Cosmetics Law and Legal Definition

A cosmetic is an article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on, introduced into or otherwise applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance and the component parts of such an article. The term cosmetic includes skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, toothpastes, and deodorants, as well as any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product.The term does not include a soap.

The primary federal law on cosmetics is the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which regulates the safety and labeling of cosmetics. States may also enact nonconflicting laws that fix the standards of purity and quality of cosmetics. Laws exists prohibiting the marketing of cosmetic products containing ingredients or a combination of ingredients tested on animals. Cosmetic firms are responsible for marketing safe, properly labeled products; using no prohibited ingredients; and adhering to limits on restricted ingredients. It is also considered good practice to follow industry safety guidelines and recommendations. Before marketing a product containing a color additive in the U.S., it is essential to determine whether the additive is approved for its intended use. A number of color additives must be certified for purity in FDA labs if they are to be used legally in a product marketed in the U.S.

Although U.S. regulations do not specify any particular testing regimens for cosmetic products or ingredients, it is the cosmetic company's responsibility to substantiate product and ingredient safety prior to marketing. If the safety of a product or ingredient is not substantiated, the label must bear the following warning:

"Warning: The safety of this product has not been determined."