Japan’s budding fashion rental services proving popular with working women, moms

Satoshi Amanuma recalls his wife standing in front of her closet full of clothes before they went out, muttering she had nothing to wear.

“She had many more clothes than I had,” Amanuma said. “Then I realized most of them looked quite similar.”

 

Amanuma realized that, like his wife, many working women and mothers with young children don’t have much spare time to shop for themselves or keep up with new looks, so they end up choosing the same styles.

That is when Amanuma came up with the idea of a business renting out women’s wear. And Aircloset Inc. was born.

As sharing services like Airbnb and Uber set up shop in Japan, the fashion industry followed suit, offering people the option of renting clothes instead of buying them.

Aircloset is one such company, renting out everyday clothes for women for ¥9,800 a month.

“I want to offer people, especially busy women who don’t have spare time, to buy clothes, more opportunities to encounter new clothes and apparel brands, and to enjoy fashion more,” said Amanuma, CEO and founder of Aircloset.

The company rents out three articles of clothing that its fashion stylists selected based on customers’ registered preferences. Subscribers can hold onto the pieces as long as they wish or send back the styles they don’t want for an exchange. Users don’t have to wash the returned clothes because dry cleaning and delivery charges are included in the fee.

Fashion rentals used to be mainly for special events, such as wedding parties and graduation ceremonies. But in recent years, new services like Aircloset have popped up, changing people’s perception of daily wear — rent rather than own.

And they are steadily attracting customers.

Aircloset’s registered members now number about 120,000, up from 25,000 in January 2015, a month before service’s official launch, according to Amanuma. Members are in their mid-30s on average.

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As the customer base grew, Aircloset expanded its apparel brands to 300 from 80 in 2015, he said.

Hundreds of returned clothes are inspected at its distribution center in Kanagawa Prefecture before they are dry-cleaned at seven factories located nearby. The cleaned clothes are then rechecked before being stored, and made available to be rented out again.

Each item is tagged with a barcode to track how long and how many times it had been rented. The information is used for pricing if customers wish to buy their favorite rental pieces.

Toshihiro Nagahama, a chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc., said the domestic fashion-sharing market has huge potential to expand along with other sharing services.

During Japan’s bubble economy in the 1980s, luxury brand apparel was seen as a status symbol for the rich, Nagahama said. But that mindset has changed in past decades as people grow less inclined to spend money to own not only luxury brands but also other products, including cars, he said.

“Fashion rental makes sense for such people. If you don’t have a desire to own things, it’s cheaper and more efficient to rent a wardrobe to update your fashion,” Nagahama said. “The fashion rental market will grow.”

Tokyo-based market research firm Yano Research Institute predicts the entire market size of the domestic sharing industry, including fashion, will expand to ¥60 billion in fiscal 2020, up from ¥28.5 billion in fiscal 2015.

Such expansion of new rental services, however, could deal a heavy blow to already ailing traditional retailers, Nagahama said. Apparel retailers need to think of ways to adjust their business to the changing landscape of the industry, he said.

Rental services for daily outfits are not the only robust business in the industry. A luxury bags rental service is also flourishing, as more people find that they enjoy borrowing and switching up designer bags rather than spending thousands of yen to own.

Laxus Technologies Inc. launched an app for renting out top-brand luxury bags — such as Chanel, Fendi and Hermes — for ¥6,800 a month. Like Aircloset, customers can change bags as often as they want.

Since its launch in 2015, the number of members has grown steadily to 13,000, according to Kei Babazoe, vice president at Laxus.

To increase its current stock of 18,000 bags from 52 brands to keep up with the growing demand, the firm recently started calling on luxury bag owners to send bags that are just gathering dust in their closets. Laxus will clean and mend those collected bags and store them in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room for free. If those bags are rented out, the lenders will get ¥2,000 a month.

Seeing growing potential in rental services, apparel maker Stripe International Inc. launched an app named Mechakari in September 2015, to rent out its own private brands for ¥5,800 a month.

Similar to Aircloset, Mechakari users can rent three articles of clothes of their choice and return them when they want to receive a new batch. But unlike many other fashion rental services, Mechakari rents unused brand new clothes.

Returned clothes are dry-cleaned and those that pass its screening will be sold on its online shop as used clothes.

Masaki Sawada, head of Mechakari department at Stripe International, said they launched the service partly to expand the apparel business.

“Apparel, in general, is about making and selling clothes. And that’s it. But if you look at automakers, like Toyota, they not only make and sell new cars but also maintain, rent out and sell cars,” Sawada said. “We want to make the fashion business like that.”

Noting young people are becoming less interested in purchasing clothes these days, Sawada said, so Mechakari wants them to get into the new rental service.

“In order to attract young people, we need to increase the number of users,” and make renting clothes a part of daily life, Sawada said. “We want fashion rentals to take firm root in society, and to become part of our culture.”

Source:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/18/business/japans-budding-fashion-rental-services-proving-popular-working-women-moms/#.WZwaDxXyvcs

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Let Zendaya Teach You How to Create Her Go-to No-Makeup Makeup Look

The 20-year-old actress and Covergirl face recently launched an app offering a behind-the-scenes look at her life, which includes the inside track on her red carpet makeup skills. That’s right: She’s creating the video tutorials that we’ve all been waiting for. Her latest? A quick, easy no-makeup makeup look that you can do on the go.

After applying lotion on clean skin, the star applies concealer on “acne scarring” on her chin, under her eyes and any other areas that need coverage. Then, she swipes translucent powder all over, “that way it won’t smudge all over the place.”

 

Next, she applies a shimmery bronzer on her cheekbones and temples to add “a little definition, a little highlight, all at the same time.” And for a dewy look, she applies a cream blush on the apples of her cheeks.

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Instead of eye shadow, the star applies bronzer on her lids using her finger, in order to define her eyes without a made-up look. She then applies Covergirl’s Super Sizer Fiber mascara on her lashes, and defines her brows with an angled brush and a taupe brown brow shade.

But it wouldn’t be a true Zendaya look without a gorgeous glow. She dabs highlighter — which she explains can be as simple as Aquaphor or any shiny balm — on the high points of her cheekbones, and layers a powder highlighter on top to create a glow.

And last but not least, she applies one of her favorite products: clear lip gloss. “Let me tell you something about clear gloss,” she says. “Clear gloss is underrated, under appreciated, it is a wonderful, wonderful tool and it makes all lips look amazing.”

 

“That is how you look poppin’ and fierce with minimal products, minimal utensils, and quickly.”

Source:

Let Zendaya Teach You How to Create Her Go-to No-Makeup Makeup Look

How to Become a Beauty Influencer

Valerie Star is a celebrity beauty expert and the beauty director at Caravan Stylist Studio. With almost 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, specializing in makeup artistry, hair styling and nail artistry, Star has become a highly sought after beauty ambassador, educator and speaker for a range of beauty brands and publications. Star has had the opportunity to work with an ever growing and extensive list of talent, brands and social influencers. 

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At Caravan Stylist Studio, Star bridges the gap between the sponsored beauty brands and social influencers, talent and beauty and fashion editors with a unique and organic approach to product introduction. Everyone that comes to the studio has a beauty experience that is tailored especially for his or her beauty needs and concerns, while utilizing and incorporating all of the sponsored beauty brands into each visit. This allows the sponsored beauty brands to know that the right products and brands philosophy are reaching their target influencers in a fun and memorable way.

In this video, Star shares her business insight with Entrepreneur Network partner Jessica Abo. To learn more about Caravan Stylist Studio’s founder, Claudine DeSola, click here.

Source:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/296613

Natural Tips and Tricks to Get Shiny and Healthier Nails

Nails are probably one of the most neglected part of our health and body care rituals. But did you know that like the rest of the body our nails too reflect our inner health? Therefore, it is essential that we look after them to keep them strong and healthy. If your nails are thin and constantly breaking, this may indicate inadequate intake vitamins, minerals and protein as well as insufficient nail care. Pale nails can also be an indication of anemia while if a blueish tinge that appears on your nails it can point to inefficient blood circulation and not enough oxygen in your blood. Hence, it is important to look for these essential cues. Here are some natural ways to keep your nails healthy.

How to keep them healthy and shiny?

Ishika Taneja, Executive Director Alps Group, and Ragini Mehra, founder, Beauty Source, warn that continuous applications of nail polish make nails go dull. Rub lemon at least thrice in a week to get rid of yellowness. They also suggest massaging nails every alternative day for about three to five minutes with olive or coconut oil to add moisture to them.
 

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Natural remedies for dry and brittle nails

Beauty expert Suparna Trikha suggests a handful of remedies:

1.Warm 250ml of olive oil or castor oil, add half a cup of sage leaves and heat this mixture for 5 minutes. Let it stand for a while until cool, and then strain it. Rub it frequently into your nails.

2.Another effective remedy that can infuse life back into your nails, could be beating together 125 ml honey, 1 egg yolk, 125 ml avocado oil or castor oil and 2ml sea salt store it in top jar in a refrigerator. Rub into the nails daily, and leave it on for half an hour before washing.

3.Papaya contains enzymes that soften the protein tissue and are good for the cuticles. Mash papaya and add lemon juice and 1tsp vodka or vinegar. Soak your nails in this mixture for at least 20 minutes and massage into the skin regularly.

Nail-friendly Diet

It is time you start taking your diet seriously not only for your weight regulation or for good skin, but also for the impact it has on your nails. An intake of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C, D and E can work wonders for healthy and shiny nails. Vitamin D is known to cure nail ridges while folic acid and Vitamin C is effective for split nails. Heath Practitioner and Macrobiotic Nutritionist Shilpa Arora ND says, “Bone broth is an exceptional food for healthy nails. It helps boost pure collagen production and is full of minerals like zinc, sulphur, selenium and magnesium. Add sulphur rich veggies like onion, cabbage and broccoli to up the nutrients. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta says, “A diet rich in protein and keratin, like meat and eggs, is essential for good nail health. Minerals like magnesium and zinc which you can get in whole grain cereals and beans could also prove effective.”

Source:

http://www.ndtv.com/food/natural-tips-and-tricks-to-get-shiny-and-healthier-nails-1738149

Asos adds search-by-photo to its fashion ecommerce app

Computer vision continues to find its way into all sorts of apps as the underlying tech powering convenience-oriented image searches. Latest — and it must be said late — to the party is fashion ecommerce player Asos, which has just added a visual search feature to its iOS app.

The update lets iOS users snap a photo of a garment or fashion accessory with their device camera or pull in an existing outfit shot or Instagram screengrab (say) from their camera roll and have the app show clothes items that are at least in the general fashion ballpark of whatever it is they’re trying to find.

Asos says the visual search will be rolled out to their Android app “soon”.

The company says 80 per cent of UK traffic for ASOS comes from a mobile device, as do almost 70 per cent of UK orders — with consumers spending 80 minutes per month on average in the app.

We tested the feature on a few items of clothing and it worked reasonably well. It’s not necessarily going to find a perfect match — not least because there are only 85,000 searchable products in Asos’ index — but when not matching quite right for form, it was at least pulling in similar sorts of patterns. So you end up with the same sort of fashion feel at least.

Given the specific ecommerce use-case here, where Asos’ aim is to drive sales of its stock by greasing the clothes discovery pipeline (being as text searches are pretty tedious, especially so on smaller screen devices), you’d expect a bit of wiggle room in the search results — exactly to encourage a bit of serendipity in the shopping experience.

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The UK-based company is a long-time player in the ecommerce space, having launched on the web in 2000 — so it’s by no means pioneering visual search tech here (nor is it building the underlying tech itself, but says it’s partnered with an unnamed startup to deliver the visual search).

Over the last five (or so) years there have been a large number of startups attempting to build fast and convenient visual search engines, often specifically for fashion, including the likes of ASAP54, Craves, Donde Fashion, Slyce and Snap Fashion, to name a few.

Tech platforms have also recently started paying more attention to visual search too, spying potential to combine the vast quantity of visual data they hold with recent developments in deep learning/AI technology that is helping realize the potential of computer vision.

For example, Pinterest has launched a camera-based search feature that turns a real-world object (e.g. an avocado) into a series of Pinterest results (e.g. recipes for avocado). eBay also has its own ecommerce-focused image search in the works, due for launch this fall.

While at its developer conference earlier this year, Google announced Google Lens — demonstrating how it intends to bake awareness into mobile cameras, by applying computer vision smarts so the software will be able to understand what the lens is being pointed at.

Source:

Asos adds search-by-photo to its fashion ecommerce app

Madison fashion startup pitches its artificial intelligence software to retailers

One year ago, the Madison startup Markable rolled out its signature product: an app that could take photos of dresses, shirts, handbags or heels and tell you where to buy the clothes in the picture.

Today, that initial game plan has been scrapped. Instead of using its sophisticated artificial intelligence for a consumer fashion app, Markable is now selling its technology to online fashion retailers.

“People don’t like to download apps anymore,” said Joy Tang, Markable’s CEO. “Their phone is so full of apps already.”

 

The original Markable app was a one-stop shop for fashionistas. A consumer could upload a photo of a clutch handbag, or a model with a snazzy ensemble, and the app would identify the products in the image and highlight similar clothes available for purchase on retail websites.

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That app is now gone. Starting this month, Markable’s tech will be found on the website AKIRA, a Midwestern fashion line based in Chicago. When visitors search AKIRA’s inventory, they’ll have a “camera search” option, where they can upload an image of a piece of clothing they like and find similar items to shop through in return.

Then, there’s what Tang calls the “reverse-engineered” version of the Markable technology. When a visitor clicks on a piece of clothing on AKIRA’s shop, they’ll be able to see if it has ever been modeled by a celebrity or fashion blogger. Click on a shirt, and you may see a photo of when that same shirt was previously worn by Taylor Swift. Shoppers then have the option of “completing the look” by buying the rest of T-Swift’s ensemble.

Markable also offers “visual search engine optimization” to retailers. In other words, the software automatically creates descriptions for clothing that will make the items more likely to pop up during a Google search.

AKIRA is just the beginning, said Tang. Markable is currently in talks with five other retailers. The goal, she said, is to become the industry standard for online fashion shopping.

 

The software Markable has developed is no small feat: When it comes to image recognition technology, clothes are among the toughest things for computers to parse. Fabric can be twisted or contorted into all kinds of shapes or patterns, making it difficult for AI to figure out the patterns.

Tang said that makes fashion one of the next frontiers for image recognition technology.

 

“If you can do fashion, you can do anything else,” she said.

Tang said that the company’s algorithms have come a long way in the past year, especially since they added more computer scientists to their team to enhance the software’s capabilities.

“When we launched the app last time, we didn’t have our four PhD scientists,” said Tang. “The results were not that amazing.”

Source:

http://host.madison.com/ct/business/technology/madison-fashion-startup-pitches-its-artificial-intelligence-software-to-retailers/article_5814c565-14ac-57b2-913e-0d9b58ddade4.html

Pat McGrath’s New ‘Unlimited’ Makeup Collection is Fall’s First Mandatory Beauty Binge

After more than two years of maintaining statecraft levels of secrecy, Pat McGrathsteps into a glass conference room in her Manhattan studio and snaps the curtains closed, fussing over the gossamer fabric to make sure her staff can’t peek inside. “No one has seen this yet,” she says giddily, unloading a series of tubes and compacts from a bejeweled Prada sac—a gift from Miuccia—onto two velvet-lined trays. It is an early morning in late May, a few days before the influential makeup artist will accept the Founder’s Award at the CFDA Awards, and a few weeks before she will fly to Paris to create a holographic crimson lip for Maison Margiela, a highlight of the fall couture calendar. Today’s reveal marks another milestone for McGrath, one that is particularly special to her: After 25 years in the industry, and six limited-run launches from her brand, Pat McGrath Labs, “Mother”—as she is commonly known in the fashion community—is ready to reveal her first core collection of color cosmetics. “It’s major,” she whispers.

Whether McGrath—who is regularly summoned by Donatella Versace, John Galliano, and brands like Alexander McQueen and Valentino—would launch a full line was never a matter of if, but when. Following years of developing for other people, the self-proclaimed “ultimate makeup junkie” struck out on her own in 2015, flash-selling one-off creations produced by a group of handpicked international cosmetics factories. The wildly popular glitter-lip kits and metallic-eye foils nodded to McGrath’s “hoards” of samples and vintage compacts that are cataloged in a vaultlike space downtown. “But these products represent the crown jewels of my archive,” she says of the three shadow palettes, 40 lipsticks, five eye pencils, eleven lip pencils, “and one magnificent mascara” that round out the new range. (McGrath is mum on whether foundation and other skin-perfecters are in the works, emphasizing that, for now, she is focused on “resetting the rules of how color can be worn.”)

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Labs and its frenzy-inducing, digital-only deals will continue to “push the limits of what makeup is about,” McGrath insists. But the core collection, which hits patmcgrath.com at midnight on September 16th and Sephora counters, where it will be available exclusively, in early October, manages to more formally harness the drama, fantasy, and personal touch that are McGrath hallmarks: a thumbprint of her new, perfectly pitched shimmering lilac shadow with the give of velvet and the texture of silk, pressed daintily onto model Yasmin Wijnaldum’s lids at Peter Dundas’s resort debut this summer; an unbelievable powder-laced lipstick that models were demanding backstage at Prada’s resort show, where McGrath workshopped samples of the impossibly matte, yet ultra-creamy cherry-colored pigment. “I drove myself and my team mad in pursuit of a level of excellence on a timeline that no beauty conglomerate could ever allow,” she says of these exacting details, honed over decades of on-set experience—and a lot of arm-swatching.

“Her makeup is more of an art form,” says Slick Woods of what makes McGrath’s products so cultish. The model’s career skyrocketed last year after she joined the small army of McGrath’s muses, who are often scouted via Instagram, a platform she has leveraged to foster real-world collaboration better than most; beyond a mere #regram, McGrath has recruited members of her team through liked posts, and found “terrifically talented” artists to illustrate her custom packaging. That kind of democratizing spirit is deeply resonant. “That’s why I respect Pat’s work the most,” Woods adds.

Source:

http://www.vogue.com/article/pat-mcgrath-labs-makeup-unlimited-edition-mothership-eye-palettes-pencils-lipsticks

This Is the Makeup Secret to Banishing Under Eye Circles, According to a Plastic Surgeon

Over 114 million American people bought concealer last year, according to Statista.com, mostly to cover facial imperfections including those dark circles under tired-looking eyes. (Maybe they just didn’t know these doctor-approved sleep tips for a good night’s rest.) Even plastic surgeons have noticed a major uptick in the number of patients requesting both surgical and non-surgical long term treatments for tired eyes.

John Paul Tutela, MD is a celebrity plastic surgeon with offices in New York and New Jersey who has noticed the increase in demand for under eye fillers (the same lip plumping products celebrities use to make their lips bigger and poutier), saying he has at least five new patients a week requesting the off-label procedure. Under eye fillers, while great, don’t come cheap or easy though—patients need to be open to having needles inject their upper cheek areas around once a year, and the procedure starts at $750 in Dr. Tutela’s office. It’s this reason that Dr. Tutela advises his patients to use what he calls a “secret makeup hack” to disguise the look of sunken, aging, and tired eyes either between injections or instead of them.

“A lot of what fillers accomplish is changing the contour of you face so shadows don’t fall in areas that make you look aged, like the tear trough which is right under your eye,” he explains. “By concealing dark circles it accomplishes a lot of the same look that is achieved with fillers.” The trick, he says, is using the concept of contouring beneath your eyes. This is definitely going to change the Instagram landscape, and you can add it to your list of concealer tricks every woman needs to know.

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“As we age and we lose volume in our face, our lower eyelids also loosens and fat from behind our eye starts to bulge out. The combination of this extra bulk (a mountain) immediately adjacent to the loss of volume in our tear trough just beneath this (a valley) creates a contrast that becomes very recognizable as an ‘always tired’ look,” he says.

How to Contour Under Your Eyes

BAIAJAK/SHUTTERSTOCKHe suggests patients swap their single shade of concealer for two separate shades, one that’s slightly lighter than the rest of the face, and one that’s the same color as the cheeks. He suggests using the darker shade closest to the under eye on the “bulge” area to effectively shrink the visible surface area of the bulge, while using the lighter color to conceal the lower area of the under eye.

“It’s basically creating an optical illusion. The darker shade conceals the fatty bulge directly beneath the lower lash line that comes with aging and exhaustion, while the lighter shade draws attention downward and reflects more light. It’s the same concept as using a filler, but more temporary.”

Source:

http://www.rd.com/health/beauty/under-eye-circles-contouring/

Being a Woman in the Workplace Means Getting Pressured to Wear Makeup on the Job

This article is part of Pretty Pressure, a series exploring beauty labor: the idea that our beauty routines are work and should be considered as such. While beautifying can be a source of relaxation, bonding, and self-esteem, for others, it’s a chore — one which can take a real toll on us. Today’s installment of Pretty Pressure discusses the requirement for women to wear makeup in the workplace.

 

It’s clear that many women are pressured into wearing makeup at work. For some women, this pressure is explicit and comes from management, co-workers or customers. For example, Alex, 27, was working on the children’s floor of a popular clothing store when her manager told her that she “hoped she could start wearing makeup”.

Alex was stunned – she had also consistently hit her sales goals and never received a customer complaint, plus she always dressed in the clothing sold in store, as required, and wore her hair pulled back in a tidy ponytail. She was confused when her manager said people “wouldn’t want to ask her for fashion advice if they weren’t convinced by how she looked” because she was stationed on the children’s floor. She was also earning minimum wage and became concerned about how she was going to afford the “eyeliner, mascara, foundation, blush and lip gloss” that her manager suggested she start with.

Makeup is a significant cost for women, especially those on the lower end of the earning scale. A survey by SkinStore found that women walk around with an average of $8 worth of makeup and skincare products on their faces per day, which works out to a whopping $300,000 during their lifetimes. This means that, for women who are earning minimum wage, more than an hour of the work day simply covers the cost of looking acceptable enough to be there in the first place — according to our strictly gendered beauty standards, of course.

Beauty At The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2016

After the winter season at the clothing store was over, Alex was told her contract wouldn’t be renewed. “I had a feeling I wouldn’t be asked to stay on,” she said. “My manager came over and asked if he could talk with me on a walk around the mall, and I said okay. He told me that they wouldn’t be extending my contract. He said that I was a great employee and that I could definitely apply next summer, but that I’d have to dress better to represent the store and that I should consider this my ‘wake-up call’. Meanwhile, he’s wearing a T-shirt and jeans.”

“When it happened, I felt like a mixture of the embodiment of the eye-roll emoji and resignation,” she said. “Like, well this was inevitable and here it is.”

Women who work in service roles are particularly susceptible to the pressure to wear makeup — sometimes this takes the form of unofficial requests by managers, hedged as “looking presentable” or “representing the company”. For example, Victoria, 32, was working as a concierge at a luxury apartment building where she was given a copy of the company dress code, which did not mention hair or makeup. However, the women in the office started to receive group texts from their manager telling them they needed a more “polished” appearance.

Source:

https://www.allure.com/story/women-pressured-to-wear-makeup-at-work-as-a-double-standard

For Cosmetics, Let the Buyer Beware

When you wash your hair, clean or moisturize your skin, polish your nails, or put on makeup, deodorant or sunscreen, do you ever think about whether the product you’re using may do more harm than good?

Maybe you should. Thanks to a lack of federal regulations, the watchword for consumers of cosmetics and personal care products should be caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware.

To be sure, these products are not nearly as worrisome as drugs, which require extensive testing and premarket approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Still, disasters can and sometimes do occur from the use of cosmetics and personal care products, and the government is powerless to act until a slew of consumer complaints raise a red flag about a product.

In a recent editorial in JAMA Internal Medicine, Dr. Robert M. Califf, who served as F.D.A. chief under President Obama, noted, “The cosmetic industry remains largely self-regulated. History has repeatedly shown that when there is insufficient regulatory oversight, a few unscrupulous people or companies will exploit the vulnerable public for profit.”

Even when a hazard comes to light, a product can remain on the market for years until negotiations make their way through the legal system or the company decides to halt sales. (Although the F.D.A. finally banned antibacterial chemicals like triclosan from soaps, triclosan is still in toothpastes and other consumer products.)

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A current case is a classic example. The F.D.A. normally receives about 300 to 400 complaints a year about bad reactions to cosmetics and personal care products, all of which are sold over-the-counter without prior government scrutiny. When in 2013 the agency received 127 reports of adverse effects from a single line of hair-care products called WEN, it discovered that the manufacturer, Chaz Dean, Inc., had been sitting on more than 21,000 complaints of hair loss and scalp damage associated with the products’ use.

A class-action lawsuit filed by more than 200 women against the company and its infomercial producer Guthy-Renker was settled last year for $26.3 million. Yet the company claims that WEN hair care products are “totally safe” and continues to sell them.

Unlike drugs, cosmetics can be sold based solely on manufacturers’ tests (or no tests at all) and claims for effectiveness and safety. Even the ingredients don’t have to be filed with the government. (Only color additives require premarket approval.)

“The F.D.A. must wait for clues to accumulate from voluntary reports suggesting that a product may not be as completely safe as presumed,” Dr. Califf, a cardiologist, health policy expert and vice chancellor at Duke University School of Medicine, wrote.

Asked in an interview whether more can be done to protect the public, he said, “It’s highly unlikely in the current administration. There’s a tiny work force at the F.D.A. to deal with an enormous industry that’s currently self-policing. Voluntary reporting of adverse events linked to cosmetics and personal care products is a lot better than nothing, but it’s way inadequate for the job. There’s no legal requirement for manufacturers to forward reports of adverse events to the F.D.A.”

(Only manufacturers of drugs and medical devices are required to submit reports of hazards associated with their products to the federal agency.)

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines cosmetics as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body … for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.”

Source:

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