Cosmetics ingredients labeling

yellow labeled bottle

The mandatory standard prescribes the requirements the labelling of cosmetic products.

The mandatory standard for ingredients labelling on cosmetics came into effect on 29 October 1991 and was last amended 23 May 2008.

The Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Cosmetics) Regulations 1991 prescribes the requirements for this mandatory standard. Suppliers may also find the  Regulation impact statement — Cosmetics ( PDF 981.08 KB ) helpful in understanding aspects of the mandatory standard.

Under the mandatory standard, cosmetic products are substances or preparations intended for placement in contact with any external part of the body, including the mouth and teeth, for the purpose of:

  • altering the odours of the body
  • changing the appearance of the body
  • cleansing the body
  • maintaining the body in good condition
  • perfuming the body
  • protecting the body.

You should refer to the Therapeutic Goods Administration website for information about the requirements for sunscreen products and other excluded goods. 

The following goods are exempt from the mandatory information standard:

  • therapeutic goods within the meaning of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
  • cosmetics manufactured in Australia for export
  • free samples of cosmetic products
  • testers of a cosmetic product.

The following provides some key information on the labelling and testing requirements for this mandatory standard.


  • Product ingredient information should be available to consumers at the point of sale.
  • The listing of product ingredients is required on the container or on the product itself, if not packed in a container.
  • Where the container or the product is of a size, shape or nature that prevents ingredient labelling by any of the above methods, the mandatory information standard requires the display of information to allow consumers to be informed.
  • The labelling of ingredients on cosmetics such as make-up, deodorant or moisturiser usually appears on the packaging or outer casing of the product for consumer knowledge.
  • When listing ingredients, the ingredients need to appear in descending order calculated by either mass or volume.
  • Alternatively, the mandatory standard allows for the listing of ingredients in the following way:
    • ingredients (except colour additives) in concentrations of 1 per cent or more in descending order by volume or mass
    • followed by ingredients (except for colour additives) in concentrations of less than 1 per cent in any order
    • followed by colour additives in any order.
  • The mandatory information standard does not require the listing of the quantity or percentage of each ingredient.


While the standard does not require testing, before suppliers can label cosmetics accurately, they need to establish that the volume or mass is correct.

We are currently reviewing the information standard for cosmetics ingredient labelling.

A consultation paper has been published on the ACCC’s consultation hub. The consultation is open from 14 November and closes on 13 December 2019.

Cosmetics ingredients labeling

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