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Expert opinion

The SCCS notes of guidance for the testing of cosmetic ingredients and their safety evaluation - 9th revision

Final Opinion


Publication date
25 April 2016
Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS)


WG on Cosmetic ingredients
SCCS members:U. Bernauer, Q. Chaudhry, P.J. Coenraads, G. H. Degen, M. Dusinska, W. Lilienblum, E. Nielsen, T. Platzek, Ch. Rousselle, J. van Benthem
Former SCCS member: S. Ch. Rastogi
External experts: A. Bernard, J. Duus-Johansen, J. Ezendam, A. Giménez-Arnau, E. Panteri, V. Rogiers, T. Vanhaecke
On request from: European Commission
SCCS Number: SCCS/1564/15
Adopted on: 25 April 2016

Conclusion of the opinion:

The “Notes of Guidance for Testing of Cosmetic Ingredients and Their Safety Evaluation by the SCCS” is a document compiled by the members of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS, replacing the former SCCP, SCCNFP and SCC). The document contains relevant information on the different aspects of testing and safety evaluation of cosmetic substances in Europe. The emphasis of this guidance is on cosmetic ingredients, although some guidance is also given for the safety assessment of finished products. It is designed to provide guidance to public authorities and to the cosmetic industry in order to improve harmonised compliance with the current cosmetic EU legislation. An important development was the 2009 legislative recast, which transformed the cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC into a Regulation. It is emphasised that from 11 July 2013 onwards this Regulation (2009/1223/EC) was fully applicable. The European cosmetic legislation prohibits the marketing of finished products containing ingredients or combinations of ingredients that have been subject to animal testing after 2013. Therefore the SCCS has closely followed the progress made with regard to the development and validation of alternative methods.

The "Notes of Guidance" are regularly revised and updated in order to incorporate the progress of scientific knowledge in general, and the experience gained in particular, in the field of testing and safety evaluation of cosmetic ingredients.

The previous revision of the Notes of Guidance took place in 2012 (SCCS/1501/12). Since then, several new addenda, opinions and memoranda of importance to the content of this guidance document have been adopted and they form the basis of this new revision.

As was also the case in previous revisions, individual opinions are not provided in detail but are briefly summarised and clearly referred to.

The "Notes of Guidance" should not be seen as a checklist but have been compiled to provide assistance in the complex process of the testing and safety evaluation of cosmetic ingredients in the EU.

This guidance document has been subject to a commenting period of eight weeks after its initial publication. Comments received during this time have been considered by the SCCS and discussed in the subsequent plenary meeting. Where appropriate, the text of the relevant sections of the opinion has been modified or explanations have been added. In the cases where the SCCS after consideration and discussion of the comments, has decided to maintain its initial views, the opinion (or the section concerned) has remained unchanged. Revised documents carry the date of revision. In this case, changes mainly occur on the following pages: 9, 12, 22, 31-32, 34, 38-39, 45-46, 48, 50, 55, 58, 65, 67, 69-70, 76, 78, 85-86, 129-130, 133-134.


SCCS, SCCS Notes of Guidance for the Testing of Cosmetic Ingredients and their Safety Evaluation, 9th revision

Opinion to be cited as:

SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety), SCCS Notes of Guidance for the Testing of Cosmetic Ingredients and their Safety Evaluation 9th revision, 29 September 2015, SCCS/1564/15, revision of 25 April 2016.


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