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You wouldn't eat something without knowing what it was--don't you want to take the same care with what you put on your face, hair, and body? Find out what's in that shampoo, makeup, toothpaste, lotion, or perfume here, with more than 6,000 entries, organized alphabetically. Cosmetics are barely regulated these days, leaving it up to you to learn what those strange-sounding names mean and how they might affect you. For example, did you know these intriguing tidbits?
Abietic acid, a texturizer in soaps, is harmless when injected into mice but causes paralysis in frogs.
The American Medical Association frowns on medicated makeup, because their potential to do harm often outweighs their benefit.
Mayonnaise is as effective a dry-hair conditioner as the expensive preparations.
Milk is a good face wash, but you'd better rinse it off well, or rancidity will give rise to bacteria that will cause pimples.
Don't skip the introduction, a provocative discussion of "cosmeceuticals," anti-aging products, what's really meant by the word "natural," "culture and cosmetics," and what to do if you have an adverse reaction. This is the fifth edition of this guide, which originally appeared in 1978. Even if you own the fourth edition, you'll want to update, because this edition includes 1,400 newly developed chemicals and hundreds of name changes. --Joan Price
From Book News, Inc.
The cosmetics industry charges some $17 billion for the 20,000 products hustled to the US market. The FDA puts only 0.5% of its budget into cosmetic safety surveillance. Winter details the malign and desirable ingredients in a great many preparations.