The BeauTy IndusTry unIversally Crazy

Why a new edITIon

Cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery procedures have greatly improved, though the array of options has become more extensive and the risks or benefits more difficult to evaluate. As I compiled the research and began rewriting this book, I was amazed at how far the cosmetics world has advanced as well as dismayed at how much has remained the same. Regrettably, there are still infinite misleading claims, poor formulations, the all-natural farce, the abundance of skin-care myths, and the never-ending fiction that expensive means better.

It was an amazing process to assemble all this information. At first, I thought it was going to be a fairly simple update. It turns out that almost 60% of this book was completely rewritten and reorganized. I hope you find it helpful as you try to decipher and decode the complicated world of beauty. I know it can be done, but it isn’t easy. What is certain is that the story must start with information supported by peer-reviewed, published studies—and that’s what you’ll find in this book

all over The World

Over the past several years I have done media interviews and speaking engagements to women’s groups around the world. I have done presentations for thousands of women from places as far-flung as Jakarta, Indonesia; Seoul, Korea; Stockholm, Sweden; Mexico City, Mexico; Singapore; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and almost every major city in the United States.

From Toronto to Dallas, and everyplace in between, no matter where I’ve gone, I’ve never had to change my topic of discussion. I don’t even have to do extra research, because the cosmetics industry is so universally crazy. Everywhere I go, the advertisements are so entirely deceptive and the claims so utterly bogus that women ask me the same questions. They want to know why a product they bought didn’t work.

Why didn’t their wrinkles go away? Why didn’t their scar fade? Why didn’t their skin discolorations change? Why are they still breaking out or just starting to break out? Why do they still have dry, flaky skin after buying so many products promising to make things better? What is the best skin-care ingredient? Do I know about a recent product launched with some miracle ingredient currently being advertised or in an infomercial? I get the exact same questions all over the world

a Personal Beauty Miracle

My career truly began or at least became possible in November 1976 when the United States Food and Drug Administration required all cosmetics to have complete ingredient listings on their labels in descending order (largest percentage first, smallest percentage last). The FDA also standardized the way ingredients needed to be listed to minimize the confusion that would surely arise if various synonyms or trade names for chemical names were used (Sources:; and Contact Dermatitis, April 2006, pages 94–97). While there are certain products that fail to follow the regulation by using ingredient names that either hide the real nature of the ingredient or make it sound more natural than it really is, that now happens much less often.

To grasp how significant this regulation was, it took till 1995 for Australia to be the next country to mandate ingredient listings on cosmetics, then Europe in 2000, and finally Canada—are you ready for this—in 2008 (but they have until 2010 to comply). In other words, until fairly recently a product being sold in the U.S. would have ingredient listings while in the rest of the world the exact same product would have no ingredient listing. Clearly, there was something the cosmetics industry didn’t want consumers to know! But it gave me a mission and a job. I wanted to know and understand what was in the products I was using and eventually, I came to share what I had learned in my books and online

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