The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme [NICNAS] is run by the Department of Health. The purpose of NICNAS is to be a reporting and reviewing scheme for chemical safety, including cosmetic and skincare products. For cosmetics and skincare, it deals with ingredients that are not regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The NICNAS (2014) website states:
“NICNAS aids in the protection of the Australian people and the environment by finding out the risks to occupational health and safety, to public health and to the environment that could be associated with the importation, manufacture or use of industrial chemicals, and by maintaining a national standard for cosmetic products.”
What does that mean for skincare products?
It is important to understand the difference between skincare products and therapeutic products, particularly when trying to determine product safety and reliability when shopping online. Skincare products are regulated by NICNAS and therapeutic grade products are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA]. These products include high SPF sunscreens and scheduled medicines for the skin. For example, your steroid cream for a skin flare up might be on a prescription or over the counter at the pharmacy, and this product must be regulated by the TGA.
Not all sunscreens are made the same. A tinted moisturiser with an SPF of 10 does not have to provide evidence for its SPF claim; this product is regulated by NICNAS. In comparison, a tinted foundation with an SPF of 50+ is regulated by the TGA and must provide evidence for its claims. When you purchase a sunscreen with high level protection (SPF 15 or higher) in Australia, you are assured of its safety and efficacy.
Other everyday products such as your cleanser and make-up wipes are regulated by NICNAS because they cleanse the skin and are minimally invasive. NICNAS also provide resources about ingredients that are safe for use and cosmetic standards if you are concerned about product safety.
Confused about what products are best for your skin? Why not phone us today for a free skin assessment using Dermalogica Facemapping or contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dermatologist. Contact us today!