Labeling Laws for Personal Care Products: Potential Pitfalls for the Consumer

Evelyne Tantry; Ariadna Perez-Sanchez, MD; Shelly Fu; Shravya Potula; Rajani Katta, MD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2021;26(5):1-6. 

In This Article


Of the 100+ pages of the FDCA, only two pages discuss cosmetics and personal care product safety. In fact, there is a heavy reliance on safety reporting by manufacturers. Current information from the FDA consists of voluntary ingredient and establishment reporting from companies, along with reports of serious adverse events provided by consumers. Recently, however, there have been efforts to amend the FDCA through the introduction of the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019 and the Personal Care Products Safety Act of 2019. The passage of either bill would increase the regulation of cosmetic labeling and allow the FDA to suspend and even recall the sale of products that cause "adverse health reactions."[30,31]

Given the current limitations of federal labeling and safety regulations, it is the responsibility of the consumer to be informed of current regulations and to learn how to accurately evaluate and interpret the information found on personal care product labels.