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Cosmetics and soap

Cosmetics include personal care, skincare, bath and shower products as well as makeup. See our definition of a cosmetic and examples.

One of the main factors that determines whether a product is a cosmetic or therapeutic is the claims made about the product. Products are determined to be either ‘cosmetics’ or ‘therapeutic goods’ based on three factors.
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If you’re planning to sell soaps that you make or import, you may need to register your business with us and check that your ingredients are on our Inventory.
Photo of woman making bars of soap

We don't set or enforce labelling requirements, safety data sheets (SDS) or packaging requirements in Australia - but these links may help businesses meet their obligations.
Cosmetic packaging with blank labels

Registration depends on whether you're importing or manufacturing industrial chemicals (and products that contain industrial chemicals) for personal, hobby or commercial use.
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We are often asked which chemicals are ‘allowed’ or ‘banned’ in Australia. Many people don’t realise that chemicals are regulated on a national level by 4 different government schemes, depending on the intended use of the chemical.
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These chemicals are common additives in personal care, hygiene and cleaning products - and are regulated as industrial chemicals for these uses. This generally includes chemicals described as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’.
Fragrance bottle and lemon slices

Anti-dandruff and anti-acne skin-care products are determined to be either therapeutic goods or cosmetics, based on their composition, their proposed claims and the way they’re marketed.
Image of anti-dandruff and anti-acne skin-care products

Antibacterial skin care products are determined to be either therapeutic goods or cosmetics, based on their composition, proposed use and the way they’re marketed.
This is a decorative image of skin cleanser
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