News from CRIS: Cosmetics - Labeling

April 7, 2021


What are cosmetic labels?

Cosmetic labels provide an overview of what the product does, the ingredients in the product, and any allergens (e.g., nut oils, etc.). Our laws require manufacturers to label all cosmetics products with an ingredient list that includes all of the ingredients that make up the final product. 
Some cosmetics such as products that contain sunscreen or acne medicine may contain ingredients that are considered over-the-counter drugs by regulators. In that case, the manufacturer will include a cosmetic label and a drug label that contains the active ingredient and how to use the product properly. 
Our laws require product manufacturers to ensure that the labeling is clear and accurate. If a product contains adulterated or otherwise fraudulent ingredients, the federal government can issue a recall to keep consumers safe. 

Who develops, requires, and enforces labeling standards?

In the United States, there are three main entities responsible for developing and enforcing labeling requirements: Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
U.S. federal government organizations aren't the only entities that require labeling; some states, such as California, have passed legislation that requires additional labeling on products sold within the state. Since most product production isn't state-specific, labeling required by specific states can be found on products available nationally.


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