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California Governor Approves Ban of Twenty-Six Additional Chemicals in Cosmetics, Building on Existing Legislation

On October 8, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved a law that will ban the manufacture, delivery, or sale in the state of California of cosmetic products containing twenty-six intentionally added ingredients. The new law (AB 496) expands upon California’s existing 2020 Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, which bans the manufacture or sale of cosmetic products containing twelve listed chemicals, including several per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), beginning January 1, 2025. AB 496 goes into effect on January 1, 2027.

The ban covers use of the listed chemicals in all cosmetic products, which, under California law, include a broad range of products such as soaps, hair care products, makeup, perfumes, and nail polish.

The law prohibits the manufacture and sale of cosmetic products formulated with any of the listed substances as an intentionally added ingredient in the finished cosmetic product. However, the law does not encompass cosmetic products that may contain technically unavoidable trace quantities of the listed substances as residual impurities from other ingredients or from their use in processing or packaging the cosmetic product.

List of Banned Ingredients

Under the 2020 Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, beginning January 1, 2025, cosmetic products containing the following twelve intentionally added ingredients may no longer be manufactured or sold within the state of California:

  1.  Dibutyl phthalate (CAS no. 84-74-2)
  2.  Diethylhexyl phthalate (CAS no. 117-81-7)
  3.  Formaldehyde (CAS no. 50-00-0)
  4.  Paraformaldehyde (CAS no. 30525-89-4)
  5.  Methylene glycol (CAS no. 463-57-0)
  6.  Quaternium-15 (CAS no. 51229-78-8)
  7.  Mercury (CAS no. 7439-97-6)
  8.  Isobutylparaben (CAS no. 4247-02-3)
  9.  Isopropylparaben (CAS no. 4191-73-5)
  10.  m-Phenylenediamine and its salts (CAS no. 108-45-2)
  11.  o-Phenylenediamine and its salts (CAS no. 95-54-5)
  12.  Thirteen specified per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their salts (the full list of banned PFAS is available here)

Under AB 496, beginning January 1, 2027, cosmetic products containing the following twenty-six additional intentionally added ingredients may no longer be sold within the state of California:

  1.  Lily aldehyde (CAS no. 80-54-6)
  2.  Acetaldehyde (CAS no. 75-07-0)
  3.  Cyclohexylamine (CAS no. 108-91-8)
  4.  Cyclotetrasiloxane (CAS no. 556-67-2)
  5.  Phytonadione (CAS no. 84-80-0)
  6.  Sodium perborate (CAS no. 15120-21-5)
  7.  Styrene (CAS no. 100-42-5)
  8.  Trichloroacetic acid (CAS no. 76-03-9)
  9.  Tricresyl phosphate (CAS no. 1330-78-5)
  10.  Vinyl acetate (CAS no. 108-05-4)
  11.  2-Chloracetamide (CAS no. 79-07-2)
  12.  Allyl isothiocyanate (CAS no. 57-06-7)
  13.  Anthraquinone (CAS no. 84-65-1)
  14.  Malachite green (CAS no. 569-64-2)
  15.  Oil from the seeds of Laurus nobilis L. (CAS no. 84603-73-6)
  16.  Pyrogallol (CAS no. 87-66-1)
  17.  C.I. disperse blue 1 (CAS no. 2475-45-8)
  18.  Trisodium nitrilotriacetate (CAS no. 5064-31-3)
  19.  Sixteen boron substances, such as perboric acids, boric acid, and borates (the full list of banned boron substances is available here)
  20.  C.I. disperse blue 3 (CAS no. 2475-46-9)
  21.  Basic green 1 (CAS no. 633-03-4)
  22.  Basic blue 7 (CAS no. 2390-60-5)
  23.  3(or5)-((4-(benzylmethylamino)phenyl)azo)-1,2 -(or1,4)-dimethyl-1H-1,2,4-triazolium and its salts (CAS nos. 89959-98-8 and 12221-69-1)
  24.  Basic violet 4 (CAS no. 2390-59-2)
  25.  Basic blue 3 (CAS no. 33203-82-6)
  26.  Basic blue 9 (CAS no. 61-73-4)

The new California law is part of a growing trend in the United States whereby individual states are pursuing state-level legislation regarding the use of certain ingredients in cosmetic products. While this state regulation varies widely, many states follow California’s (or the European Union’s) lead with respect to the ingredients that are prohibited. If you have any questions about California’s 2020 Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act or any other existing or pending cosmetics state legislation, please feel free to contact Partners Cynthia Lieberman ( and Sophie Castillo ( or your existing contact at Keller and Heckman LLP.