The Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 on cosmetic products states that cosmetics may only be placed on the market when they do not damage consumers’ health.
"A cosmetic product made available on the market shall be safe for human health when used under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, taking account, in particular, of the following: presentation, labelling, instructions for use and disposal, any other indication or information provided by the responsible person. The provision of warnings shall not exempt responsible persons from compliance with the other requirements laid down in this Regulation."
All cosmetic products on the market must undergo a safety assessment conducted by qualified experts before launch (even better during the development stage). This includes a toxicology assessment of the substances used, taking into account conditions of exposure (application concentration, application duration, place of application).
Placement on the market
There is no authorisation requirement for cosmetic products before they are placed on the market -- i.e. no official testing before market launch. However, all the requirements and conditions of the laws governing cosmetics must be met before product placement can occur. The manufacturer must register the products in the european database CPNP. Importers that import products via third countries are treated as manufacturers from a legal standpoint. Thus, the imported products must have been manufactured and labelled in line with EU law (Importing cosmetics into the EU). You can find important requirements for cosmetics under the tab "Cosmetics Law".
Analysis and Assessment
Cosmetic products that have been placed on the market are controlled by the appropriate control authorities and assessed by cosmetics experts on a regular basis. These market controls and the mainly responsible behaviour of cosmetics manufacturers ensure that cosmetic products are safe and pose no risk to the health of consumers. The annalysis and assessment of cosmetic samples is carried out at AGES (Vienna) and the research institutions of the Austrian provinces (Vienna, Carinthia and Vorarlberg).