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Where did my favorite pink nail polish go?

Wow, this commercial REALLY creeps me out.

If you watch it without the sound it looks just like the opening to one of those late ’60′s Jack the Ripper proto-slasher flicks. You know the ones…

Defenseless girl hangs out on the dimly lit water front.

The cloaked villain sneaks up on her from behind.

He grabs for her.

She spins around.

He twirls his mustache.

She breaks free and brandishes her pink talons, apparently startling him for a moment.

She smiles coyly and the chase beings anew.

This is supposed to sell nail polish? (Maybe for self defense?)

Believe it or not, there is a beauty science angle to this rant. It can be difficult to recreate these nail colors from the past (especially pink ones) because some red colors have been banned.

Cosmetic colorants are highly regulated

That’s right, I said banned. Many people have the impression that the cosmetics biz is the Wild West where anyone can put anything in any product. Actually that’s not true. Colorants, in particular, are highly regulated. On several occasions, when the research shows there’s is a problem, specific colorants have been prohibited from cosmetics. For some reason those red shades seem particularly pesky. And that means that you may have a favorite red or pink shade that’s no longer available.

For the anal retentive members of our audience, I present to you the list of red colorants banned from cosmetics:

In food, drug and cosmetics

FD&C Red #1 – Removed from list – 81.10(c), 81.30(b)(1)
FD&C Red #2 – Removed from list – 81.10(f), Feb. 13, 1976 – 81.30(j)
FD&C Red #3 – All lakes, all cosmetics, and external drugs removed from list – 81.10(u), Feb. 1, 1990 – 81.30(u). Use of FD&C Red #3, but not its lakes, in food and ingested drugs is allowed.
FD&C Red #4 – Food, ingested drugs, and ingested cosmetics removed from list. Use in externally applied drugs and cosmetics is allowed – 81.10(d), Sep. 23, 1976 – 81.30(c).

In drug and cosmetics only
D&C Red #5 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
D&C Red #8 – Removed from list Jan. 6, 1987 – 81.10(t), 81.30(s)(1); July 15, 1988 – 81.30(s)(3)
D&C Red #9 – Removed from list Jan. 6, 1987 – 81.10(t), 81.30(s)(1); July 15, 1988 – 81.30(s)(3)
D&C Red #10 – Removed from list Dec. 13, 1977 – 81.10(h), 81.30(k)
D&C Red #11 – Removed from list Dec. 13, 1977 – 81.10(h), 81.30(k)
D&C Red #12 – Removed from list Dec. 13, 1977 – 81.10(h), 81.30(k)
D&C Red #13 – Removed from list Dec. 13, 1977 – 81.10(h), 81.30(k)
D&C Red #14 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
D&C Red #18 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
D&C Red #19 – Removed from list Feb. 4, 1983 – 81.10(q)(1)
D&C Red #24 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
D&C Red #29 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
D&C Red #35 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
D&C Red #37 – Removed from list Feb 4, 1983 and June 6, 1986 – 81.10(q)
D&C Red #38 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)

In External drug and cosmetic only
Ext. D&C Red #11 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
Ext. D&C Red #13 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
Ext. D&C Red #14 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
Ext. D&C Red #15 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
Ext. D&C Red #1 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
Ext. D&C Red #2 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
Ext. D&C Red #3 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)
Ext. D&C Red #8 – Jul. 1, 1968 – 81.30(e)
Ext. D&C Red #10 – Sep. 4, 1966 – 81.30(d)

Reference: http://www.fda.gov/forindustry/coloradditives/coloradditiveinventories/ucm106626.htm

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Christina June 6, 2014, 7:38 am

    Wow..this commercial makes me want to double check that I locked the deadbolt!

    I love your angle to segway into the list of banned dyes in cosmetics.

    I get clients that have severe tearing from some shades of eyeshadow (purple eyeshadow basically makes them look like they have been watching hallmark commercials all day) and I have always suggested we back off the red dye.

    When I am looking at the ingredients, what red dyes are the most irritating that are allowed on the market still today?

  • Randy Schueller June 6, 2014, 8:20 am

    That’s a great question but I’ve never seen any data comparing the eye irritation potential of colorants. When these things get banned it’s not because of irritation but more serious problems like carcinogenicity.

    PS Every time I see a Hallmark commercial I have to reach for a fresh box of tissues.

  • Christina June 6, 2014, 8:42 am

    ..or a Folger’s commercial!

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