Cosmetic products - report adverse effects
You can use the notification form available when you log in to the Altinn service. Even though you need a Norwegian personal identification number to log in to Altinn, this information will be removed before the notification is submitted to the Cosmetic Allergy Register. Notifications cannot be traced back to the person who submitted them.
You can send in a notification for yourself or for others.
If undesirable effects are severe or they persist, contact your doctor.
Reporting via healthcare professionals
Your doctor, pharmacist, dentist or public health nurse can complete the notification form and submit the notification on your behalf. Health professionals must report any suspected unwanted effects from cosmetics and these notifications are sent to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority
Why should you report problems?
Studies among consumers show that many experience undesirable effects with varying degrees of severity. In 2008, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority established a register for unwanted effects with the use of cosmetic products. Cosmetic products include soap, shampoo, moisturisers, deodorants and toothpaste. In Norway, tattoo products and some injection products are considered to be cosmetic products.
Undesirable effects can range from mild irritation to severe symptoms. They can arise after first time use or after frequent use of a product. The NIPH wants all types of undesirable effect to be reported. Even though symptoms disappear when the product is no longer used, they should still be reported. Many reports give us a better overview over which products can cause problems. This can help us to improve the safety of the products we buy.
Advice about using cosmetic products
It is impossible to predict whether you will get an undesirable effect from a product, but you can take some steps to reduce potential problems:
- Check the expiry date. Some products are not labelled with a use-by date but are marked with the time the product is usable after opening. Do not use products where the expiry date or duration time have expired
- Use cosmetic products as indicated. For example, do not use hair products intended for hair on eyebrows or eyelashes
- Avoid products that contain substances you are allergic to
- Stop using a product if you suspect that it is causing adverse effects
- Contact your doctor if severe adverse effects persist
Products that can be reported
The following products are defined as cosmetic products and can be reported:
- Cosmetics and body-care products: Products that come into contact with the body's surface (skin, hair, nails, lips, external genitals), teeth or mucous membranes in the nose and mouth and that are intended to protect, maintain or affects the appearance, clean, perfume and combat body odour.
- Medicinal cosmetic products: Products that come into contact with the body surface, teeth or mucous membranes of the nose and mouth that are intended to relieve, cure or prevent health problems not caused by disease.
- Tattoo products: Substances inserted into the skin to achieve permanent or long-lasting designs and similar (includes permanent make-up and tattoo inks).
- Injection products: Substances inserted into the skin to change the skin's appearance in other ways than those mentioned above.
Required information when reporting undesirable effects
When submitting the notification form, you will be asked for information about the product so it is a good idea to have it with you when you contact a healthcare worker or complete the form. This will help the Food Safety Authority to process the notification.
It is important that the name of the product is written as accurately as possible, plus the supplier or manufacturer if possible. If you still have the product, please state the batch/lot number.
Examples of batch/lot numbers:
A good description of how long the product was used, how many times, if it has been used on earlier occasions are also useful to include in the notification.
Try to give a good description of the reaction, including how long it took to react, how long it lasted and the type of reaction.