Regulatory Standards for the Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry

Self-policing has long been the standard for the industry, although several entities have a say in what constitutes Best Practice in the manufacturing and production of cosmetics and personal care products. 

The FDA’s  (Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics) oversight is mainly focused on regulating adulterated and misbranded products. Products classified as improving the appearance and causing a change (improvement, cure, or prevention/protection), are considered both a cosmetic and a drug by the FDA and must adhere to more robust requirements.

FDA’s Bacteriological Analytical Manual (the BAM) states preferred laboratory procedures for the detection in food and cosmetic products of pathogens (bacterial, viral, parasitic, plus yeast and mold) and of microbial toxins.

 ISO 22716 is the international standard for the good manufacturing practices (GMP) for cosmetics, with guidelines accepted by many global regulatory entities, including the FDA.  The ISO standard focuses on the production, control, storage, and shipment of cosmetics products.

With roots going back to 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is , according to their website, “…the leading national trade association representing cosmetic and personal care products companies and serving as the voice on scientific, legal, regulatory, legislative and international issues….”  The council advocates for modernizing government policies, product safety and sound science, ensuring global access, and maintaining consumer confidence.

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