Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR)

The Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety is an independent, nonprofit scientific body, established in 1976 to assess the safety of cosmetic ingredients used in the U.S. through the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) program. The Expert Panel consists of world-renowned scientists and physicians who have been publicly nominated by consumer, scientific and medical groups; government agencies; and industry. The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) initiated the CIR program and associated Expert Panel at the suggestion of and with support from FDA and Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

For more than 45 years, the Expert Panel, with support from CIR, has examined and evaluated worldwide published and unpublished scientific safety data for a majority of ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products. Representatives from FDA, CFA and PCPC serve as non-voting liaisons to the Expert Panel and are actively involved in the comment and discussion processes. Expert Panel members must meet similar conflict of interest requirements regarding financial interests as special non-government advisory experts to FDA. Meeting four times per year in Washington, D.C., the Expert Panel conducts safety data evaluations in an open and unbiased manner.

The Expert Panel develops safety assessment monographs, publishes its work in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Toxicology, and issues an annual comprehensive collection of all CIR reports, including abstracts, discussions and conclusions. The Expert Panel has received several awards, including the American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award and the National Association of Insurance Agents Consumer Product Safety Award. Executive Director Bart Heldreth, PhD, manages all of the staff’s activities to effectively and efficiently implement the program’s procedures.

The Expert Panel website provides additional information about the members. The CIR website provides additional information about the staff and provides all final reports of the Expert Panel, free of charge.

How CIR Works

This Expert Panel conducts its reviews in a science-based, open, unbiased and transparent manner, and publishes the results of its work in peer-reviewed scientific literature. FDA, CFA and PCPC each provide non-voting liaisons to the panel and are actively involved in the comment and discussion process, which includes multiple opportunities for public comment and open, public discussion of the monograph by the Expert Panel.