|Measures need to be taken for the management of eyelash perming agent|
Measures need to be taken for the management of eyelash perming agent
- Thioglycolic acid was detected in all of the 17 tested products -
Eyelash perms are gaining popularity for their eyelash extension effect as consumers become more and more interested in beauty treatment. However, there are no competent authorities, and relevant standards and specifications for eyelash perming agent*, and thus measures should be urgently prepared to secure consumer safety.
* Eyelash perming agent belongs neither to the category of products for hair and eye makeup prescribed by the Cosmetics Act nor to the category of household chemical products prescribed by the Act on the Safety Management of Household Chemical Products and Biocides.
This was revealed by the investigation on the safety of 17 eyelash perming products sold in the market conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency (President Lee Hee-sook).
□ Thioglycolic acid was detected in all of the 17 tested products.
In general, the use of thioglycolic acid and its salts is limited to certain product groups* among cosmetic products with three purposes (permanent waves or hair straightening, hair coloring, and hair removal).
* products that thioglycolic acid and its salts can be used (allowable levels): products for permanent waves or hair straightening (11%), products for hair coloring (1%), products for hair removal (5%)
Thioglycolic acid can cause skin blisters or burns, and in severe cases, even eczematous or follicular rashes when it enters in contact with the skin of consumers who are especially susceptible to the substance.
However, as a result of the test on the content of thioglycolic acid in the 17 eyelash perming products which have no regulatory standards and specifications, thioglycolic acid was detected at levels of 0.7~9.1% in all of the tested products.
□ Measures need to be taken for the management of eyelash perming agent.
In the EU and Canada, eyelash perming agent is classified as a cosmetic product, and thioglycolic acid is managed as a substance with ‘acute toxicity’causing skin irritation, and thus up to 11% is allowed in products for professional use only.
The content of thioglycolic acide contained in 11 products labeled as “Professional Use Only” among the 17 tested is within the level (11%) allowed in the EU and Canade, but in fact, it is difficult to consider them as products for “professional use only” because general consumers in Korea can easily purchase them online.
As such, there is a need for the official classification of eyelash perming agent as a cosmetic product, and the standards for the limited use of thioglycolic acid and its salts in the corresponding products.
□ A safety precaution labeling should become mandatory in products with a small quantity of contents.
According to the current Cosmetics Act, cosmetics of a quantity of contents of less than 10㎖(g) are not required to state and label “Matters Requiring Attention in Using the Products” on their packages. As a result of the investigation on the labeling of the 17 tested eyelash perming products, 14 products were found to have a quantity of contents of less than 10㎖(g), and among them, eight (8) products did not indicate the “Matters Requiring Attention in Using the Products” in the Korean language.
Therefore, a new regulation to include a mandatory statement and labeling of “Matters Requiring Attention in Using Products” is necessary for products containing cautionary ingredients, including thioglycolic acid.
Based on the result of the investigation, the KCA will request the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety ▲to classify eyelash perming agent as a cosmetic product, ▲to examine whether thioglycolic acid and its salts used in eyelash perming agent are suitable for the purpose, and ▲to make it mandatory for small-sized products containing cautionary ingredients to state and label “Matters Requiring Attention in Using the Products” on their packages.
Furthermore, the KCA has asked consumers to be careful that eyelash perm agent does not come into contact with the eyes and skin when using it close to the eyes, and to flush the eyes immediately with water if the agent accidentally gets into the eyes.
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