A cosmetic is a substance that is designed to be used on any external part of the human body—or inside the mouth—to change its odours, change its appearance, cleanse it, keep it in good condition, perfume it or protect it.


What laws apply to cosmetics in Australia?


Cosmetics are made from a range of ingredients, which are regulated as industrial chemicals under the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (ICNA Act).

Commercial importers and/or manufacturers of cosmetics, including packaged products and chemicals used in the formulation of cosmetic products, must comply with the ICNA Act as well as other legislation.


If you are producing cosmetics by blending ingredients that are purchased from an Australian supplier, you do not need to register your business with NICNAS. Read more about blending and manufacturing chemicals.


Nearly all cosmetic ingredients are regulated as industrial chemicals under the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (ICNA Act). This includes ingredients described as 'natural', such as oils, extracts and essences of plants.