UK updates its regulation on the use of BHT

UK updates its regulation on the use of BHT

The United Kingdom published a new regulation on the use of BHT in cosmetic products. This regulation was submitted to Parliament on April 3, 2024, applying to England, Scotland and Wales.

The Cosmetic Products (Restriction of Chemical Substances) Regulations 2024 includes BHT to Annex III of restricted substances of the UK Cosmetic Regulation.

BACKGROUND: Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) Usage

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a substance used as antioxidant in cosmetic and personal care products to prevent oxidation and, therefore, enhance their stability.

BHT might be used across a wide range of products from leave-on and rinse-off products applied on the skin until toothpaste and mouthwash.

NEW CONCENTRATIONS: BHT Concentration Changes

The concentrations of BHT described in the new regulation are the following:

  • Leave-on and rinse off products: up to 0.8%
  • Leave-on oral care products: up to 0.001%
  • Toothpaste: up to 0.1%
  • Mouthwash: up to 0.001%

DIFFERENCES WITH EUROPE: Contrasting BHT Regulations

In Europe, BHT was restricted in 2022 with Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/2195. In the EU, BHT can be used as follows:

  • Leave-on and rinse-off products: Up to 0.8%
  • Toothpaste: Up to 0.1%
  • Mouthwash: Up to 0.001%

Therefore, there is a difference between the EU and new UK restrictions. In the UK, BHT in leave-on oral care products cannot exceed 0.001%, while in the EU, for the same type of products, the limit is 0.8%.


The new regulation 2024 comes into force on April 22, 2024.

Cosmetics placed on the market on or before February 24, 2025, might continue to be marketed until the end of June 24, 2025.

uk BHT

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