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European Commission Reduces the Permissible Limit of Benzophenone-3 in Cosmetic Products

Photo: Sunscreen product
Photo: Sunscreen product

On February 10, 2017, the European Commission published Regulation (EU) 2017/238 amending Annex VI to Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 to reduce the maximum authorized concentration of Benzophenone-3 as a UV filter from 10% w/w to 6% w/w.

Following opinion SCCP/1201/08, adopted on December 16, 2008 which concluded – the use of benzophenone-3 as a UV filter up to 6% in cosmetic sunscreen products and up to 0.5% in all types of cosmetic products to protect the formulation does not pose a risk to health of consumer (apart from its contact allergenic and photoallergenic potential), the European Commission published Regulation (EU) 2017/238 on February 10, 2017, amending Annex VI to Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 to reduce the maximum authorized concentration of Benzophenone-3 as a UV filter from 10% w/w to 6% w/w.

The regulation will apply from September 3, 2017, six months after it comes into force.

Annex VI of Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 is amended as follows (Reference Number: 4’)
Substance IdentificationChemical name/INN/XAN2-Hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone/Oxybenzone
Name of Common Ingredients GlossaryBenzophenone-3
CAS number131-57-7
EC number205-031-5
ConditionsProduct type, Body parts
Maximum concentration in ready for use preparation6 %
OtherNot more than 0.5% to protect product formulation
Wording of conditions of use and warnings
Contains Benzophenone-3(1)

(1) Not required if concentration is 0.5% or less, and when it is used only for product protection purposes.

SGS Solutions

It is crucial for all cosmetic, personal care and household products to be safe, effective and stable. SGS provides testing, inspection, auditing and consulting services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a high level of product quality in every area. Our state of the art laboratories offer custom-made solutions for chemical, biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. We also have extensive capabilities in performance testing, claim support studies and consumer panels. Our testing is conducted according to customer specific or recognized standard methods, some of which were developed by SGS. Our cosmetic safety assessors and other technical experts can support customers by making sure new products comply with regulatory requirements.


1. Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/238
2. SCCP opinion SCCP/1201/08

Email SGS Hong Kong Ltd. at mktg@sgs.com for enquiry or visit www.sgsgroup.com/hk.

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