Safer Beauty & Cosmetics Laws

At a Glance

The personal care products industry is one of the least regulated in the U.S. yet most people assume personal care products and cosmetics are safe. In reality, the U.S. cosmetic safety law is over 75 years old and gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) very little power to regulate this $84 billion industry.

Federal

BCPP is committed to securing comprehensive, health-protective federal personal care product safety regulation. Our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is leading the way for cosmetic safety reform at the national level. Learn More

State

California Professional Cosmetics Labeling Requirements Act

Salon workers and their clients are at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde and phthalates. U.S. law requires an ingredients list on beauty and personal care products that are sold at stores like Target, but there is no labeling requirement for products used in nail or hair salons.

BCPP is co-sponsoring the Professional Cosmetics Labeling Requirements Act (CA Assembly Bill 2775) to require companies that sell professional salon products to include ingredients on the label. Learn More

California Safe Cosmetics Program Funding

BCPP’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also teamed up with Black Women for Wellness on a 2018 campaign to secure more funding for the California Safe Cosmetics Program, a right-to-know program that tells you whether your favorite beauty or personal care product contains chemicals linked to cancer or birth defects. Learn More

Other State Cosmetics Policy

In the absence of federal oversight of the cosmetics industry, many states have taken steps to regulate the safety of personal care products  to ensure consumers have access to safer products and more information about the products they buy.

  • In 2013, Minnesota banned formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical, in children’s personal care products like lotions, shampoos and bubble baths. The ban against the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives applies to products intended for children under eight.
  • In 2008, the state of Washington adopted the Children’s Safe Product Act (CSPA – Chapter 70.240 RCW), which requires manufacturers of children’s products – including personal care products — sold in Washington to report to the state if their product contains a Chemical of High Concern to Children.
  • In 2005, California enacted the Safe Cosmetics Act which requires manufacturers to disclose to the state any product that contains an ingredient known to the state to cause cancer or birth defects. The resulting California Safe Cosmetics Program Product Database is now actively reporting data from companies in a publicly accessible database.

Given the lack of federally mandated fragrance ingredient disclosure, consumers are looking to the states to fill the void.

In response to interest from state advocates and legislators, BCPP drafted model state legislation to require fragrance ingredient disclosure for personal care products and cosmetics. In 2016, three states (VT, RI and MN) used this model bill to draft and introduce legislation requiring fragrance ingredient disclosure in personal care products. The bills didn’t pass, but a number of states have expressed interest in introducing similar bills in their 2017 state legislative sessions to build momentum for federally mandated fragrance ingredient disclosure.

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