Does the FDA regulate cosmetics?

Consumer advocacy groups frequently claim that the cosmetic industry is unregulated. This is false. The regulatory framework for the cosmetic industry was set up in 1938 with the passage of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This created the FDA which is who regulates the cosmetic industry.

You can find more about the FDA cosmetic regulations here.

Perhaps what they really mean is that the FDA is not strict enough with their regulation of the cosmetic industry. This is a reasonable claim but how can you judge whether or not this is true?

I am of the opinion that you have to look at the results of the current regulatory system to determine whether it is effective. And since the cosmetic industry has an excellent record of safety, it would be difficult to claim that things need to become more strict.

If they did become more strict, how would you measure whether the products are safer? How unsafe are they right now? How many less injuries would be reported?

Without a baseline to prove the current level of safety, it makes no sense to make more regulations.

Incidentally, the FDA has recently been cracking down on cosmeceutical type claims that are being made by the big cosmetic companies. Both Avon and L’Oreal have been sent warning letters about some of their anti-aging cosmetics.

Unregulated? I don’t think so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *