PCB Tutorial

Lesson 4 — Coding Food, Food-Related, Cosmetic and Vitamin Products

Cosmetic Products — Industry Code 53

Cosmetic products are covered under Industry Code 53. There is a unique set of Subclass codes for cosmetics, but Process Indicator Codes are not used. Although no Process Indicator Code is used in this Industry, filers must transmit a dash "-" on the PIC field. The Product Code Builder Application will return a dash automatically.

Some products you might think are cosmetics are actually classified as drugs. These include sunscreen products, fluoride toothpaste, anti-perspirants, and anti-aging products. Drug products are intended to affect the structure or function of the body of humans or animals. However, suntan preparations, deodorants and non-fluoride toothpaste are considered cosmetics because they are not intended to affect the structure or function of the body. You should carefully review the definitions of drug products found in Lesson 5 Coding Drugs, Drug Products and Biologics when determining if a product is a cosmetic or drug. It is also important to review the manufacturer's information before coding the product. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer for more information.


Cosmetic Products: Articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance. Also includes articles intended for use as a component of any such articles except that such term shall not include soap.

The Cosmetic Products Classes

A Baby Product Baby shampoos, lotions, oils, powders, etc.
B Bath Prep Bath oils, bubble baths
C Eye Makeup Prep Eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, eye shadow, eye makeup kits, etc.
D Fragrance Prep Colognes, toilet waters, perfumes, powders, sachets
E Hair Preps (Non-Coloring) Hair conditioners, sprays, straighteners, permanent waves, shampoos, etc.
F Hair Coloring Prep Hair dyes and colors, hair tints, rinses, lighteners, bleaches, etc.
G Makeup Prep (Not For Eyes) Blushers, face powders, lipstick, leg and body paints, rouges, etc.
H Manicuring Prep Basecoats, undercoats, cuticle softeners, creams, lotions, polish, enamel, etc.
I Oral Hygiene Products Dentifrice (aerosol, liquid, pastes, powders), mouthwashes, etc.
J Personal Cleanliness Bath soaps, deodorants, douches, etc.
K Shaving Prep Aftershave lotion, beard softeners, shaving cream, etc.
L Skin Care Prep Cleansing (cold creams, cleansing lotions, liquids, pads), depilatories, foot powders, sprays, moisturizers, wrinkle smoothing, etc.
M Suntan Preparations Suntan gels, creams and liquids, oral tanning tablets, etc.
P Cosmetic Raw Material Bulk raw ingredients used as a component for a cosmetic product (e.g., lanolin)
Q Cosmetic Packaging/ Labeling Cosmetic containers such as plastic eye shadow try or product labels to be used on the finished product or product wrapper (e.g., immediate container and/or printed cardboard box with instructions for use and ingredients).
R Cosmetic Products Containing Animal By-Products (Bovine) Used for hair and skin conditioning agents. Examples of bovine by-product used are collagen, tallow, amniotic fluid, and elastin. Bovine animal by-products can be found in skin care products, moisturizing preparations, cold creams, and cleansing lotions.
S Cosmetic Products Containing Animal By-Products (Ovine) Used for hair, skin and nail conditioning agents. Examples of ovine by-products used are hydrolyzed keratin, tallow. Ovine animal by-products can be found in hair conditioners, mascara, shampoos, and bath soaps
T Cosmetic Products Containing Animal By-Products (Porcine) Used for hair, skin and nail conditioning agents. Examples of porcine by-product used are brain extract, hydrolyzed keratin, pig leg muscle extract, and pigskin extract. Porcine animal by-products can be found in hair conditioners, mascara and shampoos.
U Cosmetic Products Containing Animal By-Products (Other) Examples of other animal by-products used in cosmetics are dried egg yolk, egg oil, egg white powder, albumen. Animal keratin amino acids, animal placental extract, hydrogenated animal glycerides, soluble animal collagen.
Y Cosmetics and Cosmetic Products N.E.C. Hairbrush, cosmetic brush, sponges for cosmetic use.

The Cosmetic Products Subclasses

The Subclasses for products under Industry Code 53 further describes the final form of the product.

A Aerosol A cloud of solid or liquid particles in a gas. Aerosol forces a liquid out as a fine spray usually when a button on the container is pressed.
B Capsule A small soluble container, usually made of gelatin, that encloses a substance. For example, a bath capsule may contain bath oils.
C Cream Any of various substances resembling cream that are applied to the skin.
D Lotion Any of various liquid cosmetic preparations that are applied to the skin.
F Pads A thin, cushion-like mass of soft material used to apply a substance to the skin.
G Paste A soft, smooth, thick mixture or material.
H Powder A substance consisting of ground, pulverized, or otherwise finely dispersed solid particles. Any of various preparations in the form of powder, as certain cosmetics.
I Roll-on Dispensers of a liquid cosmetic (such as a deodorant) having a revolving ball as an applicator.
J Simulated (artificial fingernails, wigs, etc.) An artificial product used for personal adornment such as a wig of human or synthetic hair, or "fake" fingernails.
K Sticks Something shaped or used like a stick or pencil, such as an eyebrow pencil.
L Tablets A product such as a bath preparation formed into a small pellet.
Y Subclass, Not Elsewhere Classified (N.E.C.)  

Check Your Knowledge

1.Which of the following products would be coded under Industry Code 53 Cosmetics?
2.What does subclass tell you when coding a cosmetic product (Industry Code 53)?
3.You are coding breath fresheners that look like small white pellets. Which one of the following Subclasses would you choose?

Code the Products

Now you will have a chance to practice coding some cosmetic products. Below you will find five product descriptions. Read the descriptions and then click on the PCB Application button below. This will take you to the Product Code Builder application.

Have notepaper and a pen or pencil handy. As you code each product, write down the product code result. When you're ready to check your answers, click the Tutorial button on the Taskbar. The Taskbar is located at the bottom of the screen. This will bring you back here. Caution: Don't click the Tutorial button in the Product Code Builder application, it will take you to the beginning of the Tutorial.



Manicuring Prep

Lotion, Liquid

Not Used

Nail Polish and Enamel (manicuring preparation)



Makeup Preps not for the eyes


Not Used

Lipstick (makeup preparations not for the eyes)



Cosmetics and Cosmetic Products, N.E.C.


Not Used

Hairbrush (other cosmetic and cosmetic products)



Shaving Prep


Not Used

Aftershave Lotion (Shaving Preparations)



Fragrance Prep


Not Used

Perfumes (Fragrance Preparations)

Check your answers — Click on reveal code for each product description to reveal the correct product code. Compare it with the one you got. Did you get the correct code? If not, determine which element was incorrect. You can go back to the Product Code Builder application and try again.

Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
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