dramatic impact of new technology in skincare, and also the extreme complexity of regulating topical products. It will be interesting to see how the system catches on and how this could influence the global regulation of cosmetics.