Monday, 13 September 2010
CASE 080 - The cosmetic industry
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and gels, deodorants, baby products, bath oils, bubble baths, bath salts, butters and many other types of products. A subset of cosmetics is called "make-up," which refers primarily to colored products intended to alter the user’s appearance. Many manufacturers distinguish between decorative cosmetics and care cosmetics.
The manufacture of cosmetics is currently dominated by a small number of multinational corporations that originated in the early 20th century, but the distribution and sale of cosmetics is spread among a wide range of different businesses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates cosmetics in the United States defines cosmetics as: "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions." This broad definition includes, as well, any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product. The FDA specifically excludes soap from this category. Many companies over the years have been accused and exposed as testing on animals and chemicals harmful to humans.