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All you need to know about Cosmetic Notification Registration Process with Health Canada

The Cosmetic Notification Process
All cosmetics sold in Canada must be submitted through the Health Canada Cosmetic Notification Process.
Section 2 of the Food and Drugs Act defines a "cosmetic" as:
" Any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth, and includes deodorants and perfumes. "
In instances where the classification of a product is not clear, Health Canada will classify the product on a case by case basis, taking into account factors such as:

1. Representation: The product is represented for sale to serve a cosmetic function such as cleansing, moisturizing, lubricating, perfuming or altering the hair, skin or teeth of humans.
2. Composition of the product: Although the composition of a product alone does not necessarily determine its classification, the presence of an ingredient, or its concentration, may make the product unsuitable for classification as a cosmetic.
3. Level of Action : Cosmetics are normally applied to an external part of the body and not absorbed below the skin to achieve their cosmetic effect.
In addition:
● Cosmetics can be applied to the skin around the eyes but products applied directly into the eyes are not cosmetics.
● With the sole exception of tattoo ink, products that are administered through ingestion, inhalation or injection (such as, intramuscular, subcutaneous or intravenous) are not classified as cosmetics.

Examples of Cosmetics
○ soaps
○ artificial nail builders
○ adhesives such as for artificial nails, hair extensions, etc.
○ moisturizers
○ tinted moisturizers (concealer)
○ tattoo inks
○ makeup products
○ tooth whiteners
○ cleansing wipes
○ feminine douches

Examples of Products that are Not Considered Cosmetics
○ sunscreens (including makeup products with SPF)
○ acne treatment
○ skin whiteners or lighteners
○ denture cleaners
○ hand sanitizers
○ artificial nails and hair extensions
○ brushes
○ laser treatment hair removers
○ collagen or "Botox" injections
○ insect repellents
○ oral supplements
○ room or fabric sprays
○ non-prescription contact lenses

● The process to receive an CN is called a Cosmetic Notification Form (CNF).
● The process is guided by the following regulations:
○ Food and Drugs Act
○ Cosmetic Regulations

● Manufacturers and importers are responsible for making sure their cosmetics meet the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and its Cosmetic Regulations either through independent completion of licensing or through representation of a regulatory consultant acting on their behalf.
● The length of time to prepare an CNF application by NatHealth depends on the availability of all required information within the application. If all information is available, it can be completed in as little as 1-3 weeks depending on availability of our regulatory consultant.


At The MedNerds, we are committed to providing exceptional services to support your business. Our expertise in regulatory compliance and quality assurance will give you the confidence to navigate the complex landscape of the healthcare industry. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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