The Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Cosmetic Products for this specific study reviewed 71 plants and plant preparations which are used as ingredients for cosmetic products. Out of the 71 ingredients studied, 54 are considered safe, 5 are not recommended for cosmetic use, and the remaining 12 require additional data to make an accurate assessment.
Below lists the 5 non-recommended natural cosmetic ingredients that pose serious health hazards:
The study was conducted following the methodologies similar to that of safety-in-use of cosmetic products based on man-made ingredients, whereas this study was based on plant and plant preparations. The guidelines set forth to determine if the ingredients were in fact hazardous and toxic were based on the analysis of two types of data and characteristics: Evaluation of human exposure, and evaluation of toxicity.
The Evaluation of human exposure was classified by measuring the specific toxicity of the ingredients, as well as estimating the extent the consumer is likely to be exposed, including: the type of cosmetic, quantity of the ingredient being used, the quantity of the ingredient contacting the consumer in each application, the frequency of application, the area of the body being exposed, and the foreseeable misuse of the product.
Once the of exposure is estimated, the likely amount to enter body is calculated. That, coupled with the review of past studies of the same ingredient provide an educated estimate of the complete extent of exposure to potentially harmful ingredients.
The evaluation of toxicity is based on exsting knowledge obtained through similar studies of topical effects data and systemic effects data that has been complied through skin and other relevant exposure routes, such as eye and ingestion. However, if the natural cosmetic ingredient is new, topical and systemic effect data should be obtained using internationally acceptable guidelines such as the OECD guidelines for testing of cosmetics.