• Product Safety

Safety Considerations with Temporary Tattoos

TATTOO 2.jpg

 With one in five of us now "adorned", it might seem sensible to think that the tattoo's popularity has peaked, but the craze is set to get bigger and bigger according to recent media reports.

 For those of us not brave enough to commit to the pain or enduring nature of a permanent tattoo, the temporary tattoo offers an opportunity for self expression and fun, and once that's satisfied, we can wash it off!    

 Temporary (or stick on) tattoos are available in all sorts of designs off the shelf and are an inexpensive add on or cover mount for a book or magazine.  Or how about a temporary tattoo pen as the basis for a body art kit? 

Here at Imago we can assist with the supply of off the shelf or custom made tattoos and tattoo pens and we can also help you with the safety process which is, to say the least, rather complex and daunting.


The Legislation  

Temporary tattoos and tattoo pens are high risk areas - people can be sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients and there are clearly defined Regulations/Directives that state exactly what chemicals are allowed.  Classified as cosmetics, as they are intended to come into contact with the skin and change its appearance, tattoos should meet the Cosmetic Regulations/Directive in the EU, and FDA (Food & Drug Administration) in the US.  In addition if the product is intended for children under 14 it should also meet toy safety requirements.  

If you are considering manufacturing tattoos it is essential to use a factory that has a record of supplying well known companies, has good manufacturing practices and has experience and knowledge of the requirements.   The "responsible" person (i.e. the party whose brand appears on the product) for bringing the cosmetics into Europe is required to register their product on the Cosmetics Product Notification Portal and provide the authorities with information about the product in the form of a Product Information File.   This information includes but is not limited to a breakdown of the ingredients, a toxicological review by a qualified toxicologist, evidence of microbiological testing and a safety assessment.    



Labelling Requirements

There is a specific labelling protocol for cosmetics which includes using the correct INCI nomenclature for the ingredients.  INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is the system established in the early 1970’s by the Personal Care Products Council. INCI names are used in the United States, the European Union, China, Japan, and many other countries for listing ingredients on cosmetic product labels. With few exceptions, the INCI labelling names in all countries are the same.

To comply with the requirements of the INCI list, the correct name should be used, water should be listed as “aqua” and all colours should be listed by their Colour Index Number. 

In addition instructions for safe use / removal and the name and address of the responsible party should be on the outer packaging.  Certain cosmetics also require additional labelling such as a use by date.