Recall recap: a look at cosmetics being pulled from the shelves this year so far..

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

In recent months Cosmetics Design has reported on various manufacturers having to pull their products from shelves due to one thing or another. Here we round up the who, what and why….

Banana Boat topped the recall list recently in volume and bizarre-factor, as its manufacturer Energizer issued a voluntary recall of nearly half a million sun care products on five reports of people catching fire after use.

The company removed 23 different varieties of UltraMist sunscreen from store shelves that it says, ran the risk of catching fire if contact was made with open flames before the product was completely dry.

The issue apparently lay with the product's spray valve, said to be larger than the average spray bottle, which was over-applying the sunscreen and as a result taking longer to dry, raising the flammability risk.

Formaldehyde furore

Meanwhile back in May, it was all eyes on Unilever as it went on the record to say that it had begun to receive “a greater-than-expected number of complaints about its Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit​,” and had therefore discontinued the product and recalled it from retail stores.

The global player has in recent months been hit with various lawsuits in regards to alleged false, deceptive and misleading claims in connection with its Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30 Day Smoothing Kit where women throughout the US have come forward to claim that they had experienced hair loss to the point of "visible bald spots, terrible breakage, discoloration… some of them had injury or burning to the scal​p” as a result of using the kit.

Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson took the decision to recall its Aveeno baby care lotion products from store shelves back in April in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas after a sample product tested by the FDA exceeded specifications for common bacteria.

State of today’s cosmetics

In light of the recent recalls and findings of unsafe ingredients in cosmetics, the House Energy and Commerce Committee called the first official Congressional hearing on cosmetics safety in more than 30 years back in March.

Despite in many cases, the levels of these chemicals being low and well below recommended safety limits; HECC called the meeting to ‘examine the current state of cosmetics' and to discuss the recent findings of mercury in face cream, lead found in lipstick and formaldehyde in hair products.

Call for uniform standard

The cosmetics industry has been regulated by the FDA since the enactment of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FFDCA). FFDCA prohibits the introduction of adulterated or misbranded cosmetics into interstate commerce and provides for seizure, criminal penalties and other enforcement authorities for violations of the FFDCA.

In recent years, some States have considered legislation that would affect the ingredients that can be used in cosmetic products, and some groups have called for national standards for ingredients of cosmetic products that are reviewed by the FDA.

Given the flow of cosmetic products between States, a uniform standard for cosmetic ingredients would serve to further public health by ensuring these decisions are made using sound science and ensure that the interstate flow of cosmetic products is not disrupted by differing State standards.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Skin Care, Hair Care

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