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[Updated] South Korea Revises Cosmetic Colorant Requirement

*This article was published on August 31, 2023, and has been updated on September 27, 2023, following the latest regulation dynamics. The updated contents are marked in red below.

On August 24, 2023, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety(MFDS) published an exposure draft of Types, Standards, and Testing Methods for Cosmetic Colorants1 for public opinion. The consultation period is set to end on September 13, 2023. 

MFDS mainly proposes deleting the specified testing methods in the regulation to allow companies to autonomously establish the testing methods according to their product characteristics. 

The competent authority also plans to provide guidelines for cosmetic colorant testing methods2 for enterprises’ references. Other testing methods beyond the guidelines would be allowed if they are scientifically validated.

The competent authority expects to help enterprises develop more cosmetic products with new colorants by deleting the colorant testing limit, thus enhancing Korean cosmetics’ international competitiveness. 


On September 21, 2023, MFDS officially modified this regulation, changing its name to Types and Standards for Cosmetic Colorants (화장품의 색소 종류 및 기준). The testing methods are removed from the regulation. At the same time, the authority issued a guideline named Guideline for Cosmetic Colorant Testing Methods (화장품의 색소 시험방법 가이드라인) serving as an informative document, which provides the testing methods for each colorant based on international standards for enterprises’ reference.

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