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What are the Labeling Laws for Botanicals in Cosmetics?

June 17, 2009
Question 

Unlike foods and beverages, cosmetics' ingredients declarations include Latin and sometime French names for botanicals. Is this required by code of law?

Answer 

Regulations for identifying ingredients on cosmetic labels can be found in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 701.3 (21 CFR 701.3). The regulation specifies that a cosmetic ingredient shall be identified by the name listed in the regulation. Ingredients not on the list provided in §701.30 must be identified by the name adopted in one of the compendia specified in the regulation. The compendia are listed in the order they should be used, beginning with the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary, 2nd edition, published by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, Inc. Finally, if an ingredient is not listed in any of the compendia, the name generally recognized by consumers, or the ingredient's chemical or technical name must be used.

 

 

If a cosmetic is intended to treat or prevent disease, it is considered a drug and is subject to additional regulations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a document on how to determine if a product is a cosmetic, a drug, or both that can be found here.)