For removal of trade barriers, the Council of the European Economic Community in 1976 adopted the Council Directive of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of Member States relating to cosmetic products (76/768/EEC ). It is generally abbreviated to the Cosmetics Directive and contains the definition of a cosmetic product, a list of substances whose use is prohibited in cosmetic products (negative list) and the list of approved preservatives, colorants and UV filters ( positive lists ). Since its entry into force, it was (as of August 2008), amended seven times and adapted more than 40 times to technical progress.
On 22 December 2009, the European Commission has published the new EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 in the EU Official Journal. This Regulation entered into force on 11 January 2010 in force, but shall not apply until 11 July 2013 and then replaced the EC Cosmetics Directive and to a large extent also the hitherto valid and building upon national regulations, in Germany in the food, Commodities and feed Code and in the cosmetics regulation. However, some rules may come even earlier to the application. First Notes on the content and implementation have been published by Mildau and Huber.
Cosmetic products are originally applied externally to the human body, they come with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity, as well as with the eyes and skin contact, so the safety of these products is of primary interest. However, manufacturers are not required to create safety data sheets for cosmetics. Nevertheless, it is recommended to consult with experts as sometimes the line between cosmetics and chemicals is inaccurate ( eg tattoo colors).