On 30 September 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2762 into law, making California the first US state to ban the sale of cosmetics containing more than trace amounts of 24 toxic substances.

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, effective 1 January 2025, will ban the manufacture of sale of cosmetics containing listed substances linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption, and other negative health effects. All substances listed in the Act are already banned from cosmetics sold in Europe, but they are not regulated in the U.S. on a national level. Manufacturers and retailers will no longer be able to make or sell cosmetics containing more than trace amounts of:

  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP);
  • Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP);
  • Formaldehyde;
  • Paraformaldehyde;
  • Methylene glycol;
  • Quaternium-15;
  • Mercury;
  • Isobutylparaben;
  • Isopropylparaben;
  • m-phenylenediamine and its salts;
  • o-phenylenediamine and its salts; and
  • thirteen long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and their salts.


The law prohibits intentionally added amounts of the listed substances. However, cosmetics may still contain a “technically unavoidable trace quantity” of a listed chemical due to impurities of natural or synthetic ingredients, the manufacturing process, storage, or migration from packaging.

Newsom also signed the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020, Senate Bill 312, which requires cosmetic makers to report fragrance and flavour ingredients in personal care and beauty products to the California Department of Public Health Safe Cosmetics Program.

Starting 1 January 2022, personal care and cosmetic product manufacturers will need to disclose the use of ingredients found on 22 specified lists of chemicals of concern.

Supporters of the two bills agree that lack of regulation in cosmetics and personal care products are an issue of health and environmental justice. These new laws are a step in the right direction for consumers that want to be more informed about what is in the products they are using on their bodies.

For assistance complying with state and national cosmetic regulations, contact Nexreg today!