The European Commission specifies the claims that should not be included in cosmetic hydroalcoholic gels and prohibits, among other issues, referring to the percentage of alcohol

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In recent months there has been an increase in the use of hydroalcoholic hand gels derived from the Covid-19 pandemic. As we have already commented in previous news, this type of gels can be biocidal in nature (antiseptics for healthy skin), in which case they are indicated for hand disinfection and subject to evaluation, authorization and registration by a competent authority. Or, they can be of a cosmetic type, indicated only for hand washing in everyday conditions and not subject to authorization by any competent authority.


In order to avoid possible misinterpretations to which, in the context of the current pandemic, certain claims expressed in cosmetic hydroalcoholic gels may give rise, the European Commission has just published a document on these aspects. It details claims, references, images or graphic elements that should not be used in cosmetic products. Among them expressions such as antibacterial, antimicrobial, virucidal, disinfectant, sanitizer, antiseptic, etc., including the reference to the percentage of alcohol in the product. All these allusions, as well as the images or graphic elements that make reference to any sign related to hospital, pharmacy, ambulance, first aid or to CLP pictograms – reserved for biocides – should not be used.


Additionally, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and taking into account the provisions of the “Guidelines on the legislation applicable to cleaners and disinfectants that do not rinse for hands (in the form of gel, solution, etc.) “, In the European standards relating to the efficacy of antiseptic products, and that the term “higienizante” is used as a translation of the English “sanitizer”, the claims relating to the sanitization of hands, such as hygienic washing, sanitizing and similar, neither can be used as they imply that a product has a function that goes beyond simple cleaning and, therefore, is not considered a cosmetic product.

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