FDA Holds Public Meeting about Cosmetics Safety Issues

It’s about time FDA!

The FDA recently held a public meeting about¬†microbiological safety issues in cosmetics. Currently, the FDA doesn’t approve cosmetics before they are sold to consumers and has no specific regulations regarding microbial safety in cosmetic products. But the agency is contemplating developing such safety guidelines for cosmetic makers, and the public meeting will give leading experts a chance to have their say.

Contaminated cosmetics, particularly those used in the eye area, can lead to serious issues, according to the FDA. If lotion, often used on the whole body, is tainted, it can lead to infections.

During the meeting, the FDA will also address testing cosmetics for contamination, the efficacy of preservatives and how packaging can harbor bacteria.

When it comes to cosmetics, the FDA’s legal authority is different from some of the other products the agency regulates, like drugs, biologics or medical devices. Cosmetics aren’t subject to FDA premarket approval (except for color additives); instead, cosmetic companies are responsible for testing and ensuring the safety of their products and ingredients before they hit the market.

So how do you protect yourself?

  • Don’t keep your products in a hot & humid place like your bathroom since heat promotes bacteria growth.
  • Don’t share your personal care products with others.
  • Check the FDA site for product recalls. Earlier this month, John Frieda conditioner (specifically, John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Enhancing Conditioner for Lighter Shades) was recalled due to microbial contamination. And in late October, Purity Cosmetics‘ 100% Pure Cocoa Plum Eye Shadow was recalled after the item was found to harbor Pseudomonas Luteola, a bacterium that can cause peritonitis, cellulitis and bacteremia.

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