Definition of a Cosmetic

I know that some times, there is a debate as to whether a beauty item is a cosmetic or skin care.  For example, a tinted moisturizer – is it a cosmetics or skin care?

This issue of “what is a cosmetic?” comes around every time there is a coupon like the CVS $3/$10 Cosmetics CRT (from the CVS scanner last week).  Some people will raise Holy Cane if you use that CRT on shampoo b/c they believe that the CRT is not being used for its intended purpose.

Below is how the FDA defines “Cosmetic”:

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) defines cosmetics by their intended use, as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)]. Among the products included in this definition are skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, cleansing shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, and deodorants, as well as any substance intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product.

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