Cyclomethicone (D4, D5 & D6) Proposed EU REACH Restrictions

A display shelf in a cosmetic store filled with rows of lipsticks in various shades

February 3, 2021

New EU REACH restrictions on cosmetic use are expected imminently

On January 11, 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) proposed a restriction under the EU's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation on the use of Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4), Cyclopentasiloxane (D5), and Cyclohexasiloxane (D6) in leave-on cosmetic products at a maximum concentration of 0.1% due to concerns over their persistence in the environment.

The ECHA committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) have delivered a joint opinion supporting the restriction. This proposal is now under consideration by the European Commission and is likely to result in a REACH restriction. RAC and SEAC's joint opinion proposes that Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4), Cyclopentasiloxane (D5), and Cyclohexasiloxane (D6) shall not be placed on the market:

  • As substance
  • As constituents of other substances (except polymers) or in mixtures in a concentration equal to or greater than 0.1% w/w of each substance

The restriction will come into force at least five years after publication in the official journal for leave-on cosmetics and two years after publication for rinse-off cosmetic products (D6 only, D4/D5 already restricted in rinse-off). The publication of the restriction is expected imminently. The restriction will not automatically apply in the UK due to the introduction of UK REACH on January 1, 2021, as there will now be a separate process for restrictions in the UK.

How Exponent Can Help

Exponent's international team of experts in EU chemical regulation offers complete guidance to assist companies whose substances or ingredients are under scrutiny to ensure regulatory compliance and to represent their interests. We can help manufacturers and retailers of cosmetics and consumer chemical products by advising in advance of upcoming ingredient restrictions through monitoring regulatory processes within REACH. We can also review alternative ingredients to assess potential problems.