Major loopholes in U.S. federal law allow the $50 billion cosmetics industry to put unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing, no monitoring of health effects and inadequate labeling requirements. In fact, cosmetics are among the least-regulated products on the market.
This section explores what's being done to change the broken U.S. system, and how other countries are leading the way in smarter laws that protect their citizens.
Current cosmetics laws in the U.S. date back to 1938. We’re working to change that with the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 – and we need your help!
What authority does the FDA currently have to regulate cosmetics? Very little. The FDA does not review – nor does it have the authority to regulate – what goes into cosmetics before they are marketed to salons and consumers.
In the absence of federal oversight, states have taken steps to ensure that consumers have access to safer cosmetics and more information about the products they buy.
Are companies making safer products in Europe than in the U.S.? In some cases, yes, thanks to the European Union’s stronger consumer health protections.
The Canadian government recently created a Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist that includes hundreds of prohibited and restricted chemicals and contaminants