California Strengthens Cosmetic Safety Law

California has strengthened its stance on cosmetic safety with the passage of Assembly Bill 496,
amending the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act of 2020. Authored by Assembly Member Laura
Friedman and backed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), this bill expands the
prohibited ingredients list by adding 26 chemicals not banned elsewhere in the US. Taking effect
from January 1, 2027, it aligns California’s cosmetic standards with the European Union’s

Ken Cook, EWG President, lauded the bill, stating it would benefit everyone from children to
consumers. AB 496 aims to enhance chemical safety for Californians. Notably, California’s
influential economy may push companies to reformulate products , including those who intent
to export to the US.

However, the Personal Care Product Council (PCPC) deemed state laws unnecessary due to an
ongoing nationwide regulatory overhaul, the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act
(MoCRA) of 2022. PCPC emphasized FDA efforts in ensuring cosmetics’ safety and labeled
MoCRA as a significant milestone for aligning regulations and fostering industry innovation.

While California leads the charge in stricter cosmetic regulations, debates persist on the
necessity of state laws amidst federal efforts, reflecting broader discussions on balancing state
autonomy and nationwide regulatory coherence.

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