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The Regulation of Cosmetics

FDA pre approval for cosmetics product is not obligatory except for products with Color additives ingredients.

Safety and Limitations:

FDA monitors the production of cosmetics marketed in the United States to ensure its safety. FDA employs several resources to monitor American Cosmetic Manufacturers such as:


  • Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program: The database of the VCRP provides the FDA with vital information about the formulations and ingredients of cosmetics. It is not an obligatory program but the FDA encourages cosmetics manufacturers to join the program.
  • Inspections: FDA may inspect Cosmetic manufacturing facilities to ensure that Good Manufacture Practice standards are being followed.
  • Surveys of inspections: Insufficient FDA resources do not enable it to examine all the cosmetics marketed in the United States. Periodically, FDA purchases some cosmetics products for analysis, especially if the product is suspected to have a potential problem. FDA uses this information to alert consumers or warn manufacturers.
  • Cosmetics Ingredients Review (CIR): An independent panel of medical scientists meets regularly to assess the safety regulation for cosmetics ingredient provided by VCRP. FDA considers the CIR results and reviews when evaluates the safety of a particular product.
  • Reports from consumers and health care providers: FDA tries to spread consumer’s awareness to report any problem they encounter with any cosmetic product.

FDA procedures in case a cosmetic is unsafe

  • 1. Request an injunction from the Federal Court.
  • 2. Request the product seizure by US Marshals.
  • 3. Initiation of criminal proceedings.
  • 4. Entry refusal for imported cosmetics.
  • 5. Require the company to recall the product from markets.