A cosmetic is defined by the FDA from its intended use when applied to the human body such as: for cleansing, beautifying or promoting attractiveness. Moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, shampoos and deodorants all fall under this category. Cosmetic products do not require FDA approval before they go on the market and traditionally have low concentrations of active ingredients. By design cosmetics for use on the skin do not penetrate the skin barrier. They work primarily on a superficial level, with no therapeutic change in the skin.
Cosmetic products are traditionally offered through mass marketing efforts which is why they contain high amounts of preservatives, fillers, perfume fragrances, and dyes.