FDA regulates products that we think of as “makeup” –such as lipstick, blush, foundation, face powder, eye shadow eye liner, and mascara--as cosmetics under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients (except for color additives not intended as coal-tar hair dyes) to have FDA approval before they go on the market, but it does require them to be safe when consumers use them according to their labeling, or as they are customarily used. Also, any color additives used in cosmetics must be approved by FDA.
Some makeup is labeled with sunscreen claims, such as “SPF” numbers. Sunscreen products intended to protect consumers from the sun are regulated as drugs. Products intended both as makeup and sun protection are both cosmetics and drugs. To learn more, see “Sunscreens.” If you have questions about sunscreen products, contact FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, at CDERDrugInfo@FDA.gov. To learn about sunscreen ingredients intended to protect the product from problems such as fading, see the regulation, “Cosmetics containing sunscreen ingredients” (21 CFR 700.35).
Makeup Products That People Often Ask About
- Lipstick & Lead: Questions & Answers
- Eye Cosmetic Safety
- Kohl, Kajal, Al-Kahl, or Surma: By Any Name, Beware of Lead Poisoning
- Novelty Makeup: Halloween Special for Parents & Kids
- Permanent Makeup
Information on Ingredients
- Color Additives & Cosmetics
- Prohibited & Restricted Ingredients - Includes information on sunscreen ingredients in cosmetics
- View More Resources on Cosmetic Ingredients
- Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?)
- “Organic” Cosmetics
- Resources for You: Industry - For information on exports, imports, labeling, registration, and more
- View More Regulatory Information