The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises consumers to report problems related to cosmetics. From getting rashes to encountering a bad smell in the product that may spell contamination, the FDA hopes that consumers step forward and bring to them the brands of cosmetics that may cause adverse reactions.
"Cosmetics" is defined by the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as any product that is intended to be applied to the body to cleanse, beautify, promote attractiveness, or alter appearance. They include the following:
- face and body cleansers
- moisturizers and other skin lotions and creams
- baby lotions and oils
- hair care products, dyes, conditioners, straighteners, perms
- hair removal creams
- nail polishes
- shaving products
- perfumes and colognes
- face paints and temporary tattoos
- permanent tattoos and permanent makeup
This move continues to help the FDA to track down harmful cosmetic products. The FDA believes that consumers are one of the agency's most important resources, especially since there is currently no need for FDA approval for cosmetics before they are released in the market (except for color additives and ingredients prohibited/restricted by regulation).
To report bad cosmetics, the following information are requested by the FDA:
- the name and contact information for the person who had the reaction;
- the age, gender, and ethnicity of the product's user;
- the name of the product and manufacturer;
- a description of the reaction-and treatment, if any;
- the healthcare provider's name and contact information, if medical attention was provided; and
- when and where the product was purchased.
The FDA also shares general tips in handling cosmetics to avoid preventable adverse reactions:
- Read the label. Follow all directions.
- Wash your hands before you use the product.
- Do not share makeup.
- Keep the containers clean and closed tight when not in use.
- Throw away cosmetics if the color or smell changes.
- Do not use spray cans while you are smoking or near an open flame. It could start a fire.
- Use aerosols or sprays in a place with good air flow.