FDA Definitions

 (of meaningless terms and coinages)

"As part of the prohibition against false or misleading information, no cosmetic may be labeled or advertised with statements suggesting that FDA has approved the product."

"The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) defines cosmetics by their intended use as 'articles 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' [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)]. Among the products included in this definition are skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye   and facial makeup preparations, cleansing shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, and deodorants, as well as   any substance intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product." 

​DRUGS [c]
"The FD&C Act defines drugs, in part, by their intended use, as 'articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease' and 'articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or   any function of the body of man or other animals' [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)]."

​"How can a product be both a cosmetic and a drug?

Some products meet the definitions of both cosmetics and drugs.  This may happen when a product has two intended uses.  For example, a shampoo is a cosmetic because its intended use is to cleanse the hair.  An antidandruff treatment is a drug because its intended use is to treat dandruff.  Consequently, an antidandruff shampoo is both a cosmetic and a drug.  Among other cosmetic/drug combinations are toothpastes that contain fluoride, deodorants that are also antiperspirants, and moisturizers and makeup marketed with sun-protection claims.  Such products must comply with the requirements for both cosmetics and drugs."

"FDA regulates cosmetics under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).  The term 'organic' is not defined in either of these laws or the regulations that FDA enforces under their authority." 

​"Are cosmetics made with 'organic' ingredients safer for consumers than those made with ingredients from other sources?

No.  An ingredient’s source does not determine its safety.  For example, many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic or allergenic.  For more on this subject, see FDA Poisonous Plant Database...Under the FD&C Act, all cosmetic products and ingredients are subject to the same safety requirement: They must be safe for consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use (FD&C Act, section 601(a).  Companies and individuals who market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure that their products and ingredients are safe for the intended use."

Naturally, as "natural" is so vague, imprecise and subjective as to be meaningless, the FDA does not address "natural."

"There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term 'hypoallergenic.'  The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean.  Manufacturers of cosmetics labeled as hypoallergenic are not required to submit substantiation of their hypoallergenicity claims to FDA.  The term 'hypoallergenic' may have considerable market value in promoting cosmetic products to consumers on a retail basis, but dermatologists say it has very little meaning."

"While the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) does not recognize the term 'cosmeceutical,' the cosmetic industry uses this word to refer to cosmetic products that have medicinal or drug-like benefits."  This also applies to artificial malapropisms such as, 'pharmametics,' 'pharmamedics,' and any other pointedly evasive ad agency lies. 

"The unrestricted use of these phrases by cosmetic companies is possible because there are no legal definitions for these terms…Many raw materials, used in cosmetics, were tested on animals years ago when they were first introduced.  A cosmetic manufacturer might only use those raw materials and base their 'cruelty-free' claims on the fact that the materials or products are not 'currently' tested on animals."

"Some consumers select 'alcohol free' products because they believe ethyl alcohol dries out their skin or hair.   For many years cosmetic manufacturers have marketed certain cosmetic products that do not contain ethyl alcohol (also known as ethanol, or grain alcohol) as 'alcohol free.'  However, 'alcohols' are a large and diverse family of chemicals, with different names and a variety of effects on the skin.  This can lead to some confusion among consumers when they check the ingredient listings on cosmetic labels to determine alcohol content."

Bexi Sez


[a] https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Regulations/default.htm#is_it_permitted

[b] https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/guidanceregulation/lawsregulations/ucm074201.htm#Definecosmetic
[c] https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/guidanceregulation/lawsregulations/ucm074201.htm#Definedrug
[d] https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/labeling/claims/ucm203078.htm#Does_FDA
[e] https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Claims/ucm2005203.htm
[f] https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Claims/ucm127064.htm
[g] https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Claims/ucm2005202.htm
[h] https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Claims/ucm2005201.htm