SAFEGUARDS | Cosmetics, Personal Care & Household NO. 082/16

SafeGuardS Hair colorist

The European Commission has published a Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/314 on 4 March 2016 for amending Annex III of Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009. An entry of requirement on Diethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether (DEGEE) is incorporated into Annex III. 

The substance, DEGEE, was not regulated under Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has studied and concluded that DEGEE is safe to use in oxidative hair dye products, non-oxidative hair dye products, rinse off products, non-spray cosmetic products at different maximum concentration. DEGEE is also found to be used with a upper limit in specific spray products, including fine fragrances, hair sprays, antiperspirants and deodorants. However, the study did not cover oral hygiene and eye products.

The European Commission has adopted the position from SCCS into Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 with an entry of DEGEE (with the INCI name Ethoxydiglycol) incorporated into Annex III as below. In the light of this Regulation (EU) 2016/314, only cosmetic products which comply with this new requirement shall be placed and made available on the European Union market.

Table 1

Ref. No. Substance Identification Restrictions Wording of conditions of use and warnings
Chemical name/ INN Name of Common Ingredients Glossary CAS number EC number Product types, body parts Maximum concentration in ready for use preparation Other ---       
‘x 2-(2-ethoxy-ethoxy)ethanol Diethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether (DEGEE) Ethoxydiglycol 110-90-0 203-919-7

(a) Oxidative hair dye products

(b) Non-oxidative hair dye products

(c) Rinse-off products other than hair dye products

(d) Other than non-spray cosmetic products

(e) The following spray products: fine fragrances, hair sprays, anti-perspirants and deodorants

(a) 7%

(b) 5%

(c) 10%

(d) 2.6%

(e) 2.6%

(a)-(e): The level of ethylene glycol impurity in Ethoxydiglycol must be ≦ 0.1%

Not to be used in eye products and oral products


It is crucial for all cosmetic, personal care and household products to be safe, effective and stable. SGS provides testing, inspection, auditing and consulting services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a high level of product quality in every area. Our state of the art laboratories offer custom-made solutions for chemical, biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. We also have extensive capabilities in performance testing, claim support studies and consumer panels. Our testing is conducted according to customer specific or recognised standard methods, some of which were developed by SGS. Our cosmetic safety assessors and other technical experts can support clients by making sure new products comply with regulatory requirements.

Reference Sources: Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/314 on 4 March 2016

For enquiries, please contact:

Queenie Tse
Technical Service Executive, Cosmetics, Personal Care & Household

t: +852 2765 3672

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

© SGS Group Management SA - 2016 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.