Shipping Specifics for Beauty Products
Demand for beauty products is constantly on the rise, including shower and bath products, deodorants, sun care, fragrances, and oral, skin, and hair care.
What Counts as Cosmetics
Beauty products that help alter or enhance appearance count as cosmetics. This category includes a wide range of products such as face masks, hair dyes, makeup, perfumes, shampoos, and hair sprays. European logistics companies also ship products such as putties, styling gels, mousses, whitening products, mouthwashes, and toothpastes.
Adequate packaging is important when shipping beauty products and includes cushioning materials, thermal bubble wrap, and cardboard boxes. Leak-proof, sealed containers are usually used to protect bottles that contain liquids. Cushioning materials help protect against shocks and bumps and include items such as wrapping paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. Other materials that are used to prevent unexpected movement include crumpled paper and corrugated crumpled cardboard. Thermal bubble wrap is usually used for beauty products that are temperature-sensitive and require protection from temperature fluctuations while in transit. The packaging materials to be used depend on factors such as size, fragility, number of items, and whether there are odd-sized or high-end items.
Beauty and health products are subject to regulations such as Good Manufacturing Practices and Cosmetic Regulation No 1223/2009. In line with the European Cosmetic Regulation, all products that are shipped must have a product information file. The file contains data on animal testing, description of manufacturing method, safety report, and description of the product itself. The regulation also includes labelling requirements so that products bear information such as minimum durability, nominal content, batch number, precautions in use, and list of ingredients. Products containing prohibited substances cannot be shipped across Europe. Such substances are, for example, Thyropropic acid, Deanol aceglumate, and Alkyne alcohols and their salts, ethers, and esters. Certain preservatives are allowed to be used in cosmetics but preservatives vary by product. Benzoic acid, for instance, can only be used in leave-on products and oral and rinse-off products.
Some alcohol-based products are classified as hazardous when shipped by air freight in Europe. Special certifications may be required for shipment. Many beauty products are also fragile and expensive and must be properly packaged to be shipped by air. Other products can only be shipped at certain temperatures as to avoid spoilage. Beauty products such as blushes, lipsticks, eye shadows, and eyeliners liquefy above certain temperatures. Exposure to high temperature results in compromised quality.
When shipping products from overseas, carriers are required to collect documents such as stability and challenge testing, raw materials used, formula, etc. Additional documents may also be required, including DOMD conclusion, technical data sheets, impurity profile, and certificate of analysis. Commonly required information also includes CAS number, function, INCI name, and qualitative and quantitative formula.
The product information file must include a safety assessment that has been made by a certified pharmacist or toxicologist. The last step is registering the cosmetic product with the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal.