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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, anti-bacterial, and anti-blemish properties. It restores radiance to dull complexions, inhibits 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 sanitises the scalp and effectively combats dandruff.

The European regulation concerning 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 authorised 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 clarifies the following point:

"This 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 therefore remain vigilant about the latest scientific publications and European regulations concerning this ingredient.

Note : The European regulation on cosmetics has prohibited the use of salicylic acid in hygiene products for children under 3 years old, as it can cause eye irritation if it comes into contact with the eyes.

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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