Hand & body lotions are not regulated by the FDA  themselves but, the FDA regulates the misbranding of the lotion. However, the FDA does need to approve of any color additives that the hand & body lotion contains. Are hand & body lotions regulated FDA?



What Is The FDA?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in charge of making sure the food and drugs that people consume are safe to be consumed. The FDA regulates three main categories: drugs, biological products, and medical devices. Their goal is to make sure that products in each of these categories are safe and efficient.



What Is Misbranding?

The FDA does regulate the misbranding of a lotion. I put up a few examples below of what misbranding is:


Includes Putting Misleading Information On Product Label:

This is one of the biggest problems that consumers face. We all tend to think that just because it’s written on the label, it must be true. That isn’t the case all the time. Sometimes a manufacturer will put false claims on the label. This can include anything like this product will cure a certain condition or not putting all of the ingredients on the label that is in the product.

Here are a few things that have to be on every lotion label according to the FDA:


The Label Doesn’t Provide Name Of Business:

The product label needs to include the name of the business that sold the product or the name of the company that manufactured the product. It must also include the address and phone number of the business or manufacturer.


No Warnings Or Directions:

Each product should have warnings and directions on them for consumers to follow if necessary.

For example, Warning: keep out of the reach of children. or For external use only.


Quantity Of The Product:

The product must say how much of the product you are buying. In the case of hand & body lotion, it should say on the bottle how much it weighs in ounces.



How To Read The Label Of Hand & Body Lotion:

When you look at the ingredients list of lotion it may seem like a lot. Most of the lotions have names that are hard to spell and they even may have synthetic ingredients that the average person knows little about.

The FDA has some rules with the label of products that have to be followed.


Ingredients Listed:

The ingredients listed on the lotions label are sorted out by the percentage in the lotion. This means that the label will read from the most amount to the least amount. For example, if a hypothetical product was 70% water, 29% coconut oil, and 1% fragrance.

The product label would read:

water, coconut oil, fragrance.

The label couldn’t read any other way since the ingredients have to go from the most to least by the percentage.

Lotion products should have an expiration date. According to the law, cosmetics and lotions are not required to have an expiration date on the product. However, most companies put them on to benefit the consumer. You should never use lotion after the expiration date since this can be harmful.



What The FDA Doesn’t Do To Hand & Body Lotions:

The FDA doesn’t check or approve ingredients.
They won’t approve cosmetics or lotions.
They also can’t force a product recall for lotions.


Hand & Body lotion Recalls:

The USDA doesn’t have the authority to recall certain products such as hand & body lotions. The recalls have to be a company decision. However, the FDA can put a lot of pressure on a company and most companies will comply.

If consumers find out that the FDA wants a recall on a product and the company won’t; this is a bad PR move that will get customers upset.

It’s important to find a company that you can trust and will let you know if a product is being recalled. Don’t panic, a hand & body lotion recall really doesn’t happen that much. That is because you actually aren’t consuming the lotion and the lotions have a preservative to them to prevent bacterial growth.

There is really nothing that can go wrong with a lotion unless one of the ingredients used has a recall associated with it.



What The FDA Can Do To Hand & Body Lotions:

The FDA checks the products for misbranding.
The FDA can tour facilities that manufacture hand & body lotions.



Red Flag Alerts For Hand & Body Lotions:

There are a couple of red flags that you need to watch out for when buying lotion. You have to read the label carefully to make sure that you know what you are getting. If a company says their lotion is all-natural, ask them what that means. There is no set definition by the FDA.

If you see anything about the FDA on the product label it probably isn’t true. An example could be FDA approved lotion or FDA approved ingredients. This is an inaccurate statement since the FDA doesn’t approve lotions or ingredients that are made into lotion.

Some companies will say that their product is certified organic. That statement comes from the USDA and can be true depending on what the lotion is made from.

The bottom line is to see what makes sense to you and ask questions if you have them. If a company seems strange or not transparent, find a different company. There are a lot of companies that sell lotion that are good transparent companies that you can trust.



The FDA Doesn’t Regulate All Natural Hand & Body Lotions:

The FDA doesn’t regulate the term all-natural. Furthermore, the FDA has not even defined what the term “natural” means when it comes to cosmetics. Any company that uses the term natural on one of their products is just making up their own definition of what natural is since the FDA hasn’t provided a definition of what it really means.

The FDA doesn’t define organic either when it comes to lotions. They say that this is the job of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to oversee the term organic. You can find more about the USDA right here.

If you see a hand & body lotion that says all-natural ask them what they mean by it. Each company has their own definition of all-natural. Most companies that sell lotion use the term all-natural when they don’t use any synthetic ingredients in the product. However, this isn’t always the case.

The terms organic and all-natural don’t mean that the lotion is going to be any safer when compared to lotions without those terms.



What Doesn’t The FDA Regulate Hand & Body Lotions:

The reason the FDA doesn’t regulate lotions is that under current law they are not allowed to do that. Under the current law, the FDA can only regulate products such as drugs, medical devices, and biologics. The legal definition of those terms does not cover what lotion is and therefore the FDA can’t regulate them such as prescriptions.



Picking Out A Hand & Body Lotion:

Picking out a lotion can be a hard thing to do. Sometimes people can become overwhelmed all the store by all the different kinds of lotions. When you look at all the ingredients, it can get even more confusing. Fewer simple ingredient is always better in my opinion when picking out lotion.

The number one thing you should do before buying a lotion is research. Research the ingredients of the lotion to make sure that you are not allergic to them. Also, research the company. Are they sending out orders fast, do they accept returns, can you get a hold of customer service? It could be a red flag if they don’t offer all of that.

Another tip is to ask your friends for referrals. More people are likely to complain about a product that doesn’t work verse tell everyone that a certain product works. Many people will be happy to tell you about their favorite kind of lotion.