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Q2 Regulatory Matters Important to Indie Brands

Published July 26, 2021
Published July 26, 2021
Mathilde Langevin via Unsplash

Regulatory and legislative activity can result in significant business impact within the cosmetic and personal care product industry. Compliance is not just a hurdle to be dealt with and forgotten. Noncompliance can be costly: consumer safety can be compromised and enforcement activity from regulators can directly impact the bottom line. In addition, class-action lawsuits in some states represent an ever-present threat to business.

The following is a roundup of some regulatory topics from the Independent Beauty Association that could directly impact your business.

Whether or not all of these apply to you, that's for you to determine (or we can help). However, we present them all because noncompliance can result in lost time and money. We have put this information out as soon as we can, so you have enough time to comply.

Federal legislation

Since the last quarterly update, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has reintroduced her federal cosmetic bill, the Personal Care Products Safety Act. At the time of writing, none of the other bills that stalled out in the last Congress have been reintroduced, notably the bill from House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

The current bill is not moving quickly, but additional activity in this space could likely be coming in the second half of this year. IBA fully supports modernizing the existing federal cosmetic regulations to maintain the industry's outstanding consumer safety records, reflecting the industry's current innovation sophistication while allowing for the continuation of entrepreneurial success.

ACTION: Contact IBA to learn more about our advocacy efforts.

Washington State bill will impact your plastic packaging

Washington State has passed a bill that will require certain personal care products packaged in plastic containers to contain a minimum amount of postconsumer recycled content. The effective dates and minimum PCR content requirements are tiered, increasing every two years until the maximum level of recycled content is achieved in 2031.

January 1, 2025 through December 31, 2027: No less than 15% postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight

January 1, 2028 through December 31, 2030: No less than 25% postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight

On or after January 1, 2031: No less than 50% postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight

ACTION: Evaluate your packaging now to determine products in your assortment that will be impacted by this bill and begin to take action to change or replace packaging materials when necessary. It is important to confirm package compatibility when moving to PCR materials. Initiate package compatibility studies as early as possible in case there are issues that need to be resolved.

Maryland bill prohibits certain intentionally added ingredients

Maryland has passed a bill (HB 643) that will prohibit certain ingredients from being intentionally added to certain personal care products. The bill includes several exemptions for products manufactured through a process intended to comply with this section, and contains a technically unavoidable trace quantity of an ingredient listed in subsection (B) of this section due to:

  • An impurity of a natural or synthetic ingredient
  • The manufacturing process
  • Storage (or)
  • Packaging

Effective Date: January 1, 2025

ACTION: Evaluate your formulas to identify any products that will require reformulation prior to the effective date.

California DTSC is considering rulemaking on the hair straightener category

The California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) is considering proposing rulemaking that would regulate the entire hair straightener and relaxer category. DTSC held a two-day workshop in June to receive public input. The workshop materials and webcast recordings are available on the DTSC website. This is an important activity to watch as some of the candidate chemicals being evaluated are not exclusive to this product category: formaldehyde, cyclosiloxanes, parabens, sodium hydroxide, diethanolamine, phthalates, benzophenone-3, and triclosan.

ACTION: Stakeholders in this category should watch this activity closely and engage with DTSC staff to ensure decision making is made with accurate, science-based information.

Reminder! EU Lilial ban will require reformulation

The EU has banned the fragrance ingredient butylphenyl methylpropional (Lilial). Brands should already be familiar with their Lilial content, as it was already one of the fragrance allergens that require inclusion on the product label in the ingredient list.

Effective date: March 1, 2022

ACTION: Brands with products containing Lilial should confirm that reformulations, label updates, and PIF updates are on track to meet the deadline. Even if your products are not currently sold in the EU, consider reviewing your formulas now so this fragrance ingredient ban does not disrupt possible future export plans.


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