Skip to Menu Skip to Search Contact Us Skip to Content

SAFEGUARDS | Cosmetics, Personal Care & HouseholdNO. 046/16

SafeGuardS wash hands

A US national law ‘Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015’ has been signed to prohibit the production and distribution of rinse-off cosmetic products containing intentionally added plastic microbeads in the United States.

A national regulation that was proposed in early March of 2015 was signed into law by US President Barack Obama on December 28, 2015.  It prohibits the production and distribution of rinse-off cosmetic products containing intentionally added plastic microbeads in United States.

Effective July 1, 2017, all manufacturers shall not manufacture any rinse-off cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads. The law also prohibits the introduction or delivery for introduction of such products beginning July 1, 2018.

According to the ‘Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015’, a ‘plastic microbead’ is any solid plastic particle that is less than five millimeters in size and is intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse the human body or any part thereof. The ban of the use of microbeads applies on rinse-off cosmetic products including toothpaste.

In the case of rinse-off cosmetic products that are considered non-prescription drugs, those products will be prohibited from manufacturing effective July 1, 2018 and from introduction or delivery for introduction beginning July 1, 2019.

It is crucial for all cosmetic, personal care and household products to be safe, effective and stable. SGS provides testing, inspection, auditing and consulting services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a high level of product quality in every area. Our state of the art laboratories offer custom-made solutions for chemical, biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. We also have extensive capabilities in performance testing, claim support studies and consumer panels. Our testing is conducted according to customer specific or recognised standard methods, some of which were developed by SGS. Our cosmetic safety assessors and other technical experts can support customers by making sure new products comply with regulatory requirements.

Reference Sources:

Plastic Microbead Ban Continues To Expand: [1]

Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015: [2]

For enquiries, please contact:

Queenie Tse
Technical Service Executive, Cosmetics, Personal Care & Household
t: +852 2765 3672

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

© SGS Group Management SA – 2016– All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.