Report bad reactions to cosmetics to the FDA

April 12, 2011|By Liz F. Kay

An adverse reaction to a beauty product might sound like a story line from a bad sitcom, but it happens in real life too.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to know about any products that give you rashes, burns your scalp or turns your skin an unexpected or unintended color.

You should report a bad experience even if you weren't following the directions precisely. After all, if you make a mistake, chances are other people may do it too.

Many beauty products or cosmetics recommend that consumers test the item in an inconspicuous area before applying it everywhere, which is definitely good advice. But sometimes manufacturers change the formula of even legacy products, or a cream or product gets contaminated or tainted in some way, causing a problem.

The list of what's considered a cosmetic is pretty broad, including face cleansers, deodorants, shaving creams and more.

Your reports can help investigators spot trends and pinpoint problems. Tell the FDA through its  Medwatch system online, by calling 1-800-332-1088 or contacting a local FDA consumer complaint coordinator.

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