NSF’s Guideline 527: Bolstering Integrity in the Beauty and Personal Care Industry



NSF, a company with decades of experience in dietary supplement certification, has developed Guideline 527 to help bolster the integrity of the beauty and personal care industry. The guideline offers a comprehensive program that includes standardized definitions and criteria, label review, formulation requirements, ingredient identity, testing criteria, product purity and physical characterization, and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance with NSF/ANSI 455-3 and/or NSF/ANSI 455-4.

The aim of Guideline 527 is to mitigate risk, minimize liability, differentiate products from competitors, and improve trust among customers in the personal care industry. According to Edelman’s trust barometer, consumers consider trust a deal-breaker or deciding factor in purchase decisions, and transparency is more important than price for over 73% of consumers. Additionally, cosmetic product recalls have resulted in significant costs in paused operations and unspecified reputational costs.

Guideline 527 is based on global regulatory and testing criteria for personal care and cosmetics, and it provides a complete program to help ensure products are safe, effective, and meet consumer expectations. It includes standardized definitions and criteria for key terms, a label review process to prevent misleading or false advertising, formulation requirements and ingredient identity criteria to ensure product safety and effectiveness, testing criteria for product safety and efficacy, and criteria for product purity and physical characterization. Compliance with GMP to NSF/ANSI 455-3 and/or NSF/ANSI 455-4 is also required.

As consumers increasingly demand greater transparency and accountability from cosmetic and personal care brands, and the FDA prepares to enforce the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) at the end of 2023, it has become more important than ever for manufacturers and suppliers to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their products.

Guideline 527 is a solution that ensures that beauty and personal care products are safe, effective, and meet consumer expectations. The Contents & Claims Certified mark indicates to regulators, industry, and consumers that the cosmetic, soap, or OTC drug product has been found to be compliant with Guideline 527.


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