HIST Seth Rasmussen  Tuesday, March 23, 2010 

18 - Not safe
yet: History of anti-aging cosmetics and development of FDA regulations on cosmetics


Natasa Taseski, tasesna@stu.lemoyne.edu, Department of Chemistry, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY 13214, United States

Cosmetics
have been used for thousands of years to enhance one's appearance. As cosmetics
developed there were no regulation agencies to control what chemicals went into
products and assess the health implications of cosmetics. With the appearance
of more toxic products some users ended up experiencing the negative side
effects, as was the case with the infamous “lash lure.” As a result of numerous
reported cases of physical damage caused by cosmetics such as blindness,
physical deformities and even death, in 1936, the FDA took on responsibility for
regulating cosmetics and ensuring the safety of products in the marketplace.
Although the FDA regulates labeling of cosmetics and certain dyes that go into
cosmetics, the scope of their authority is far too minute to provide sufficient
safety for the consumer. In the search for youthful beauty, anti-aging
cosmetics emerged and are currently a big percentage of the cosmetic market
these days. However, due to lack of
regulations by the FDA, many of these anti-aging products contain unregulated
quantities of alpha and beta hydroxy acids which have proven to alter the
health of one's skin. The journey the FDA has taken to incorporating cosmetics
in the FDA regulations has only begun. Informing the public in a language that
would make sense to them is crucial but not enough; because perceptions of
certain words such as “natural” and “pure” influence consumers to think a
product is safe, FDA's labeling guidelines are and can be bypassed through
strategic labeling. Through an examination of anti-aging products over the
scope of the past two centuries the need for FDA regulations over contents of
cosmeceuticals will be explored.


Monday, March 22, 2010 08:00 PM
Sci-Mix (08:00 PM - 10:00 PM)
Location: The Moscone Center
Room: Hall D


Tuesday, March 23, 2010 09:00 AM
General Papers (08:55 AM - 11:45 AM)
Location: The Moscone Center
Room: Room 200 East

 

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