Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics shows that the population of children under 14 in China exceeds 253 million, accounting for 17.95% of the country’s total population. This substantial number of children creates significant demand for children cosmetics, driving continuous growth in the children cosmetics market. In comparison to adults, children have more sensitive skin, and are more susceptible to adverse reactions, allergies, and other potential negative impacts. As the fast-growing market also brings forth more non-compliance issues, regulatory authorities in China have placed a pronounced emphasis on the quality and safety of children cosmetics. To ensure their safe use, the regulatory system for children cosmetics has undergone continuous improvements over the past decade, with supervision gradually strengthening.
A Decade of Regulatory Changes for Children Cosmetics
On October 12, 2012, the former cosmetic competent authority in China, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA, now National Medical Products Administration (NMPA)), released the Guidance on Application and Review of Children Cosmetics. This guidance marked the first instance of addressing the individualized regulatory treatment of children cosmetics. However, the voluntary nature of this guidance undermined its effectiveness in deterring violators and unscrupulous manufacturers of children cosmetics. Released in December 2015, the Safety and Technical Standards for Cosmetics sets distinct hygienic standards for children and adult cosmetics, while the requirements for ingredient use, particularly for heavy metals, are essentially the same for both.
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