China has released nine new GB standards for the testing of cosmetic products.

SAFEGUARDS | Cosmetics, Personal Care and Household NO. 112/19

pink cosmetic products

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), as well as the Standardization Administration (SA), of the People’s Republic of China approved 374 national standards on June 4, 2019. Among these were nine standards related to cosmetic products.

Phenolic antibacterial agent, thimerosal and diphenylmercury can be used as preservatives in cosmetic products. This is the first time their use has been regulated by GB national standards. Before this notification, there was only one standard, GB/T 34806-2017, focusing on the prohibited colorants in cosmetics. A standard covering 38 kinds of permitted colorant is also released for the first time in China. For other methods, they mainly focus on prohibited substances (such as antibiotics), restricted substances (such as glutaral). The new GB standards related to cosmetic products are listed in the table below. These new standards will apply from January 1, 2020.

GB Code GB Name Effective date
GB/T 37544-2019 Determination of 6 kinds of phenolic antibacterial agent including o-Cymen-5-ol in Cosmetics – High performance liquid chromatography 2020.01.01
GB/T 37545-2019 Determination of 38 kinds of permitted colorants in cosmetics – High performance liquid chromatography 2020.01.01
GB/T 37625-2019 Inspecting rules for cosmetics 2020.01.01
GB/T 37626-2019 Determination of 9 forbidden penicillins including amoxicillin in cosmetics – Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry 2020.01.01
GB/T 37628-2019 Determination of astragaloside, paeoniflorin, forsythin and forsythoside A in cosmetics – High performance liquid chromatography 2020.01.01
GB/T 37640-2019 Determination of chloroacetaldehyde,2,4-dihydroxy-3-methylbenzaldehyde, crotonaldehyde, acetophenone, 2-pentylidenecyclohexanone and glutaral in cosmetics – High performance liquid chromatography 2020.01.01
GB/T 37641-2019 Determination of 2,3,5,4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-O-β-D-glucoside in cosmetics – High performance liquid chromatography 2020.01.01
GB/T 37644-2019 Determination of oxyquinoline and nitroxoline in cosmetics – High performance liquid chromatography 2020.01.01
GB/T 37649-2019 Determination of thimerosal and diphenylmercury in cosmetics – High performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry 2020.01.01


Remark: The original publication of the regulation shall prevail in case of discrepancy between the English version and the Chinese version.

Reference Source:

China National Standard Bulletin No. 7 in 2019

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 recognized standard methods, some of which were developed by SGS. Our cosmetic safety assessors and other technical experts can support customers by making sure new products comply with regulatory requirements.

Next Step

The complete standards can be accessed through the link provided in this article. The industry shall be aware of the new standards and be prepared for any necessary changes to the products.

For enquiries, please contact:

Denny Li
Technical Support
t: +86 020 2909 3881

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

Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry

© SGS Group Management SA - 2019 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS,except for 3rd parties’ content submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties’ content. 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.