Guidance for Cosmetic Advertising and Labelling Claims

Health Canada defines Cosmetics as any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth, and includes deodorants and perfumes.

Although ‘cosmetic’ and ‘drug’ definitions share certain features, only claims of a cosmetic nature are acceptable for cosmetics. Drug-type claims are not permitted for cosmetics.

Products that contain the following keywords are not represented as cosmetics:


Action on circulation
Aids breathing, decongestion, reference to cold/flu, fever symptoms
Dental plaque-disclosing product
Diseases or health conditions (eg.  herpes/cold sores, hyperhydrosis/excessive sweating, blisters, bruising, infections, migraines, headaches)
Effect on muscles & joints
Fat reduction (eg. control, reduce and prevent cellulite, effects on lipids or adipocytes, water retention, weight management)
Gingivitis, Cavity Prevention
Hair Growth/Loss
Modify an organic function in humans (eg. auto-immune action, promote collagen and elastin production, red blood cell growth, cell/skin regeneration, numbing)
Pain Relief
Products taken orally, anally or injected (except tattoo ink), transdermal delivery
Scar or spider vein treatment
Sexual arousal/enhancement
Treatment of Skin conditions (eg. couperosis, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis, irritation, acne, blackheads, blemishes, breakouts, zits, pimples, breakouts)
Skin whitening, lightening or bleaching (including effects on melanin and melanocytes or hyperpigmentation, depigmentation, UV damage)
Wound healing

* Note that this list is not exhaustive and may be updated from time to time.

Alphagreen Resources Inc  offers regulatory services from registering your cosmetic products to reviewing your cosmetic labels and submitting a cosmetic notification application to Health Canada.