The article is a thorough analysis af the notion of 'cosmetic' in light of the Council Directive 76/768/EEC on cosmetics, the Polish Act of 2001 on cosmetics, ECJ case law and European Commission guidance documents. It first sets the criteria for products classification and the general guidelines for delineating borders between the products for regulatory purposes. Then the meaning of the word 'cosmetic' is discussed, the nature of cosmetic as a substance (or mixture of substances) and the distinction between the cosmetic-as-substance and the cosmetic product. It is followed by discussion of distinctions between the cosmetic and the medicinal product (this including the issues of 'cosmeceuticals' and 'aromatherapy'), the cosmetic and the biocidal product, the cosmetic and food, the cosmetic and the toy, the cosmetic and washing products. References are being made here also to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cosmetic products of February 2008, which shall replace the Council Directive 76/768/EEC in nearby future.
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