Understanding How Hair and Skin Care Products Are Regulated

The beauty product industry is a very popular staple in the basic consumer goods market and it comes as no surprise that such massive industries face scrutiny and strict regulation from governments. By having a solid understanding of what sort of regulatory hurdles exist in the hair and skin care industries, shampoo manufacturers and other hair and skin care manufacturers can be prepared for any processes and regulation that will be faced.

FDA Regulation

In the United States, the main regulatory body with which industry leaders concern themselves is the Food and Drug Association (FDA). This US regulatory body has the task of putting a stamp of approval on all foods, drugs and — in many modern cases — consumer goods that come in contact with the human body in a way that can affect individual health. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (or FD&C Act) as well as the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) are the two specific pieces of legislation that “hone in” on shampoo manufacturers and other companies competing in the consumer cosmetic market space.

FDA Classification

According to the FD&C legislation, any “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body” is considered a cosmetic product. This includes all shampoo products as well as most skin and hair products that wouldn’t be classified as shampoo. The only case where a product would cross-over from a “cosmetic” classification to a “drug” classification would be in a case where its use was intended to have some sort of “therapeutic use, such as treating or preventing disease, or to affect the structure of the body.” In the case where your company is offering a shampoo or hair care product that does offer a therapeutic capacity, it becomes even more subject to regulation. Ensuring a deep and proper awareness of these regulatory considerations will allow you, as part of the product management and brand development team, to best serve your market, while not giving up ground to any regulatory violations.

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