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Glitter in nail polishes, yes or no?
In 1934, a German-born worker, Henry Ruschmann, using a machine to cut garbage into very small pieces unintentionally invented the much-loved and appreciated glitter. From New Jersey, these tiny flakes have gone around the world, being used in the trade of everything.
the European Union has established, through the Reach Regulation, a phased ban from October 17, 2023 on the placing on the market of this material. The restriction relates to the use of intentionally added synthetic polymer microparticles as ingredients in a variety of product types, including cosmetic products. Does this restriction also apply to nail polishes? Let’s leave it to the article explaining the new regulation of Reg. 2023/2055 regarding synthetic polymer microparticles in cosmetic products to answer that.
New European Standard for Synthetic Polymer Microparticles in Cosmetics
On September 25, 2023, the European Union published Regulation 2023/2055, a significant amendment to Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, known as REACH. This new legislation covers the use of synthetic polymer microparticles in a wide range of products, including cosmetics. Here is an overview of the main provisions of the Regulations:
- Definition of Microparticles of Synthetic Polymers.
The Regulations define synthetic polymer microparticles as particles with specific sizes:
– 0.1 μm for any one size, for particles having all other sizes at most 5 mm.
– 0.3 μm in length, for particles having a maximum length of 15 mm and a length-to-diameter ratio greater than 3 (for fiber-like particles).
2. Effective Date
The legislation will go into effect on October 17, 2023. As of this date, it will be prohibited to place microparticles of synthetic polymers on the market, either as single substances or as components of mixtures (with a concentration of 0.01 percent by weight or more), if these particles are used to impart a specific desired characteristic to the cosmetic product.
However, there are some exemptions provided:
– Naturally formed polymers, without chemical modification.
– Degradable polymers, demonstrable in accordance with Appendix 15 of the regulations.
– Soluble polymers at more than 2 g/l, demonstrable in accordance with Appendix 16 of the regulations.
– Polymers that do not contain carbon atoms in their chemical structure.
4. Exemptions for Specific Applications.
Exemptions also exist for some specific applications:
– Synthetic polymer microparticles used for technical reasons, in accordance with the instructions for use, to prevent release into the environment.
– Synthetic polymer microparticles whose physical properties permanently change during their intended use so that the polymer no longer falls within the scope of the standard.
– Synthetic polymer microparticles permanently embedded in a solid matrix during intended use.
5. Specific Deadlines for Cosmetic Products
For cosmetic products affected by this regulation, there are different application deadlines:
– Effective October 17, 2029, for synthetic polymer microparticles used in fragrance encapsulation.
– As of October 17, 2027, for “rinse products” as defined by Regulation 2023/2055.
– Starting October 17, 2035, for lip products, nail products, and makeup products.
– Effective October 17, 2029, for products not to be rinsed.
In summary, this new legislation is an important step toward regulating the use of synthetic polymer microparticles in cosmetic products, with the goal of reducing environmental impact and protecting consumer health.
For more details and information, you can visit the official Cosmetics Europe link: Cosmetics Europe – Comments on restriction of polymer microparticles https://cosmeticseurope.eu/cosmetics-europe-comments-microplastics-restriction.
Waiver for glazes, to 2035
As can be seen from reading the regulation, UV enamels could fall into this category but with an exemption to October 17, 2035. It should also be noted that in UV products, glitter is not dispersed into the environment, as it is incorporated into the product intended for curing. Our company’s commitment, however, remains to replace such micropolymers with biodegradable substances as soon as possible, with full respect for the health of the planet. The quest for an increasingly sustainable world never stops.