Polyols used for Cosmetics are registered as cosmetics ingredients in the two Cosmetics Inventories INCI Europe and INCI U.S. Both lists are almost fully harmonised, and define a single name for cosmetic ingredients.

The International Nomenclature for Cosmetics Ingredients (INCI) Europe is published online by the European Commission in the Cosing database. It lists the ingredients commonly used in Cosmetic applications together with their international nomenclature name which has to be used for labeling purposes.

The INCI U.S list is published online by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) .

The registration of an ingredient into the INCI inventory does not constitute an official approval to use this ingredient in Cosmetic formulations. Indeed, the cosmetic formulator must demonstrate with data and reports the dafety of each ingredient used in the formulation.

Regarding the Japanese Regulation for Cosmetic ingredients, before 2002, the only authorised ingredients were the registered ones that met the requirements of the monographs of the Japanese Standard of Cosmetic Ingredients (JSCI). Japan is regulated according to the New Cosmetic Standards, enforced on April 1 st, 2001 by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW).

Polyols that are used for other than food, feed or pharmaceutical applications are subject to the requirements of the REACH Regulation, as well as of other national chemical legislations such as TSCA (US), DSL (Canada), NICNAS (Australia) etc.

With the exception of mannitol and sorbitol (D glucitol) that are included in Annex IV of the Regulation (EC) 987/2008 and that are consequently exempted from the obligation to register, all polyols have been pre-registered before 1 December 2008: hence, they remain lawfully on the EU market after 1 December 2008, and benefit from an extended registration deadline (from 30 November 2010 until 31 May 2018 depending on the tonnage band).

Labelling of non-crystallising sorbitol syrups in cosmetic products in the European Union (printable statement available here)
In June 2015, EPA Members explored potential approaches to overcome challenges encountered by cosmetics manufacturers regarding labelling of sorbitol syrups that contain less than 80 % sorbitol on dry substance as “hydrogenated starch hydrolysate” in the list of ingredients of cosmetic products.

Two steps were conducted to remedy the situation:

  1. To request a new CAS number dedicated to non-crystallising sorbitol solution to the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) division of the American Chemical Society;
  2. To request this new CAS number being added to the existing INCI name “Sorbitol” to the Personal Care Product Council.

EPA Members are now pleased to announce they succeed with both above steps. The additional CAS number 1259528-21-6 is now:

  • attributed to non-crystallising sorbitol solution and is complimentary to the existing CAS number 68425-17-2;
  • added to existing INCI “sorbitol” in addition to the already listed CAS No 50-70-4.It should also be noticed that “hydrogenated starch hydrolysate” INCI name associated with CAS number 68425-17-2 for non-crystallising sorbitol solution remains valid.Consequently, cosmetics manufacturers are now allowed to label non-crystallising sorbitol solution ingredient as “sorbitol” or “hydrogenated starch hydrolysate” in their cosmetics products.