Covington regularly advises trade associations and small and large companies on federal and state laws affecting cosmetic products.  We counsel these clients on interpreting and complying with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, and related statutes and regulations.  Our practice includes such diverse matters as the following:   

  • Serving as principal outside counsel to the Personal Care Products Council (formerly the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association) since 1969, including assisting the Council in developing its voluntary self-regulatory program for cosmetic companies and its Cosmetic Ingredient Review.
  • Advising clients on the cosmetic/drug borderline, including assessing the risks that FDA will consider representations to be “drug” claims, helping clients to tailor claims to mitigate these risks, and counseling clients regarding the First Amendment limitations on FDA regulation of product claims made in labeling and advertising.
  • Participating in federal and state legislative matters affecting the industry, e.g., federal cosmetic safety legislation.
  • Counseling clients on cosmetic safety issues, including good manufacturing practices (GMP) for cosmetics and the use of nanotechnology in manufacturing cosmetic products.
  • Advising clients on meeting substantiation requirements for cosmetic claims and on complying with technical labeling requirements, including ingredient labeling and warning and caution statements.
  • Providing advice on formulation issues, including the use of specific ingredients in cosmetic products that are also used in food or drugs and status of specific color additives.
  • Assisting clients in preparing submissions to FDA, e.g. citizen petitions and responses to Warning Letters.
  • Aiding clients in complying with state disclosure laws, such as the California Safe Cosmetics Act.

Representative Matters

  • We serve as principal outside counsel to the Personal Care Products Council, attending Council meetings, preparing draft legislation and Congressional testimony, assisting in regulatory litigation, advising on all aspects of FDA regulation, and providing advice on a wide variety of trade association matters.
  • We advise US cosmetics manufacturers on EU legislation governing animal testing and other issues.


  • Law360, Life Sciences Group of the Year (2014, 2013 and 2012)
  • Chambers Global (2015)
    • Life Sciences, Global-wide
    • Life Sciences, Europe-wide
  • Chambers USA (2015)
    • Food & Beverages, Regulatory & Litigation, Nationwide
    • Life Sciences, Nationwide
    • Product Liability & Mass Torts, Nationwide
    • Healthcare, Pharmaceutical/Medical Products Regulatory, DC
    • Life Sciences, CA 
  • Chambers UK (2015)
    • Life Sciences, UK-wide
    • Life Sciences, Regulatory, UK-wide
    • Life Sciences, Transactional, UK-wide
    • Product Liability, Food, UK-wide
    • Product Liability, Mainly Defendant, UK-wide
  • Chambers Asia (2015)
    • Life Sciences (International Firms), China
  • Chambers Europe (2015)
    • Life Sciences, Europe-wide
    • Regulatory, Agro/Food, Europe-wide
    • Regulatory, Life Sciences/Pharma, Europe-wide
  • Legal 500 US (2015)
    • Healthcare – Life Sciences
    • Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense - Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
  • Legal 500 UK (2014)
    • Technology, media and telecoms - Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
    • Insurance: Product Liability – Defendant
  • Legal 500 EMEA (2015)
    • Belgium: EU Regulatory – Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
    • Belgium - Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • LMG Life Sciences (2014)
    • Life Cycle Firm
    • Highly Recommended: Regulatory, FDA (Pharmaceutical)
    • Highly Recommended: Regulatory, Healthcare, Pricing & Reimbursement
    • Highly Recommended: Finance & Transactional, Corporate
    • Highly Recommended: Finance & Transactional, Licensing & Collaboration (Non-University)
    • Highly Recommended: Finance & Transactional, Mega-Mergers
    • Recommended: Regulatory, FDA (Medical Devices)
  • PLC Cross-border Super League
    • Ranked 1st in the Life Sciences Regulatory Super League (2004-2011)
    • Ranked 1st in the Life Sciences Industry Super League (2005-2010)
  • PLC - Life Sciences, Which Law Firm? (2012)
    • Leading: Life Sciences, England, EU, and USA
    • Leading; Government Enforcement and Investigations, USA
    • Leading: Regulatory, Belgium, England, EU, and USA
    • Highly Recommended: Life Sciences, Belgium
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