How Cosmetics Are Regulated in the U.S.

Cosmetic and Personal Care Products Companies Are Committed to Upholding Strict Regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Scientific research and safety processesConsumer safety is the number one priority for cosmetic and personal care products companies, and manufacturers are committed to upholding strict FDA regulations as required by the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The law requires that every cosmetic and personal care product and its ingredients be substantiated for safety before going to market, and that they contain no prohibited ingredients. Cosmetic companies take their safety responsibility very seriously and often surpass the requirements of the law with additional consumer safety measures.

Consumers must have confidence in the products they buy and use each day. Toward that end, cosmetic and personal care products companies invest substantial resources in scientific research and safety processes to ensure the safety of their products. Companies work with and employ thousands of chemists, toxicologists, biologists, environmental scientists and other experts to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products before they go to market.

As a result, of the more than 11 billion personal care products sold each year in the United States, there are very few adverse experiences reported to the FDA in a typical year, and of those reported, most are related to rashes or allergies. Cosmetic companies' strong commitment to safety has made cosmetic and personal care products the safest product category regulated by the FDA.

Over the years, cosmetic and personal care products companies have gone beyond the requirements of the law to make available additional safety information and technical resources. Industry programs established to support the FDA's regulatory work include: