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A look at all things legal in beauty with Aliza Karetnick, Partner at Ballard Spahr LLP

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics Design recently sat down with Aliza Karetnick, an attorney who specializes in cosmetics, personal care, and fragrance, to discuss legal concerns facing beauty makers, suppliers, and retailers today. During our conversation, Karetnick shares insight into FTC and FDA compliance, natural and organic claims, IP protection, influencer marketing and more.

Aliza Karetnick, is a Partner at Philadelphia-based law firm of Ballard Spahr LLP. She works as outside general counsel with manufactures and brands—both indie and conventional—on an array of legal issues. In conversation here with Cosmetics Design editor Deanna Utroske, Karetnick talks about the many of the most pressing litigation topics facing beauty makers today.

“The FDA: as we know, the Cosmetics Act has not changed in many, many years; let’s say decades….That leaves a lot of grey area,” ​notes Aliza Karetnick early on in the video interview above. And she goes on to explain the value of having an FDA expert review product labels and marketing material for any potential regulatory compliance issues before sending them to print.  

Karetnick later helps sort out “What’ claims can you make? And, How should you make them?”​ regarding natural and organic ingredients and product formulations, emphasizing that “because there is no firm guidepost, it is import for people to understand how naturals are viewed and what can be said about them.” ​She encourages beauty makers of every size (indie and multinational alike) to “really understanding the ingredients, the supply chain and how all of these things come together and from a product is very important; and how you then present it a consumer.”

And we go on to discuss how, that as beauty retail has become increasingly digital, “artificial intelligence (AI) has become paramount,”

“First and foremost,” ​says Karetnick, “companies need to think about, How do I protect my product? There is this added layer now with the ecommerce world….How is the mechanism by which these products are being sold also protectable?...These are all things that a company of any size should be speaking to a lawyer about protecting.”

“There’s another issue here, which I think is extremely important, which I think is extremely important and often overlooked,” ​says Karetnick. “All of the data that is being collected is very important; it’s also very sensitive. It literally relates to the privacy of their consumers.”

And finally, we discuss the legal nuances influencer marketing. “I really try to look at influencer marketing in the same way that I look at any marketing. If you are a company that engages influencers, you’re responsible for those influencers and their content to a certain degree.”

Learn more by watching the full video interview above, between Cosmetics Design and Aliza Karetnick, Partner at Ballard Spahr LLP.



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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