Help Us Reform the Cosmetics Industry

On this day 77 years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. We know this 1938 law isn’t working to protect our health because harmful ingredients are commonly used in the products we put on our bodies every day. This shocking fact is part of the reason our founder and CEO, Gregg Renfrew, started Beautycounter: to bring safer and high-performing products to the marketplace and advocate for stronger cosmetic safety laws.

So you can imagine how excited we were when Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Collins (R-ME) recently introduced a new federal bill focused on strengthening regulatory oversight of skin care and beauty products. Their bill, the Personal Care Products Safety Act, attempts to address the public’s growing concern about harmful cosmetic ingredients. At Beautycounter, we feel an update to the fundamentally flawed law on the books is long overdue, and that legislative reform must increase public health protections in meaningful ways.

We applaud the parts of the Personal Care Products Safety Act that do more to protect public health, including the following:

Giving the FDA the authority to review cosmetic ingredients and restrict them as they deem appropriate

Ingredient disclosure for online brands and hair salon products, which currently do not have to disclose ingredients

Giving the FDA the authority to recall cosmetic products with egregious health impacts

Addressing “contaminants,” which can be as harmful as intentionally used ingredients, but which are not disclosed on ingredient labels

Increase the number of ingredients the FDA can review each year. Currently the bill says the FDA only needs to review five ingredients per year. (By comparison, in two short years, Beautycounter has screened over 800 ingredients.) We propose that the FDA have the ability to review classes of related chemicals—like phthalates or parabens, for example—rather than individual ingredients one by one.

Strengthen the FDA’s definition of “safety.”We encourage the FDA to define safety much in the same way we do at Beautycounter. The “safety standard” needs to be strengthened to ensure the FDA will look at a variety of hazard endpoints, including cancer, infertility, hormone disruption, and brain damage.

Require ingredient suppliers to provide health and safety information to manufacturers. One of the hardest parts of developing safer products is finding ingredients that have adequate health information. We believe suppliers should be required to provide health and safety information in order to help manufacturers substantiate safety claims required under the proposed legislation.

Email your U.S. senators and ask if they can help us strengthen the bill. Here’s how:

1. Use this website to easily find the contact form for your U.S. senators:

2. Use the sample email below to email your senators:

Dear Senator,
I am writing because I care about removing harmful ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products. I am excited to see the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1014) introduced into Congress, and I would like to see it strengthened in three key ways:

1. Strengthen the definition of safety to ensure cosmetic ingredients are not linked to hormone disruption, cancer, infertility, and harm to the developing brain.
2. Allow the FDA to review classes of chemicals to expedite the process and remove harmful ingredients commonly used in the industry.
3. Require ingredient suppliers to provide health information so companies can make safe choices when formulating products.

As your constituent, I urge you to take action to protect our families from harmful ingredients in the cosmetic and skin care industry. Thank you for your leadership on this issue.

3. Share this with your friends and family so they can stand up for strong cosmetic reform!