|Title||Self-Regulation in the Cosmetic Industry: A Necessary Reality or a Cosmetic Illusion?|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Date Published||May 2006|
|University||LEDA at Harvard Law School|
|Keywords||beauty industry, false beauty|
The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act brought the cosmetic industry under the regulatory jurisdiction of the FDA. However, the confluence of federal administrative budgetary constraints, historical conditions of the cosmetic industry’s development, and pragmatic policy considerations has fostered a unique regulatory regime. The FDA has come to rely heavily on the cosmetic industry to regulate itself in order to ensure consumer safety. Recent criticisms allege that this system of self-regulation is ineffective, inefficient, and/or inappropriate. This paper will situate these criticisms within their various contexts – the historical, social, and administrative realities which define and constrain potential regulatory approaches – in order to assess the propriety of the current schema of cosmetic industry self-regulation.