May 13, 2022
Prerequisites for Cosmetic Ingredient Listing in Canada

Health Canada regulates cosmetics sold in Canada. Manufacturers selling cosmetic products in Canada must ensure that their product labels comply with the labeling requirements. Cosmetic labeling includes various information, but one of the most important parts of the labeling is ingredient listing, which informs the customers about product composition.

Writing a compliant ingredient list is not an easy task, so it is essential to understand the requirements on how to write it. Here are the prerequisites cosmetic manufacturers must adhere to market their products in Canada.

  • Descending Order of Predominance - All ingredients must be listed on the label in the descending order of the concentration by weight. It means the ingredients provided at the beginning of the list are present in a greater quantity than those at the end.
  • Ingredients with Concentration of 1% or Less - Ingredients with a concentration of 1% or less may be listed in random order after the ingredients with a concentration of more than 1%.
  • Coloring Agents - Regardless of the concentration, all coloring agents must be listed in random order after the ingredients that are present with a concentration of more than 1%. It is also acceptable to list coloring agents in the descending order of predominance.
  • Fragrance -The word "parfum" must be used for fragrances to indicate that the ingredients have been added to the cosmetic to produce or mask a particular odor. It can be inserted at the end of the list or at the appropriate point in descending order of predominance. Manufacturers who do not wish to use the term "parfum" to indicate the presence of fragrance ingredients must list each fragrance ingredient individually.
  • Flavor - The word "aroma" can be used for flavors to indicate that ingredients have been added to the cosmetic to produce or mask a particular flavor. It can be inserted at the end of the list of ingredients or at the appropriate point in descending order of predominance. Manufacturers who do not wish to use the term "aroma" to indicate the presence of flavor ingredients must list each flavor ingredient individually.
  • Make-up, Nail Polish, and Nail Enamel - The coloring agents for make-up products (such as lipstick, blush, eyeshadow), nail polish, and nail enamel that are sold in a range of color shades, may be listed preceded by the phrase "may contain/peut contenir" or the symbol "±" or "+/-."
  • Cosmetics in Small Packages or Containers - If the cosmetics are packed in small containers or packages, it would be difficult to see the list of the ingredients on the label. Therefore, the list of ingredients may appear on a tape, tag, or card affixed to the container.
  • Cosmetics in Ornamental Containers - For cosmetics in an ornamental container with no outside package (e.g., a perfume bottle without packaging/box), the list of ingredients may appear on a tape, tag, or card affixed to the container.
  • Cosmetics in Odd-shaped Containers - For cosmetics that have no outside package and whose shape, size, or texture makes it impractical for a tape, tag, or card to be affixed to the container (e.g., bath beads), the list of ingredients may appear in a leaflet that must accompany the cosmetic during the sale.

In a nutshell, manufacturers, to successfully sell their cosmetic products in Canada, must comply with the ingredient labeling requirements prescribed by Health Canada. Find out whether your cosmetic ingredients are accepted in Canada with Freyr iREADY, a ready-to-use cosmetics ingredient database. Request for a demo.