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  • Beauty salon cosmetics and regulatory question

    Posted by vitalys on June 27, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Hello colleagues

    I have a regulatory question for you – There is a very special type of cosmetics which labeled as : “For professional use only” and it is supposed to be used in beauty salons and almost all of them should really “work” making significant impact on skin structures. I have scrutinized this “salon market” and come to find out that almost all formulations should be OTC. For instance – well known “Nail cuticle removers” – these formulations regularly contain KOH as an active keratolytic. It is obviously affect the structure of the nail unit, cuticles and according to FDA should be declared as OTC drug. However, the companies sell them as the regular cosmetics. So, does the phrase “For salon use only” lets to escape FDA OTC drug registration or are there some other ploys for those products like this? I would be so appreciated for any input you may have. Thank you. :)

    vitalys replied 10 years ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • OldPerry

    June 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Yes, the “for professional use only” line is a loophole in the regulations.

  • vitalys

    July 1, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Thanks Perry! That’s what I assumed. Also, I couldn’t find in any FDA papers the mention that what they mean “affect skin structures” Do they mean lively or dead tissues?. For instance - hair color creams - they obviously impact the hair ( dead tissues) as well as “cuticle removers” also remove “dead cells” away.Well I guess I definitely have to attend the conference in September. :)

    Again, thank you for yor input

  • wannabechemist

    July 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Hi vtalys,

    Thought you might like to see this snippit regarding Richardson vs. L’Oreal. The loophole allows skirting around all kinds of issues. Salons get duped into buying into the “professional only” hoopla with other companies as well…Should be interesting to see how this plays out!

    This is the link to the complete article:


    Alexis Richardson had led a class against the cosmetics company on behalf of consumers who purchased L’Oreal’s Matrix Biolage, Redken, Kerastase and Pureology products after August 30, 2008.

         The April 2013 complaint alleged that L’Oreal deceptively labeled the products as “available only in salons” while nevertheless stocking them in Target, Kmart and other non-salon retail establishments.
         “Plaintiffs allege that the salon-only label implies a superior quality product and builds a cachet that allows L’Oréal to demand a premium price,” according to the settlement-approval ruling filed Thursday.

       If the settlement wins final approval, L’Oreal will remove the “salon only” label from all of its U.S. advertising and labeling on products distributed in the states.

    It will also discontinue manufacturing the labels for its U.S. products, and it will remove the “salon-only” claims from its websites and from any promotion materials.

  • vitalys

    July 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    @wannabechemist Nice input! Indeed it’s interesting.

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