Today’s post will hopefully shed some light on a topic that is beginning to creep into some conversations regarding essential oils classified as “cosmetic.” Essential oils that are stated for use as “topical/aromatic” are classified as cosmetic.
So, what is a cosmetic? According to the FDA, a cosmetic is:
This means that claims cannot be made that imply/state a physiological effect on the human body. For example, a claim such as, “supports a healthy immune system” implies the product will have a physiological effect on one’s healthy immune system.
What is a physiological effect?
According to Merriam-Webster the definition of PHYSIOLOGICAL is:
1: of or relating to physiology
2: characteristic of or appropriate to an organism’s healthy or normal functioning
How do I know Young Living agrees with this and is telling us to not make structure-function claims for essential oils classified as topical/aromatic?
Young Living posted a document titled “Generic Topical and Aromatic Claims” in U.S. members virtual office sometime last week (week of 6 July 2015-10 July 2015). In this document on page 2 it says:
See the last sentence, “Cosmetic products are not allowed to be marketed based on structure/function claims.”
Not sure what a structure/function claim is? This is also covered in the same document sent out by Young Living “Generic Topical and Aromatic Claims” (stated above):
If you do not want to hop on over to your virtual office to obtain the PDF version of the “General Topical and Aromatic Claims” document posted by Young Living, you can click/touch here to download this document to your device.
So, now that you have your head spinning your probably wondering what you CAN say about topical/aromatic essential oils? Young Living has developed (and is continuing to develop) a list of approved claims for each of their oils, including those classified as topical/aromatic. This list is updated each week and can be found in Young Living members virtual office (U.S. Members, other countries? Please check your virtual office to see if you have one posted, if not, contact Young Living to enquire about having one placed in your virtual office).
Young Living has also included a brief section about what can be said in the “Generic Topical and Aromatic Claims” document, as shown below:
In summary . . .
Any essential oils classified as topical/aromatic (cosmetic) cannot be discussed in the same way as those classified as dietary supplements.
Meaning, any oil classified as topical/aromatic cannot be used with structure-function claims (such as, supports a healthy immune system or supports a healthy respiratory system).
Topical/Aromatic classified oils can only be discussed in terms of:
Making you look better, externally — example: ￼￼￼”improves the appearance of skin when applied topically.”
Making the air smell better.
Promoting an aroma that may make you “feel” a certain way — example: “rub on feet or chest before exercising to create an uplifting and inspiriting aroma.”
We hope this helps clear some/most of the confusion surrounding topical/aromatic essential oils.
If you have further questions/comments about this topic, please contact Young Living’s Conduct and Education Department via email conduct at young living dot com. We purposely typed the email this way to help keep “spam bots” from obtaining the address.