FDA scientists conduct cosmetic safety research and stay abreast of research by scientists elsewhere, because any action FDA takes on cosmetic safety must be based on reliable information.
Under U.S. law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA approval before they go on the market. The one exception is color additives (other than coloring materials used in coal-tar hair dyes), which must be approved for their intended use. Companies and individuals who market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. In order to take action for safety reasons against a cosmetic on the market, we need reliable information showing that it is unsafe when consumers use it according to the directions in the labeling or in the customary or expected way.
In this section, you will find:
- Product Testing: At-a-glance information on cosmetic testing, for consumers and industry
- Microbiological Safety and Cosmetics: Information for consumers and industry, with links to more resources
- Nanotechnology: Links to information and resources for consumers and industry
- Research Projects: An overview of FDA research related to cosmetic safety
Resources on FDA Science & Research Related to Cosmetics
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Guidance: Labeling for Cosmetics Containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids
- Color Additives: The Chemistry of Color Additives
Limiting Lead in Lipstick and Other Cosmetics FDA's Testing Method for Lead in Lipstick FDA's Testing of Cosmetics for Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Lead, Mercury, and Nickel Content
- Nanotechnology: Draft Guidance for Industry: Safety of Nanomaterials in Cosmetic Products
- Application of Nanotechnology to Cosmetics and Foods: Webinar
Potential Contaminants Phthalates Talc Tattoos and Permanent Makeup: Marketplace and Chemistry