In December 2022, the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) was signed into law. Marking the first significant update to federal cosmetics laws since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act into law in 1938, MoCRA strengthens the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ability to regulate personal care products.
Major provisions include:
- Mandatory Facility Registration: Facilities, both domestic and abroad, that manufacture or process cosmetics for U.S. distribution must register with the FDA.
- Product Listing: Manufacturers are required to list each cosmetic product, including information about the product’s ingredients, with the FDA.
- Good Manufacturing Practice Requirements: MoCRA directs the FDA to establish good manufacturing practice regulations consistent with national and international standards.
- Adverse Event Reporting: Cosmetic companies are required to maintain records of health-related adverse events associated with the use of a product for six years and must report any serious adverse events to the FDA within 15 days of learning about the issue.
- Safety Substantiation: MoCRA creates requirements for safety substantiation to be on file which will force many brands to articulate what ingredients are safe.
- Enforcement: MoCRA provides new enforcement powers to the FDA. First, if the FDA determines that a cosmetic manufactured by a facility has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences, and other products manufactured by the facility may be similarly affected, the FDA may suspend that facility’s registration. Second, the FDA now has the authority to access records relating to a cosmetic if it believes that a product or its ingredients present a threat of serious adverse health consequences. Third, the FDA may mandate recalls if it determines there is a reasonable probability that exposure to a product will cause serious adverse health consequences.
While we are proud of the work our community did to get MoCRA enacted, Beautycounter calls on Congress to do more to achieve a truly health-protective safety standard for personal care products. Congress must address critical gaps in personal care product safety that impact everyone, especially women of color and professional salon workers. Cue the Safer Beauty Bill Package.
The Safer Beauty Bill Package includes four bills that Beautycounter strongly supports, which would significantly strengthen federal cosmetics laws:
- H.R. 3619 – The Toxic-Free Beauty Act (Reps. Schakowsky and Fletcher): Bans 11 harmful chemicals, including mercury, formaldehyde, parabens, and phthalates, from personal care products. These chemicals are already banned in the European Union, California, and Maryland.
- H.R. 3620 – Cosmetic Safety Protections for Communities of Color and Professional Salon Workers (Reps. Schakowsky and Blunt Rochester): Funds research, resources, and the development of safer cosmetic ingredients to protect the health of women of color and salon workers—two vulnerable populations that are most at risk due to harmful chemicals in products marketed to them or commonly found in their workplaces.
- H.R. 3621 – Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Right to Know Act (Reps. Schakowsky and Matsui): Requires product labeling and website disclosures of secret, unlabeled, and sometimes harmful chemicals in our personal care products.
- H.R. 3622 – Cosmetic Supply Chain Transparency Act (Rep. Schakowsky): Requires upstream suppliers of raw materials, ingredients and private label products to provide full ingredient disclosure and safety data to personal care product brands.
Beautycounter’s mission has always been to get safer products into the hands of everyone—and we thank our community for joining our movement. Collectively, we have sent over 240,000 emails, made over 16,000 calls, and held over 2,500 meetings with lawmakers and our work is not yet done. Join us in our advocacy by clicking here if you live in the U.S. or clicking here if you live in Canada.