Canadian cosmetic makers have been working for years with federal authorities to draw up the regulations in order to help protect people who might be sensitive or allergic to certain cosmetic ingredients such as perfumes.
"With regards to makeup, the main thing we see is one of two things, which is either irritancy issues or allergic contact dermatitis related to makeups," said University of British Columbia dermatology professor Dr. Jason Rivers
Under the new regulations, cosmetic makers will have to list their ingredients according to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetics Ingredients system already in use in the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries, according to Health Canada spokesperson Renee Bergeron.
"It's going to be phased in over the next two years to allow cosmetics companies to use up current stock while designing new labels for the ingredients," she said. "It's going to allow the Canadian public to make more informed choices and avoid cosmetics containing ingredients which they may be sensitive to."
Because the INCI uses uniform names to identify ingredients, consumers will not have to know several different names for one particular ingredient.
"In addition, physicians will be able to refer to an ingredient by its one name for the purpose of treatment or incident reporting," Bergeron said. "Now absolutely everything that's in the product is going to have to be written on the label."