Lash Lure was made with a coloring agent, an aniline dye, what was used for tinting leather and clothes, a highly toxic substance, with a compound, paraphenylenediamine, which could cause irritation, ulceration and death. The product contained 30 times more amount of that compound than what was acceptable and safe for human skin.
After the above mentioned incidents, and other injuries suffered by other victims, eyelash dyes were banned in several states. The cosmetic industry experimented an important crisis with reduced sales and several cases of bankruptcy. Finally, in 1938, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act became law. Regulation of advertising was left in hands of the Federal Trade Commission, and labeling and new standards were controlled by the FDA.
1933's BIG SCANDAL: LASH LURE KILLING MASCARA
Advertisements of Lash Lure Eye Lash and Brow Dye were saying, in 1933, that their "new and improved mascara will give you a radiating personality, with a before and an after"... This last part was true: the "before" was the regular appearance, and the "after" was a horror film, a cosmetic disaster, with melted ocular globes, the flesh around them with multiple scars, blinded people with infected ulcers, and a woman died in the hospital with septicemia, blood poisoning.
Nobody really thought that an apparently innocent eye cosmetic, advertised in magazines and kindly offered in beauty salons, could cause such a huge social catastrophe.
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