Cod Liver Oil

What Is It?

Cod Liver Oil is a pale yellow oily liquid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Cod Liver Oil is used in the formulation of body and hand products and other skin care products.

Why Is It Used?

Cod Liver Oil slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface. It also temporarily protects injured or exposed skin from harmful or annoying stimuli, and may provide relief to the skin.

Scientific Facts

Cod Liver Oil is a naturally occurring fat produced by cod fish and is high in vitamin A and vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits the use of Cod Liver Oil as an active ingredient in Over-the-Counter (OTC) skin protectant drug products and in anorectal drug products. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has deferred evaluation of this ingredient because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.

FDA permits Cod Liver Oil to be used in OTC skin protectant products at concentrations of 5 to 13.56%.

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil that complies with European regulations on animal by-products, may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More Scientific Information

Cod Liver Oil is the fixed oil expressed from the fresh livers of Gadus morrhua and other Gadidae species of codfish. In cosmetics and personal care products, Cod Liver Oil functions as a fragrance ingredient, skin-conditioning agent – occlusive, and skin protectant.


Find out more about the regulation of over-the-counter drugs by the Food and Drug Administration

OTC Drug Home Page:…

Information about OTC Drug monographs:

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory