Cosmeceuticals are distinguished from cosmetics in that they have medicinal properties/benefits. In Canada, this category of product is likely to fall under the Natural Health Product Regulations, and will require pre-market approval (NPN) from Health Canada before coming to market.
Falling under a different set of regulations than cosmetics, the registration process with the Non-Prescription and Natural Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) of Health Canada for cosmeceuticals can take from 10 days to 6 months, and is success hinges on the formulation and health claims. When the product licence is issued, a Natural Product Number (NPN) will be issued and this number is required to be indicated on product labels, as evidence that the product is legal for sale in Canada.
One of the main distinctions between the classification of a product as “cosmetic” or “NHP” is that NHPs are required to make at least one health claim, while these types of claims are not compliant for cosmetic products. A cosmetic product is superficial and short-lasting – in other words, they are products that affect the appearance of hair, skin, nails and teeth, but their effects do not last if application stops. In contrast, a cosmeceutical has a healthy effect, providing longer-lasting benefit to the consumer beyond the application period. At times there are fine boundaries, such as “Anti-aging” (cosmeceutical) and “Reduces the appearance of aging” (cosmetic).
Another distinction between these category of products is that full disclosure of medicinal ingredients and quantities is required as per the Natural Health Product Regulations and this information is publicly available.
Our team of experts has licensed thousands of cosmeceutical products and can assemble all the necessary documentation (application forms, and documentation to support safety, efficacy and quality) for your product to achieve licensing (NPN) in the most efficient manner possible. At this time there are no government fees associated with the licensing of NHPs. Licenses issued by Health Canada are publicly available online.