Tip & How-To about Health & Beauty

Tips and info on cosmetics industry

The cosmetic and personal care product industry can be called a multi-billion segment. Different and new products are entering into the market every day at a high speed. Manufacturers learn our emotions and they implement various strategies through advertising and promotions. They tell you their products will make you look more beautiful, younger, sexier and help you attract your perfect mate. They promise to erase blemishes, wrinkles, make your skin smoother and softer but are cosmetic safe enough? In fact, any flaws that you see in yourself, real or imagined, there is most likely a product on the market that promises to fix it.

Can you believe all the claims you read or hear about these products? Is there really truth in advertising? Where do you find the answers to these questions? How can you really be sure that a product will do what the manufacturer says it will? And most importantly, how do you know that the products are healthy and safe to use?

Here are some things for you to look out for when choosing products you're going to use on your skin:

•Magazine and other print ads are designed to make you buy something. They promise many things like a bright skin, a cheerful glow, purity, safe and effective products made with natural ingredients. They make the product sound so good for you that you just want to go out and buy it. But you still need more information.
•On radio and TV advertisements, you'll hear all the wonderful benefits. Manufacturers spend a lot of money trying to convince you to buy their products. Don't jump up and rush to the store after seeing or hearing one of their compelling ads. You may not be informed everything that you need to know.
•A celebrity endorsement is when companies pay celebrities a lot of money to endorse their products. They hope you'll think that because the celebs say wonderful things about their products, you'll want to use them too. Don't fall for this.
•Samples in the mail talks about what better way to get you to try their product than to give you a little bit to test on yourself? You get to experience first hand how the product smells, feels, lathers, absorbs, etc. Now while you may like how it smells, performs and the result you get, you still don't have enough information to assess the health and safety of the product.
•"Natural" on the label. This suggests that the product is made of ingredients from natural sources. However, there are no industry standards for what "natural" means. The product may contain all natural ingredients, just a few natural ingredients added to a synthetic product or no natural ingredients at all.
•Hypoallergenic this doesn't mean the product won't cause allergic reactions. There are no terms defining hypoallergenic. It just means the manufacturer believes it's less likely to cause allergic reactions. In many cases, it's not even tested; only fragrances are removed.
•The ingredients list is the most important piece of information that you absolutely must read before you buy any product. The ingredient list is where you find out if the product really contains safe and healthy ingredients or not. This is not what the manufacturers want you to read on their labels. That's why they make it so tiny you need a magnifying glass to read it.
•Because of increased consumer awareness of the ingredients in skin care products, companies will list only the known herbal and healthy ingredients on their website or in their advertisements. If you don't read carefully, you may think that what they list is the complete list of ingredients in the product that is until you buy the product and read the full list of ingredients on the label. Beware of this deceptive practice.

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1 Answer

What voluntary steps are cosmetic manufacturers taking to provide cosmetic safety and protect consumers?


Consumer safety is the number one priority for cosmetic and personal care products companies, and manufacturers are committed to upholding strict FDA regulations as required by the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The law requires that every cosmetic and personal care product and its ingredients be substantiated for safety before going to market, and that they contain no prohibited ingredients. Cosmetic companies take their safety responsibility very seriously and often surpass the requirements of the law with additional consumer safety measures.

Consumers must have confidence in the products they buy and use each day. Toward that end, cosmetic and personal care products companies invest substantial resources in scientific research and safety processes to ensure the safety of their products. Companies work with and employ thousands of chemists, toxicologists, biologists, environmental scientists and other experts to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products before they go to market.

As a result, of the more than 11 billion personal care products sold each year in the United States, there are very few adverse experiences reported to the FDA in a typical year, and of those reported, most are related to rashes or allergies. Cosmetic companies' strong commitment to safety has made cosmetic and personal care products the safest product category regulated by the FDA.

Nov 22, 2010 | Health & Beauty

1 Answer

Is the safety of a cosmetic product evaluated once it hits the market?


Cosmetic safety reassurance does not end once a product is placed in the marketplace. Companies engage in ongoing, active monitoring of consumer experience to confirm cosmetic product safety.

Cosmetic and personal care product manufacturers have established post-market surveillance processes for the identification of potential safety issues related to their products. Such systems help to identify consumer use patterns, such as alternate uses or product combinations that may contribute to adverse events. These processes include regular surveys of consumer contacts received by a marketer or manufacturer either through toll-free 1-800 numbers on packages or direct correspondence.

Trend analyses of contact data, including evaluations of frequency and severity of adverse events, as well as comparison of these trends with historical information for other comparable products, also represent valuable mechanisms for identification of safety-related concerns. Although adverse reactions that are both serious and unexpected are extremely rare for cosmetic and personal care products, manufacturers must report knowledge of any instances of serious product reactions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Nov 22, 2010 | Health & Beauty

1 Answer

What actions can the FDA take against manufacturers that produce and market unsafe cosmetics?


Consumer safety is the number one priority for cosmetic and personal care products companies, and manufacturers are committed to upholding strict FDA regulations as required by the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The law requires that every cosmetic and personal care product and its ingredients be substantiated for safety before going to market, and that they contain no prohibited ingredients. Cosmetic companies take their safety responsibility very seriously and often surpass the requirements of the law with additional consumer safety measures.

Consumers must have confidence in the products they buy and use each day. Toward that end, cosmetic and personal care products companies invest substantial resources in scientific research and safety processes to ensure the safety of their products. Companies work with and employ thousands of chemists, toxicologists, biologists, environmental scientists and other experts to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products before they go to market.

As a result, of the more than 11 billion personal care products sold each year in the United States, there are very few adverse experiences reported to the FDA in a typical year, and of those reported, most are related to rashes or allergies. Cosmetic companies' strong commitment to safety has made cosmetic and personal care products the safest product category regulated by the FDA.

Nov 22, 2010 | Health & Beauty

2 Answers

Doesn’t the government certify that personal care products are safe and healthy before they can be sold to consumers?


No. Major loopholes in federal law allow the $50 billion cosmetics industry to put unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing, no required monitoring of health effects, and inadequate labeling requirements.

Neither cosmetic products nor cosmetic ingredients are reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they are sold to the public. FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing of their cosmetic products before marketing

Nov 22, 2010 | Health & Beauty

1 Answer

How are the FDA and cosmetics manufacturers working together to ensure consumer safety?


Consumer safety is the number one priority for cosmetic and personal care products companies, and manufacturers are committed to upholding strict FDA regulations as required by the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The law requires that every cosmetic and personal care product and its ingredients be substantiated for safety before going to market, and that they contain no prohibited ingredients. Cosmetic companies take their safety responsibility very seriously and often surpass the requirements of the law with additional consumer safety measures.

Consumers must have confidence in the products they buy and use each day. Toward that end, cosmetic and personal care products companies invest substantial resources in scientific research and safety processes to ensure the safety of their products. Companies work with and employ thousands of chemists, toxicologists, biologists, environmental scientists and other experts to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products before they go to market.
As a result, of the more than 11 billion personal care products sold each year in the United States, there are very few adverse experiences reported to the FDA in a typical year, and of those reported, most are related to rashes or allergies. Cosmetic companies' strong commitment to safety has made cosmetic and personal care products the safest product category regulated by the FDA.

Nov 22, 2010 | Health & Beauty

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