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Essential oils – assessment of risk in a cosmetic formulation

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Claudine Fioravanti
IDEA Legal
Martillac, France

Recognized since ancient times for their notable therapeutic properties, essential oils, from distillation of aromatic plants, occupy an important place, not only in the medical field but also in the field of cosmetics. Cosmetic products containing essential oils are increasingly present at points of sale and attract more and more consumers. This may be explained in part by the significant reduction in the number of preservative agents authorized in cosmetics, a source of difficulty for the formulator responsible for the stability of their formula, antimicrobial properties being recognized in many of them. However, these oils are not without risk to human health; their safety for a cosmetic formulation must be assessed by taking into account their potential danger and their exposure under normal conditions of use anticipated by the formulator with particular attention paid to sensitive populations such as children, pregnant women or those breastfeeding. In addition, potentially concerned by a number of regulations, assessment of safety of these products is not without difficulties.

 

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