Label Warnings


  • Cosmetics which may be hazardous to consumers when misused must bear appropriate label warnings and adequate directions for safe use. The statements must be prominent and conspicuous. Some cosmetics must bear label warnings or cautions prescribed by regulation (21 CFR 740). Cosmetics in self-pressurized containers (aerosol products), feminine deodorant sprays, and children's bubble bath products are examples of products requiring such statements.

    Although the FD&C Act does not require that cosmetic manufacturers or marketers test their products for safety, the FDA strongly urges cosmetic manufacturers to conduct whatever toxicological or other tests are appropriate to substantiate the safety of their cosmetics. If the safety of a cosmetic is not adequately substantiated, the product may be considered misbranded and may be subject to regulatory action unless the label bears the following statement: Warning--The safety of this product has not been determined. Sec. 21 CFR 740.10.

  • Cosmetics Labeling

    The cosmetics distributed in the United States must comply with the labeling regulations published by the FDA under the authority of the FD&C Act and the FP&L Act. Labeling means all labels and other written, printed or graphic matter on or accompanying a product. The label statements required under the authority of the FD&C Act must appear on the inside as well as any outside container or wrapper. FP&L Act requirements, e.g., ingredient labeling and statement of the net quantity of contents on the principal display panel, only apply to the label of the outer container. The labeling requirements are codified at 21 CFR 701 and 740. Cosmetics bearing false or misleading label statements or otherwise not labeled in accordance with these requirements may be considered misbranded and may be subject to regulatory action.

    The principal display panel, i.e., the part of the label most likely displayed or examined under customary conditions of display for sale (21 CFR 701.10), must state the name of the product, identify by descriptive name or illustration the nature or use of the product, and bear an accurate statement of the net quantity of contents of the cosmetic in the package in terms of weight, measure, numerical count, or a combination of numerical count and weight or measure. The declaration must be distinct, placed in the bottom area of the panel in line generally parallel to the base on which the package rests, and in a type size commensurate with the size of the container as prescribed by regulation. The net quantity of contents statement of a solid, semisolid or viscous cosmetic must be in terms of the avoirdupois pound and ounce, and a statement of liquid measure must be in terms of the U.S. gallon of 231 cubic inches and the quart, pint, and fluid ounce subdivisions thereof. If the net quantity of contents is one pound or one pint or more, it must be expressed in ounces, followed in parenthesis () by a declaration of the largest whole units (i.e., pounds and ounces or quarts and pints and ounces). The net quantity of contents may additionally be stated in terms of the metric system of weights or measures.

    The name and place of business of the firm marketing the product must be stated on an information panel of the label (21 CFR 701.12). The address must state the street address, city, state, and zip code. If a firm is listed in a current city or telephone directory, the street address may be omitted. If the distributor is not the manufacturer or packer, this fact must be stated on the label by the qualifying phrase "Manufactured for ......" or "Distributed by ......" or similar, appropriate wording.

    The Tariff Act of 1930 requires that all imported articles state on the label the English name of the country of origin.