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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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January 10, 1961

Picture of lipsticks







External D&C No. 15, a red color additive widely used in cosmetics before it was taken off the FDA's list of approved colors in 1960 because of safety concerns, is cleared for uses outside of the body. But this leaves fans of rosy lips little to smile about, since this "external use" doesn't include lipsticks.







FDA in 2006


With the passage of the Color Additive Amendments in 1960, the FDA began a safety review of the approximately 200 color additives that were in use at the time. Today, about half of the original 200 colors have passed that review and remain in use.


The FDA has set requirements for each of these "permanently listed" colors, specifying its content and how it can be used. And every batch of color used in foods, drugs, cosmetics, or medical devices has to be certified to assure its quality and safety.



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