Every state has regulations that apply to soap and cosmetics. Most of them follow the FDA regulations pretty closely. However, some have more extensive requirements for cosmetic manufacturers, such as facility registration, permitting, inspections and/or product registration.
States that have additional regulations for soap and cosmetic manufacturing or sales are listed in red below.
A link to the actual agency that oversees cosmetics in the state is provided if I could find it. The regulations don’t change often, but the links do. If you find a broken link, please let me know.
Some states have excellent websites with lots of data, others do not. If you have questions about your state that you can’t clear up with the links below, give them a call. Usually it’s either the Agriculture or Health Department that oversees food, and cosmetics are usually handled in the same place. Some states use the Board of Pharmacy.
Where I have published any blog posts about the requirements in the state, there are links in the descriptions below.
I am gradually updating the list as I have a chance to review the state regulations.
[Updated June 2021] Alabama Code AL Code § 20-1-50 to 57 (2019) covers cosmetics. It’s pretty brief. The definition of a cosmetic is the same as the federal law and regulations, as are the definitions of adulterated and misbranded. The State Board of Agriculture and Industries is responsible for setting standards of “purity and quality.” There don’t appear to be any regulations covering the manufacture of soap or cosmetics that differ from the federal regulations. There are other business registration and licensing requirements (same as for all Alabama businesses). See Making Cosmetics in Alabama for more details.
Department of Health Services see also: Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (2006) and California Safe Cosmetics Program. In Sept 2018 California passed two new laws – one requiring a full ingredient declaration on cosmetic products “for professional use only” and the other prohibiting sale of any product or ingredient that has been tested on animals (except that ingredients and products sold prior to January 1, 2020 are exempted.)
See blog post California Cosmetic Regulations Updated for more details.
[updated August, 2018] Oversight of cosmetic manufacturing comes under the Department of Consumer Protection, Drug Control Division. Their page about manufacturers states that registration is required for any business in Connecticut that manufactures cosmetics with the purpose of selling them; there is a link to the registration form. The fee is $285 per year; annual inspections are required.
See blog post Making Cosmetics in Connecticut for additional details and discussion.
[updated February, 2017] Florida is one of the toughest states for cosmetic manufaturers. Licensing is covered by the Business and Professional Regulation, Cosmetic Manufacturer. Cosmetics manufacturing facilities must be registered (and inspected and approved) by the state and products must be registered. Cosmetics may not be manufactured in residence. From what I have seen, the inspection guidelines used are similar to those for a facility manufacturing drugs and expect substantial compliance with good manufacturing practices.
See Florida Cosmetic Regulations (2011), Florida Regulations Changed 2017 and Florida 2021 – Changes to Cosmetic Manufacturers Law or more detail. The comments on these posts have quite a bit of helpful information.
Govenor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and see also the Georgia Code for Food Drug and Cosmetics. Title 26, Chapter 3 says that the State Board of Pharmacy can make regulations concerning the standards, labeling and adulteration of drugs and cosmetics, but basically the federal regulations apply and take precedence in the case of any conflict. No mention of requiring registration of cosmetic facilities or products that I could find.
Office of the Govenor Cosmetic statutes generally refer to the FDA FD&C Act
State Board of Pharmacy see also: Kentucky Statutes The Kentucky statutes are hard to follow and it is difficult to find pertinent information on the site. One small soap and cosmetic manufacturer reported that regulations required a full inspection of her facilities and that they were required to meet food handling stanards including having a licensed and inspected facility.
Annual permits and product registrations are required (both with fees). Good manufacturing practices are used as the basis for inspection and approval of a facility.
See post Cosmetic Regulations – Louisiana for a more detailed discussion.
There appear to be only a few laws which deal with making cosmetic products in Massachusettes. They are found in Massachusetts General Laws, part One, Title XV, Chaper 94. Section 186 defines adulaterated cosmetics, and section 187 defines misbranded cosmetics. Both definitions are very similar to the federal definitions. Section 192 gives the authority to enforce to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Other than one set of rules (105CMR520) covering labeling requirements, I couldn’t find any other regulations dealing with cosmetics. It appears that Massachusetts essentially follows the federal regulations for cosmetic manufacture.
Department of Agriculture and CommerceScales used to weigh products sold commercially must be certified and commercial products may be tested to ensure the weights and labeling are correct (with fines if not).
Cosmetic manufacturing is regulated by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health Cosmetic Manufacturing Program. All cosmetic manufacturers must get an annual permit (with inspection) for a fee of $300 per year. Good manufacturing practices are required for cosmetics and are detailed in the regulations. One soapmaker reported that manufacturing in a residence is not allowed.
[updated May 1, 2015] The Revised Statutes Online which cover cosmetics seem to be primarily Chapter 146: Purity and Branding of Food and Drugs; Immature Veal, specifically Section 146:2, Terms Defined (defines “cosmetic”), Section 146:7 Cosmtic Adulterated, Section 146:8, Cosmetics Misbranded and Section 146:9 False Advertisement. All are similar to the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (except that at the Federal level, advertising is covered by the Federal Trade Commission).
I was unable to find anything that indicates that there is any special licensing or other regulations applicable to manufacturing or selling cosmetics in the State of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has adopted the National Institutes of Weights an Measures Handbooks, which are incorporated by reference into the NH Statutes. That means that there are applicable labeling regulations in NH (which are basically the same as the federal regs). It also means that there is a Division of Weights and Measures within the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food which has the authority to inspect and check scales that are used for measuring items for sale.
Food and Drug Safety Program see also: Wholesale Food and Cosmetic Project see also: Application for License to Operate a Food-Cosmetic Extablishment Food and cosmetic manufacturing facilities required to be registered. Fee of $150 or more (depending on annual sales.
[Updated September 5, 2021] The New Mexico Board of Pharmacy administers and enforces the Pharmacy Act, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act and several other New Mexico acts and laws. There is very litte about cosmetics; mostly the Board of Pharmacy seems to deal with drugs and the pharmaceutical industry, including pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, drug research facilities, etc.
New York state has a Business Express section which includes a wizard that will detail all the info you need to get started in business. Select “Personal Care Products Manufacturing” as the business type. There may be specific county-by-county requirements. Also see the Cosmetics and Soaps page in that same section. I didn’t see any specific registration requirements for small businesses. Larger companies may need additional permits.
Food and Drug Safety Program see also: Ohio Pure Food and Drug Law see also: Dept of Agriculture Weights & Measures Pure Food and Drug Law pretty much mimics Federal regulations for cosmetics. See post Cosmetic Regulations – Ohio for a more detailed discussion.
According to the Oklahoma State Dept of Health, they do not license or register medical devices,equipment or cosmetics; their primary focus is to address fraudulent actions.
Department of Health see also: Drug, Device and Cosmetic Program Manufacturers, distributors or wholesalers of cosmetics must register. There is a fee ($100). Registration process is simple and does not (as far as I can tell) require inspection before approval. See: Making Cosmetics in Pennsylvania
It doesn’t look like there are any statutes or regulations specific to soap or cosmetics. Their website is difficult to navigate and has MANY broken links. To look at the laws or statutes see the South Dakota Transparency Website. The South Dakota government site has a business page – but beware that many of the links don’t work.
[updated January 31, 2020] Department of Agriculture has the authority to inspect food, drugs and cosmetics manufactured, processed, packed or held in the State of Tennessee. The related code on the Dept. of Agriculture site seems to be related only to food. The Tennessee Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Part 1 – General Provisions defines cosmetics (part 53-1-102(10), and what adulterated and misbranded cosmetics are (parts 53-1-111-112). There don’t seem to be any other regulations specific to cosmetics.
Texas Department of State Health Services is responsible for ensure that cosmetics are properly labeled and do not contain harmful additives. They may inspect facilities or products on an as-needed basis. No licensing is required. Texas has adopted the federal cosmetic regulations. Issuance of a Certificate of Free Sale (often needed for exporting products from the US to other countries) requires an inspecition of the manufacturing or warehousing facility.
Department of Health see also: Application for Certificate of Free Sale Utah code says the department shall establish rules for food, drugs and cosmetics, but they shall be “no more stringent than those established by federal law”.
State of Vermont Website provides very little data
Board of Pharmacy Regulations state the Board of Pharmacy is over cosmetics, but there is no information on the Board of Pharmacy site about it.
Selling cosmetics is covered by Department of Agriculture but they do not have any specific stat requirements other than those that match the federal requirements. They do publish a nice fact sheet on Selling Body Care Products Fact Sheet (#28) which goes over the basics. Products made with cannabis or help are subject to additional regulations.
Department of Agriculture, Consumer Health Services see also: Wyoming Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act A director or local health authority may inspect any facility (including a vehicle!) or product and/or review and copy records of movement in commerce.
Please send me an email if you find any additional information about your state. As more information is collected, I may set up a separate page for each state.