Legislative Update – The Safe Cosmetics Act

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On June 10th, I flew to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional staff from Representative Schakowsky, Markey and Baldwin’s offices.  I was invited to meet with them as a follow up to ongoing meetings that have been conducted over the past year and to hear the changes that they are proposing to make as a result of our active advocacy efforts.

Since our first meetings last July (after the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was introduced) the Representatives’ staffs have kept the lines of communication open and have been very receptive to our input.  This meeting was no different;  I attended with our D.C. advocate Mary Anne Walsh of Roetzel and Andress who has been not only our eyes and ears in Washington, but also an advisor and strategist, introducing the industry to Members of Congress in both the House and Senate.

I can tell you now, without a doubt, that the HSMG’s voice is being heard on Capitol Hill.

After some lengthy discussions and negotiations in our recent meeting, it looks like the new draft of The Safe Cosmetics Act should include several provisions that are major victories for the HSMG and its members.  They are:


For registration of your facility or company and your products:

  • Any cosmetic company with under $2 million in gross aggregate sales per year will be exempt from FDA registration for both the company and products being made.
  • A company that makes between $2 million and $10 million in gross aggregate sales per year will register their company (facility) and their products annually.  There will be no registration fees and no change forms if you introduce a new product within that year.
  • A cosmetic manufacturer that has over $10 million in gross aggregate sales per year will register their company (facility) and their products and will be responsible for a registration fee to the FDA.  This fee will be determined by the FDA and will be based on gross sales.


  • All botanicals will be listed as what they are on the label and will not need to be broken down into their organic compounds.  For example, Coconut Oil will be Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil).
  • Also, the legislation will NOT require additional testing for products made using already tested, approved  and labeled ingredients.


The FDA will be charged with coming up with three categories of cosmetic ingredients:  Safe without limits, Restricted, and Prohibited.

  • All food-grade ingredients will be on the “Safe without limits list”.
  • Ingredients on the “Restricted list” may be used in cosmetics but will have restrictions on usage or quantity.
  • Ingredients on the “Prohibited list” cannot be used in cosmetics and will have a 2 year phase out period.
  • To facilitate compliance, the FDA will maintain an online site for companies to access information on the three categories of ingredients and will update regularly, including the addition of new ingredients after testing and determinations are made.


The soap exemption will remain the same as it is in the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. To familiarize yourself with this exemption please read this area of the FDA site.


I am very encouraged by the proposed changes and exemptions.  Likewise, I am very optimistic that the congressional leaders will continue to work with us and hear our concerns.   In the weeks ahead, we will remain in close contact with the bill’s sponsors to keep the lines of communication open and to make sure that the proposed changes and exemptions outlined above are, in fact, included in the new Safe Cosmetics Act.

What this all means is that our industry is no longer an unknown in DC.  Through countless hours of work on the part of many individuals and the input of our DC Advocates Mary Anne Walsh and Rick Limardo, we find ourselves possibly looking at a much more industry friendly version of The Safe Cosmetics Act.  We now know that at some point — whether this year or next or even further down the road – Congress will move ahead to pass safe cosmetics legislation.  The good news is that the HSMG is now a known stakeholder and Members of Congress are not only listening, but very willing to work with us.

I would personally like to thank the following individuals for their tireless work on this over the past couple of years and hope that we can continue to make a difference together in the future.  Our industry is stronger and our voice is louder when we work together.

  • Debbie May of Wholesale Supplies Plus
  • Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale
  • Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry
  • Marie Gale – HSMG Past President
  • Donna Maria Coles Johnson of Indie Beauty Network
  • Lela Barker of Bella Lucce

Please stay tuned to the HSMG Blog for further updates on The Safe Cosmetics Act, we will post them as they become available.

Leigh O’Donnell

HSMG President

One Comment on “Legislative Update – The Safe Cosmetics Act”

  1. This is good news. I was just breaking into this industry when it seemed it was about to be shut down for us small start-ups. Thank you so much for your continued focus and advocacy.

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