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South Korea Implements the Cosmetic Safety Standards: Specifying New Prohibited and Restricted Ingredients

On April 1, 2022, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) unveiled the updated Regulation on Safety Standards, etc. for Cosmetics1. The Regulation designates new prohibited ingredients, specifies new restricted ingredients and their usage limits, and the exemption conditions of using prohibited ingredients. The details are as below:

1. Newly Added Prohibited Ingredients

(1) Perfluorinated Compounds

The following perfluorinated compounds are added to the prohibited ingredient inventory as they are hard to break down.

English name

Korean name

Nonadecafluorodecanoic acid


Nickel(II) trifluoroacetate


Sodium nonadecafluorodecanoate 


Sodium heptadecafluorononanoate 


Ammonium nonadecafluorodecanoate


Ammonium perfluorononanoate


Perfluorononanoic acid


(2) Persistent Pollutants

The “persistent pollutants” stipulated in the Article 2 (1) of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Control Act2 are prohibited from being added to cosmetic products, as these substances can pose hazards to people and ecosystems.

2. Restricted Ingredients

(1) The preservative of “Benzalkonium Chloride (BKC)” cannot be used in spray-type cosmetics:


Use Limits


Benzalkonium chloride, bromide, and saccharinate

(벤잘코늄클로라이드, 브로마이드 및 사카리네이트)

In rinse-off products: 0.1% as Benzalkonium chloride

In other products: 0.05% as Benzalkonium chloride

Benzalkonium Chloride is prohibited in spray-type cosmetics. (Newly added,)

(2) Restricted colorants in hair dye products and their use limits are newly added:

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