When people think of cosmetics, they usually think of make-up, such as blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara. However, it may surprise some consumers that under the guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many other personal care products fall in the same ‘umbrella.’

Every company that produces personal care products have a legal responsibility to the consumers who purchase their products that those products are safe to use. If a product is contaminated or has some other issue caused by some negligence of the company and a consumer is harmed, that victim has a right to pursue a product liability lawsuit against those responsible.




According to FDA regulations, in addition to makeup, products that are also considered cosmetics include:

  • Body lotions
  • Deodorants
  • Haircare products
  • Hair dye
  • Shaving products
  • Sunscreens
  • Tanning products

The FDA does not regulate cosmetics in the same way the agency regulates food and drugs. There is no approval process for cosmetics. Instead, the FDA relies on cosmetic companies to keep to certain standards of safety and transparency. In 2017, to help in this endeavor, the FDA began requiring cosmetic companies to submit ingredient lists of all their products to the agency. The FDA has the right to suspend products if the agency has any concerns about its safety.

Cosmetic Standards

The safety standards for cosmetics have improved over the years. For example, years ago, lead was a common ingredient used in makeup. But we now know that lead is a poison that could kill someone if they are overexposed to it. This is why the use of lead was stopped.

Consumers depend on companies to protect them from these toxic ingredients. If the company fails to warn its customers about the risk associated with these ingredients, the product they are using could eventually cause them to die.

A recent example of this is Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. The company is currently defending against lawsuits from nearly 100,000 plaintiffs over product safety and marketing, including 16,000 lawsuits claiming its powder caused ovarian cancer in women who used it for feminine hygiene. Women who have used the powders long-term developed a rare form of cancer knows as mesothelioma. The company insists their products are asbestos-free and do not cause cancer.

This dangerous issue may be more widespread than originally thought. Testing of other cosmetic products is also revealing asbestos contamination. For example, two companies, Beauty Plus Global and Claire’s Stores, Inc., recently recalled certain cosmetics after it was discovered that the talc used in these products was contaminated with asbestos. It is that asbestos that causes mesothelioma, cancer, and other conditions that damage the lungs and are eventually fatal.

Contact a Virginia Product Liability Attorney for Help

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness because of a defective product, call Shapiro & Appleton to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Virginia personal injury attorneys. Our legal team will fight diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve.