Is the Beauty Industry Regulated in United States?

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Beauty industry is regulated in United States under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).  These laws give Federal Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate cosmetics, but with a more relaxed and hands-off approach than that for medical devices, drugs and biologics.

A cosmetics is any product that is “intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” according to FD&C Act, sec. 201(i).  Such a definition includes all kinds of cosmetics such as moisturizers, lipsticks, hair care products (excluding anti-dandruff), soaps (excluding anti-acne or antibacterial soaps), and a menagerie of other products made to enhance one’s appearance.  These cosmetics do not need FDA approval before going to market for sale to consumer. However, color additives are an exception to this rule and require pre-market approval.

“Beauty industry is regulated in United States under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). “

FDA uses the FD&C Act to act against cosmetic companies and manufacturer that sell adulterated and misbranded products to consumers.  Even though cosmetic manufacturers are not required to register with FDA, they are often subject to FDA inspections as well as sample collection and testing.  Furthermore, FDA can remove such adulterated or misbranded product from the market through legal action using Department of Justice, imposition of a restraining order against the manufacturer or distributor, as well as seizure of goods.

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