New Zealand announces ban on ‘forever chemicals’ in cosmetics
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of New Zealand has announced that it will ban PFAS in cosmetic products. This decision sets a precedent for other countries and sends a clear message: harmful chemicals have no place in cosmetics.
The ban will mean that from 31st December 2026, the import or manufacturing of cosmetics containing PFAS will be prohibited in New Zealand. From 31st December 2027, selling or supplying cosmetics containing PFAS within the country will be banned, and by 30th June 2028, all PFAS-containing cosmetic products will need to have been disposed of.
The EPA also announced that it will update its rules for ingredients so that they align with EU cosmetic regulations.
PFAS are a family of over 10,000 synthetic chemicals known as the ‘forever chemicals’ due to their extreme persistence in the environment. They are added to some cosmetics, such as foundations and moisturising creams, to help them penetrate the skin.
Exposure to the most studied PFAS has been linked to a range of health impacts, including developmental issues, immune system disruption, and other serious health conditions.
In addition to PFAS, many of our daily ‘health and beauty’ products can contain other synthetic chemicals – including some endocrine disruptors – that can be harmful to our health. The problem is widespread across many types of products and brands, and legislation isn’t yet protecting us against all the harmful chemicals in cosmetics and personal hygiene products.
CHEM Trust is pleased to see that New Zealand is taking action to address PFAS in cosmetics and urges the EU and UK to follow suit. Alongside NGO colleagues, CHEM Trust is calling on EU authorities and the UK government to ban all PFAS chemicals in consumer products, including cosmetics, by 2025; followed by a ban on the whole family of PFAS chemicals by 2030.