Since we trade a lot with our closest neighbour, it’s important to understand the guidelines for cosmetics manufacturing in both Canada and the US.
The US FDA doesn’t have the authority to require companies to safety-test products before release, nor can it force a recall if there is a problem. After market release, the FDA does have the authority to seek out products that contain a few banned colour additives and prohibited ingredients. Unfortunately, despite the fact that thousands of chemicals are used in these products (many of which have evidence of toxic impacts), there are only 11 banned ingredients in the US.
In Canada, the process is quite similar: Companies have 10 days after releasing a product in the marketplace to provide Health Canada with a list of ingredients and other product information. In Canada, the list of restricted ingredients is close to the 600-mark and is continually updated. Health Canada is authorized to ask for evidence of safety or enforce a product recall.
By comparison, the EU has banned well over 1,000 ingredients, which is why some consumers prefer products that are formulated to EU standards.