EU: Beauty claims vs. health claims on foods

In the last years, there has been an increase in fortified foods and food supplements that primarily target the female population with the aim of improving beauty, such as e.g., effect on hair, nails, and skin. Typical representatives of ingredients used are collagen, MSM, hyaluronic acid and others.

If the claims in terms of e.g. of the proper functioning of the skin or for the health of the skin, clearly defined as health claims regulated by harmonized European legislation, with Regulation 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims on foods, so-called beauty claims are regulated only by general food legislation, which stipulates that the indication of the properties of food must not be misleading for the consumer, but must be clear, proven and easily understandable. Typical skin beauty claims are wrinkle reduction, skin smoothing, glowing, and toned skin, etc.

Of course, this does not mean that beauty affirmations cannot be used. On the contrary, their use is entirely possible if there is good evidence of their effectiveness (credible studies), and the advantage is that the use of the claims does not require lengthy evaluation procedures through the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and subsequent approval by the European Commission.

Differentiating between beauty and health claims can sometimes be very difficult, as just one word can completely change the definition of a claim. An additional problem can be the different approaches of official institutions to the perception of certain claims within the EU.

Do you need additional knowledge or help in reviewing the suitability of ingredients and other product properties before entering the market?

With the help of our consulting services, we can fully help you with thorough reviews of the suitability of products for entering the market, as well as foreign markets and opportunities for legal marketing of food supplements.