What Is It?
Camphor is a white waxy crystalline solid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Camphor is used in the formulation of bath products, cleansing products, makeup, nail products, personal cleanliness products, skin care products and shaving cream. Camphor can also be added directly to food.
Why Is It Used?
Camphor imparts an odor to a product and is added to ethyl Alcohols are a large class of important cosmetic ingredients but only ethanol needs to be denatured to prevent it from being redirected from cosmetic applications to alcoholic beverages. (grain alcohol) to make it unsuitable for drinking. Camphor may also be used to soften synthetic polymers. In OTC drug products intended to be placed on the skin, Camphor, is used to relieve pain.
Camphor is a naturally occurring compound derived from the wood of the camphor tree, Cinnamomum camphora. Camphor can also be produced synthetically. Camphor is often used for its scent, and as an ingredient in cooking (especially in India).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Camphor in its list of flavoring agents and related substances that are permitted for direct addition to food. Camphor is also approved for use as an active ingredient in Over-The-Counter (OTC) external analgesics, topical antitussive drug products and in anorectal products at concentrations of 0.1 to 3%. The The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) has deferred evaluation of this ingredient because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.
The International Programme on Chemical Safety has developed a monograph on the uses and potential effects of Camphor. Fairly large oral doses of Camphor are needed before adverse effects are observed. Carcinogenicity tests have been negative and Camphor is not mutagenic in bacteria.
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Camphor
- Natural Flavoring Substances
- Antitussive Active Ingredients
- Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Antipruritic Active Ingredients
Camphor may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
Health Canada permits the use of Camphor in cosmetics and personal care products at concentrations less than or equal to 3%.
More Scientific Information
Camphor is a A ketone is an organic compound characterized by the presence of a carbonyl group in which the carbon atom is covalently bonded to an oxygen atom. The remaining two bonds are to other carbon atoms.. In cosmetics and personal care products, Camphor functions as a Substances that impart an odor to a product., Ingredients added to ethyl alcohol (grain alcohol) to make it unsuitable for drinking, usually by imparting an intensely bitter taste. In the United States, the use of denaturants are controlled by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in the Department of Treasury. and Materials that soften synthetic polymers by reducing brittleness and cracking.. It is also used in OTC drug products (external analgesics, topical antitussives, anorectal products).
Find out more about the regulation of over-the-counter drugs by the Food and Drug Administration
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
- Food Ingredients and Packaging
- Food Contact Substances
- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive.)
- Search the Code of Federal Regulations
- EU Cosmetics Inventory