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Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing.
In general, except for color additives and those ingredients which are prohibited or restricted from use in cosmetics by regulation, a manufacturer may use any ingredient in the formulation of a cosmetic provided that the ingredient and the finished cosmetic are safe, the product is properly labeled, and the use of the ingredient does not otherwise cause the cosmetic to be adulterated or misbranded under the laws that FDA enforces.
Manufacturers are not required to register their cosmetic establishments, file data on ingredients, or report cosmetic-related injuries to FDA. However, companies are encouraged to register their establishments and file Cosmetic Product Ingredient Statements with FDA's Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP).
Recalls of cosmetics are voluntary actions taken by manufacturers or distributors to remove from the marketplace products that represent a hazard or gross deception, or that are somehow defective. FDA categorizes a firm's action as a recall (as opposed to a market withdrawal) when it determines that the product hazard or defect represents a violation of the FD&C Act.
FDA is not authorized to require recalls of cosmetics but does monitor companies that conduct a product recall and may request a product recall if the firm is not willing to remove dangerous products from the market without FDA's written request.
FDA may take regulatory action if it has information to support that a cosmetic is adulterated or misbranded. The agency can pursue action through the Department of Justice in the federal court system to remove adulterated and misbranded cosmetics from the market.