Eyelash colourants come under EU consultation

Dye substances pigment red 57 and hydrogen peroxide, both used in eyelash colourants, have been approved for adoption by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) in the latest stage of an assessment into their use.

A public consultation has now been opened, after which an official EC opinion will be formed.

The dyes were considered to be non- or slightly irritant when applied as hair colourants. However, their potential to cause an allergic reaction to the eye area when applied to lashes had been called into question.

Of the oxidative dyes currently used in permanent eyelash treatments, the SCCS found that: “There is potential for an allergic contact reaction to occur if the eyelid margin is exposed to dyes, which are sensitisers, or if there is greater (accidental) exposure to the eyelid skin”.

While the ruling suggests that customers who have a history of an allergic reaction to hair dyes should approach the eyelash colourants with caution, it was found that “only mild and transient irritation is expected from substances for which information is available”.

Applicants who would use the dyes, national authorities and other interested parties have been invited to comment on the findings. Comments should be sent to Sanco-SCCS-Secretariat@ec.europa.eu by November 15, for discussion at the next meeting. After this, the SCCS will publish its final opinion on the safety of these dyes as eyelash pigments.