1. Vitamins, minerals and supplements are NOT regulated by the FDA as drugs. 
  2. In the last month of 2015, the division of the FDA that focuses on the oversight of claims made by vitamin and supplement manufacturers and marketers was elevated from a “Division” to an “Office”—the new Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP).

    RESOURCE: FDA Makes Move to Better Enforce Dietary Supplements
  3. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines a “dietary ingredient” as “a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; dietary substance for use by humans to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract or combination of preceding substances.”
  4. In 1988, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) was established. The NCCIH’s focus is to identify, evaluate and research the science on non-pharmaceutical health treatments (herbs, vitamins, supplements, oils, treatments, modalities). 
  5. The NCCIH is the federal government’s lead agency for scientific research on complementary and integrative health approaches. It is one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  6. The NCCIH has a Health Information section of its website for consumers with featured health topics from dietary supplements to acupuncture and yoga. The site can be found here.
  7. The last time a U.S. federal law was passed to regulate the safety of cosmetics and personal care products was in 1938—more than 75 years ago. 
  8. The U.S. has banned only 11 ingredients used in personal care products versus the 1,300 that the European Union has banned.
    RESOURCE: Read Ensia: Banned in Europe, Safe in the U.S. Who determines whether chemicals are safe—and why do different governments come up with such different answers?
  9. More often than not, the U.S. approach to chemical regulation of cosmetic and personal care products relies on voluntary measures by manufacturers and retailers. Those measures are spurred not by U.S. federal policy—which is still unchanged—but by the consumer outcry catalyzed by consumer advocacy, along with regulations outside the U.S. or at the state or local level.
  10. One such consumer advocacy group formed in 2004 is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Its website can be found here.
  11. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has a “Get the Facts” section of its website, found at Safecosmetics.org, which is divided into the following important topics:

    RESOURCE: Read Your cosmetics may soon be FDA regulated and safer.
  12. 1, 4-dioxane found in shampoo, body wash and bubble bath is a controversial chemical ingredient linked to health safety issues.
  13. Formaldehyde found in shampoo, body wash, and bubble bath is a controversial chemical ingredient linked to health safety issues.
  14. In 2014, Johnson & Johnson removed formaldehyde and 1, 4-dioxane from its baby products. The company stated it will continue to reevaluate and reformulate its products, including its more popular lines like Neutrogena. 

You're 53 facts away from being a savvy wellness consumer.