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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of April 1 2020.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 7]
[Revised as of April 1, 2020]
[CITE: 21CFR701.20]



TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER G - COSMETICS

PART 701 -- COSMETIC LABELING

Subpart C - Labeling of Specific Ingredients

Sec. 701.20 Detergent substances, other than soap, intended for use in cleansing the body.

(a) In its definition of the term cosmetic, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act specifically excludes soap. The term soap is nowhere defined in the act. In administering the act, the Food and Drug Administration interprets the term "soap" to apply only to articles that meet the following conditions:

(1) The bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the detergent properties of the article are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds; and

(2) The product is labeled, sold, and represented only as soap.

(b) Products intended for cleansing the human body and which are not "soap" as set out in paragraph (a) of this section are "cosmetics," and accordingly they are subject to the requirements of the act and the regulations thereunder. For example, such a product in bar form is subject to the requirement, among others, that it shall bear a label containing an accurate statement of the weight of the bar in avoirdupois pounds and ounces, this statement to be prominently and conspicuously displayed so as to be likely to be read under the customary conditions of purchase and use.

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