A major new report by the body for health professionals has called for more robust regulation of the cosmetics and haircare industries.
Dr Mark Gervais, head of the Australian Academy of Cosmetic Dermatologists (AACC), said the recommendations were an important step in ensuring cosmetic surgeons who provided cosmetic services were doing the right thing.
“The cosmetics industry is responsible for a significant amount of cosmetic work,” he said.
The AACC’s report says it is vital for health authorities to introduce an effective and regulated cosmetics industry.
It says a number of cosmetic products are dangerous when used incorrectly, but it also says some ingredients are essential to our skin, including the ingredient azelaic acid, which is commonly used in facial creams.
There are around 20,000 cosmetic products that contain azela-derived ingredients, and their use is unregulated.
What you need to know about azela and azela oilThe AOCA’s report, published today (AEST), is entitled Azela, Azela-Eyes and Azela Oil.
Gervais said the findings suggested “that a comprehensive industry regulation system has been lacking”.
“It is important that we take the findings into account and ensure we consider how these essential ingredients are managed when we do our routine inspections, as well as the fact that people’s skin is still the number one target for cosmetic interventions such as artificial skin treatments,” he told the ABC.
He said cosmetic products made with these essential elements were not being reviewed as much.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which regulates cosmetic products, said she had “no comment” on the AACC report.
She said the AOCC’s recommendations had been “informalised” by a number consumer organisations.
The AECC advises health authorities not to approve cosmetic products without first assessing their safety.
A spokeswoman told the BBC the commission did not consider the Aoca report “sufficiently robust or definitive” to warrant further action from health authorities.
However, she said cosmetics companies have to follow strict requirements such as no artificial ingredients or artificial colours and could face charges for using ingredients that have already been approved for use in cosmetic products.
In its report, the AECCA also recommended the AUSTRAC review the guidelines for cosmetics certification.
It recommended that, for cosmetics with ingredients that were derived from plants, such as azela or azela cream, those guidelines should be updated.
The guidelines for determining compliance with regulatory requirements are already in place but this report has been “substantially enhanced” to bring them closer in line with the latest evidence, the spokesperson said.
The report also calls for “significant regulatory action” on cosmetic manufacturers and cosmetic suppliers, particularly when it comes to ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and benzoylanilates, both ingredients that are widely used in cosmetic procedures.
The benzoyldioxane in acne products could also be harmfulThe report recommends the AACC should ensure that its inspection standards, including when inspecting cosmetic manufacturers’ operations, are aligned with the requirements for regulators, as the cosmetics industry itself continues to grow.
“There should be a system of independent inspections in place to ensure all ingredients and ingredients sources are properly tested and controlled when in use,” the report said.
“Regulators should also establish the requirements in place for manufacturers of cosmetic cosmetic products to be able to identify if certain ingredients are relevant and to ensure the safety of their product.”‘
What we’ve done wrong’The AACA is in the process of developing a consultation paper for cosmetic authorities on whether cosmetic products should be regulated.
But it told the AP the consultation process was “ongoing”.
“The industry has not fully embraced the recommendations in the report.
We’ve already had to engage with the community, including organisations representing the skin care industry,” Dr Gervaeys said.”[The report] is in good spirit and there’s no point going back and fixing things we haven’t got the facts on.”
What we have done is to build up what we think are the best evidence base on cosmetic products.