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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Jiménez

Hexyl Salicylate in Cosmetic Products and the New SCCS Mandate

Updated: Jul 1

Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) and the Hexyl Salicylate Assessment


Recently, on May 31, 2024, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) issued a new mandate to review the safety of hexyl salicylate in cosmetic products, focusing specifically on childhood exposure, including children under 3 years of age. This mandate complements and expands on the European Commission's previous request, highlighting the continued safety concern of this ingredient.




Hexyl Salicylate: Background and Context


Hexyl salicylate is an ingredient used in fragrances and cosmetic products, known for its sweet and floral aroma. Although it is currently not restricted by the Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, ECHA recommended in March 2022 to classify it as "toxic for reproduction category 2" and "skin sensitizer category 1".


This recommendation was based on toxicity and skin sensitization studies.

In December 2022, a dossier was submitted to support the safe use of hexyl salicylate in cosmetics, with specific concentration limits. However, the SCCS noted that no specific scenarios for childhood exposure had been provided. In response, industry submitted additional information in May 2024 to address these concerns.


Hexyl Salicylate: New SCCS Mandate


In this new mandate, the SCCS is requested to


  • Assess the Safety of Hexyl Salicylate for Children Under 3: Based on the data provided and considering the proposed classification as CMR2 (reprotox) under the CLP Regulation, the SCCS should determine whether hexyl salicylate is safe for children under 3 years of age when used at the maximum concentrations indicated in the dossier.

  • Identify Additional Safety Concerns: The SCCS should also identify any additional scientific concerns related to the use of hexyl salicylate in cosmetic products and exposure of children.


Hexyl Salicylate: Relationship between the Assessments


This new SCCS mandate is directly related to the previous request made by the European Commission on June 24, 2024, which also requested an assessment of the safety of hexyl salicylate in cosmetic products, specifically for children under 3 years of age. Both requests underline the need to ensure that cosmetic products are safe for all age groups, especially the most vulnerable.




Deadline and Next Steps


The SCCS has 2 months to issue its opinion on this issue. This detailed assessment will help establish safe use limits and protect the health of younger consumers.


Hexyl Salicylate, Conclusion


The evaluation of hexyl salicylate by the SCCS, both in the initial application and in the new mandate, is crucial to ensure the safety of cosmetic products. These ongoing and detailed reviews reflect the EU's commitment to consumer protection and the safety of cosmetic ingredients.


If you need more information on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us.



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