Understanding your cosmetics

What should I know about endocrine disruptors?

Research Scientist Writes Down Observations. He's Conducts Experiments in Modern Laboratory.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines an endocrine disruptor as “an exogenous substance or mixture that alters function(s) of the endocrine system and consequently causes adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, or (sub)populations”.

Some ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products have been claimed to be “endocrine disruptors”. This is because they may mimic some of the properties of our hormones or, under experimental conditions, show a potential to interact with parts of the endocrine system. These conditions are not related to real life.

Just because something has the potential to mimic a hormone does not mean it will disrupt your endocrine system. There is currently zero evidence that low levels of potentially mimicking substances, including natural substances, could harm human health.

The rigorous product safety assessments by qualified, scientific experts that companies are legally obliged to carry out cover all potential risks, including potential endocrine disruption.

Find out more here about how cosmetics are kept safe in Europe.


Cosmetics matter to people and play an important role in our everyday life. On average European consumers use over seven different cosmetics daily. You too? It’s only natural that you want to know more about the ingredients in those products.

In the digital world we live in, there’s a deluge of information on cosmetics. However, it can be difficult to know which sources are reliable. COSMILE Europe is a European cosmetic ingredient database that offers reliable, verified and scientifically supported information on almost 30,000 ingredients used in cosmetics.

This database will help you understand why certain ingredients are in your cosmetic products; which properties they have and much more. The database is currently available in fourteen languages with more to come.

Search the Database

Why our information is reliable

All information in COSMILE Europe comes from verified sources and is based on independent expert knowledge.

The list of ingredients and what they do comes from the European Commission’s CosIng database, an official source of information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. Learn more by clicking here.

More detailed information on ingredient properties, whether they are man-made and/or of natural origin, in which types of products the ingredients can be found, etc… comes from independent experts and scientific assessments published by European and national expert bodies.