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[Updated] Canada Amends Cosmetic Ingredient Use Requirements

The adopted amendments are: 1) Adding 1 prohibited ingredient; 2) Adding 3 restricted ingredients; 3) Revising the requirements of 5 restricted ingredients.


The Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist (Hotlist) is an administrative tool that Health Canada uses to communicate to manufacturers and others that certain ingredients may be prohibited or restricted for use in cosmetics. It consists of two distinct tables, one for ingredients identified as prohibited ingredients and another for those identified as restricted ingredients.


1) Prohibited ingredients, including synonyms, salts and related compounds, should not be present in cosmetic products sold in Canada.

2) Restricted ingredients are permitted only if the conditions of use and/or cautionary statement(s) are met as outlined in the Hotlist. If the ingredient has a concentration restriction, notifiers to provide the exact concentration used in the product at the time of notification will help expedite Health Canada’s processing of the Cosmetic Notification Form.


The Hotlist is a science-based document reviewed and updated periodically when new scientific data becomes available.

Editor's note:

This article was originally published on July 17, 2023, and was updated on June 11, 2024, as per the latest developments.

In May 2024, Canada adopted changes to the use requirements for 9 cosmetic ingredients. 1 In June 2024, the comment period for the remaining cosmetic ingredients was extended to July 8, 2024. The table below briefly summarizes the adopted and proposed amendments.


Amendments or Proposed Amendments


Basic Green 4

Added to the list of prohibited ingredients


Added to the list of restricted ingredients


Solvent violet 13

Dialkanolamines, secondary

Amended to include secondary alkyl- and alkanolamines and their salts for clarity

Alpha-hydroxy acids

Amended to clarify that Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) and bionic acids with alpha-hydroxyl groups, as well as their salts, are included.

Additionally, the maximum permitted concentration for the consumer use category was increased from 10% to 18%.

Other amendments include updated warnings and cautionary statements and additional product-specific directions for safe use.


Amended to expand the permitted nail product categories to include products for consumer use, increase the maximum concentration permitted for these products, and introduce a combined limit when both p-hydroxyanisole and hydroquinone are used in a nail product.


Amended to introduce a combined limit when both p-hydroxyanisole and hydroquinone are used in a nail product.


Amended to help reduce chronic inhalation exposure to talc in cosmetics that may result in non-cancer lung effects (such as inflammation or fibrosis), as well as genital exposure to the population with intact ovary/ovaries which may result in ovarian cancer

Continue to solicit opinions

Thioglycolic acid esters

Propose to be added to the list of prohibited ingredients

Retinoic acid precursors (Retinal and Retinol and its esters)

  • Retinal is proposed to be added to the list of restricted ingredients

  • The use requirements of retinol and its esters are proposed to be revised

Mixed cresols and derivatives (p-, m- and o-Cresol)

  • p-cresol and mixed cresols are proposed to be added to the list of prohibited ingredients

  • o-cresol and m-cresol are proposed to be added to the list of restricted ingredients

Aluminum chlorohydrate and its associated complexes

Propose to be added to the list of restricted ingredients

Peroxide and peroxide-generating compounds and Benzoyl Peroxide

 Detailed information on the specific changes can be found in the section below for the corresponding ingredients.

On July 13, 2023, Health Canada released a notice concerning the review of several amendments to the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. 2 Companies are welcome to contact Health Canada ( before October 11, 2023 to provide safety information or other considerations about the proposed ingredients, which may further inform Health Canada's decisions. Information that are recommended to be provided includes:

  • Additions to the Hotlist;

  • Changes to the existing requirements in the Hotlist;

  • Proposal to include additional ingredient identifiers or make minor corrections.

1. Proposed Additions

1) Adding 2 prohibited ingredients

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