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L'acide salicylique est-il un composé dangereux en cosmétique ?

Is salicylic acid a dangerous compound in cosmetics?

Summary
Published February 20, 2024, by Maylis, Chemical Engineer — 3 min read

Thesalicylic acid is an organic component found in many skincare products due to its exfoliating, purifying, antibacterial, and blemish-fighting properties. It restores radiance to dull complexions, inhibits the bacterial proliferation involved in acne, and tightens pores, thus refining the skin's texture. This active ingredient is also found in hair care products; it sanitizes the scalp and effectively combats dandruff.

The European regulation pertaining to cosmetic products limits its concentration to 2% in leave-on products, 3% in rinse-off products and 0.5% when introduced as a preservative. This ingredient is approved for use in organic products.

In an opinion published in September 2018, the European Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded that salicylic acid is safe in a cosmetic product at the concentrations at which it is regulated. However, it clarified the following point:

"The current advisory does not apply to products that are administered orally, such as toothpastes and mouthwashes. Spray products, which could lead to consumer lung exposure through inhalation, are also excluded."

Investigations are currently underway regarding the potentially endocrine-disrupting characteristics of salicylic acid. We remain vigilant about the latest scientific publications and European regulations concerning this ingredient.

Note : Given its potential to cause eye irritation upon contact, the European regulation on cosmetics has banned the use of salicylic acid in hygiene products for children under 3 years old.

Sources:

  • SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER SAFETY (SCCS). Request for a scientific opinion on Salicylic acid (CAS No. 69-72-7, EC No. 200-712-3).

  • DANISH CENTRE ON ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS. List of endocrine disrupting chemicals final report (2017).

  • POTENTIAL HORMONE DISRUPTORS IN CONSUMERS’ COSMETICS, BEUC comments to the European Commission’s draft priority list (2019).

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