Cosmetics

Submit a Complaint: How to Report a Cosmetic-Related Problem

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In the case of a reaction or problem with a cosmetic product, the first step is to stop using the product and contact your healthcare provider. FDA does not provide medical advice. Then, report the problem to FDA.

Tell FDA If You Experience:

  • A reaction after using a cosmetic, such as a rash, redness, burn, hair loss, headache, infection, illness or any other unexpected reaction, whether or not it required medical treatment.
  • A problem with a cosmetic product, such as a bad smell, color change, other sign of contamination, or foreign material in the product.

Types of Products that are Considered Cosmetics

Cosmetics products are not the same as drug products, and they are regulated differently by FDA. Here are some examples of cosmetic products:

  • Tattoos and permanent makeup
  • Face and body cleansers, moisturizers and other skin lotions and creams
  • Deodorants and makeup
  • Baby lotions and oils
  • Hair care products, dyes, conditioners, straighteners/relaxers, perms
  • Hair removal creams
  • Nail polishes
  • Shaving products
  • Perfumes and colognes
  • Face paints and temporary tattoos

How to Report a Problem with Cosmetics

If you are a consumer, health professional, or member of the cosmetics industry who wants to voluntarily report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction) related to a cosmetic, you have three choices:

The law does not require cosmetic companies to report problems to FDA. Therefore, your report is very important in order to help keep the cosmetics market safe. When you contact FDA, you are asked to include the following information in your report, if known:

  • About the Person Affected
    • Name and contact information (address, phone, and e-mail address)
    • Age, gender, and ethnicity
  • About the Product
    • Name of the product and the manufacturer
    • Product codes or identifying marks on the label or container [Note: do not discard the product packaging and labeling. They provide information that will help FDA investigate the problem]
    • When and where the product was purchased
  • About the Problem
    • Description of the reaction or problem
    • Description of medical treatment provided, if any

What FDA Will Do with Your Report

Once a report is received:

  • FDA will keep your report confidential.
  • FDA will add the report to our database so that we can see if other people are reporting the same problem.
  • FDA will use the information to determine if the product or similar products have a history of problems and represent a public health concern that needs to be addressed.

FDA may not take action on every report received, but the Agency does check all reports to determine if action is necessary to protect the public health.

Page Last Updated: 07/05/2016
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