The MFDS announced on September 7 that a total of 186 administrative measures were issued against 158 cosmetics businesses in the first half of this year.
Specifically, 140 cases (75%) violated labelling and advertising rules, 18 cases (10%) breached business registration and change regulations, 17 cases (9%) failed to conduct quality testing, seven cases (4%) flouted usage restrictions of certain raw materials, two cases (1%) manufactured and sold functional cosmetics that were not reviewed and notified, and two cases (1%) manufactured and sold food-imitating cosmetics.
Among cases that broke labelling and advertising regulations, “labels and/or advertisements that could cause people to misperceive the product as a medicine” constituted 37% (68 cases), the highest of all.
“As 75% of administrative action taken in the first half of this year were against violations of labelling and advertising, consumers should look at advertising content in detail when purchasing cosmetics, and be careful not to be misled by false or exaggerated claims.
“Particularly, caution is needed during times when cosmetics purchases increase, such as the Chuseok (mid-autumn) holiday [at the end of September],” said MFDS.
Boosting consumer confidence
In addition, MFDS recommended several precautions to take when purchasing cosmetics, including checking the authenticity of functional cosmetics.
“Functional cosmetics can only be advertised within the scope of efficacy that has been reviewed and notified, so consumers should check whether they have been approved by MFDS before purchasing.
“Furthermore, cosmetics are products used to clean and beautify the human body to make it more attractive or to maintain and improve the skin or hair condition. Cosmetics advertised as medicines that prevent or treat diseases should not be purchased.”
The authority also warned against buying products that claim to have effects such as body improvement and body fat reduction, which are typically “false or exaggerated advertisements that deceive consumers”.
To ensure that consumers can continue using cosmetics with confidence, MFDS establishes a basic plan for manufacturing and distribution management every year, which is utilised to inspect cosmetics companies’ compliance with relevant laws.
“We also collect distributed cosmetics and thoroughly check whether they meet quality standards. We will continue to do our best to manage the safety of cosmetics distributed in the domestic market to bolster consumer confidence.”