About FDA

Are all personal care products regulated as cosmetics?

Under the law, some of the products commonly referred to as "personal care products" are cosmetics. These include, for example, skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, some toothpastes, and deodorants. 

Some, however, are regulated as drugs. Among these are skin protectants (such as lip balms and diaper ointments), mouthwashes marketed with therapeutic claims, antiperspirants, toothpastes with anti-cavity claims, and treatments for dandruff or acne. 
In addition, some "personal care products" may belong to other regulatory categories, including medical devices (such as certain hair removal and microdermabrasion devices), dietary supplements (such as vitamin or mineral tablets or capsules), or other consumer products (such as manicure sets).
Each of these product categories is regulated differently. To learn more, see Cosmetics Q&A: Are all personal care products regulated as cosmetics?, Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?), and FDA Authority Over Cosmetics.


Page Last Updated: 03/04/2016
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