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Becca Cosmetics recalls Light Shifter Brightening Concealer

A common household mold was found on the sponge-tip applicator

Becca Cosmetics is recalling all shades of its Light Shifter Brightening Concealer.

A brownish-black material identified as a common household mold was found on the sponge-tip applicator of some units.

No adverse reactions or injuries have been reported to date.

The following product, manufactured in the U.S. and sold nationwide, is being recalled:

Customers who purchased the recalled product should stop using it and contact the place of purchase regarding a refund.

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    CVS adopting new beauty product image standards

    Any retouching will have to be clearly identified

    CVS Pharmacy has announced new standards for the marketing of beauty products sold in its stores and online by pledging to identify any images that have been altered.

    At the same time, the company is introducing what it calls the "CVS Beauty Mark," a watermark that will identify images that have not not been "materially altered." That's defined as changing or enhancing a person's shape, size, proportion, skin, eye color, wrinkles, or any other individual characteristics.

    The company said it will work with suppliers and brand partners to set up an accountability system to make sure the new standards are met.

    Long history in glamour photography

    Retouched images have a long history in glamour photography. In recent years, critics have charged that enhancing photographs of models and celebrities creates an unrealistic ideal of beauty, especially among impressionable adolescent girls.

    In a 2015 video produced by SheKnowsMedia (below), young girls talk about how they and their friends deal with beauty standards established in the media.

    Support from girls' organization

    At least one organization representing girls has embraced the CVS initiative. Judy Vredenburgh, CEO of Girls Inc., praised CVS for celebrating beauty in all of its forms.

    "Allowing diversity and natural beauty to shine will have an immensely positive impact on girls and women everywhere," she said.

    CVS says its move has two purposes. It wants to promote transparency around beauty images and allow consumers to easily recognize when a marketing image has been altered and when it hasn't. It also wants to promote the idea that beauty can come in many different forms.

    The CVS Beauty Mark will begin appearing on CVS Pharmacy-produced beauty imagery later this year, with the objective of all images in the beauty sections of CVS Pharmacy stores being fully transparent by the end of 2020.

    "As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day," said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy.

    Foulkes says the connection between the portrayal of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been shown in a number of studies. She says CVS wants all of its messages to reflect the purpose of promoting good health.

    The decision is the latest pro-consumer response that CVS has taken. Last April, the company announced it would remove “chemicals of consumer concern” from nearly 600 CVS beauty products by 2019.

    CVS Pharmacy has announced new standards for the marketing of beauty products sold in its stores and online by pledging to identify any images that have be...

    Valeant sells skincare brands to L'Oréal for $1.3 billion

    The deal is expected to close sometime during the first quarter

    The last couple of years have been tumultuous for the pharmaceutical industry. Companies who manufacture and sell drugs have been coming under fire from lawmakers for skyrocketing prices. One of them, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, drew heavy criticism for marking up the price of an antidepressant drug 11 times over a two-year period.

    In the aftermath of senatorial scrutiny, the company’s stock took a hit and executives were left scrambling. Now, the company is selling off three of its skincare brands – CeraVe, AcneFree, and AMBI -- to L'Oréal for $1.3 billion.

    “We are pleased to announce the progress we are making in reshaping our product portfolio and driving value for our shareholders. The success of these products, and today’s transaction, is a testament to the Valeant teams who have impressively grown these brands over the past several years,” said Valeant CEO Joseph C. Papa in a release.

    “We believe these products will benefit even further from the resources and capabilities of a global beauty company like L'Oréal, which is well equipped to build on the success of these brands and expand into new global markets. Our remaining consumer products business is well positioned for continued advancement within Valeant’s portfolio,” he concluded.

    The New York Times reports that the three brands generate around $168 million in annual revenue, and that the deal is likely to close sometime during the first quarter.

    The last couple of years have been tumultuous for the pharmaceutical industry. Companies who manufacture and sell drugs have been coming under fire from la...

    FDA releases guidelines to limit lead in lipsticks and other cosmetic products

    Consumer groups say anything short of a full ban doesn't go far enough

    Due to the highly-publicized events in Flint, Michigan and in other parts of the country, consumers are becoming more aware of just how bad lead can be for their health. However, unbeknownst to many, there are a multitude of products that contain trace amounts of lead.

    One of the biggest industries where this truth comes across is in cosmetics; many lipsticks, lip glosses, lip liners, eye shadows, and lotions contain the element. While the amounts are too low to do any kind of immediate damage, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released guidelines that will decrease its use even further, to no more than 10 parts per million (ppm).

    “[The FDA] has concluded that a recommended maximum level of 10 ppm for lead as an impurity in cosmetic lip products and externally applied cosmetics would not pose a health risk. We consider the recommended maximum lead level to be achievable with the use of good manufacturing practices and to be consistent with the 10 ppm maximum lead level for similar products recommended by other countries,” the agency said.

    Advocacy groups want more

    The FDA arrived at its 10 ppm figure after thoroughly investigating several different lipsticks and their lead content. Its findings suggest that allowing for 10 ppm of lead would not pose a “significant health risk” to consumers.  A previous study by the FDA of 400 cosmetic lip products found a wide range of lead levels – ranging from 0.026 ppm to 7.19 ppm. Eye shadows had a higher range of lead content, ranging from 6.7 ppm to 9.4 ppm.

    The FDA says that the impact of the lead in these products is likely reduced even further, since the products are only applied to small areas of skin. However, there are many advocacy groups who believe that the product is too dangerous and should be eliminated entirely.

    “Lead has no place in personal care products, especially products marketed to children, who are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead. While we welcome renewed attention from the FDA, we urge the agency to prohibit the presence of lead in lip products marketed to children and to require a warning on all personal care products that contain lead,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group.

    Faber goes on to call for additional oversight of cosmetic products and other dangerous substances, saying that “Congress should also act swiftly to reform cosmetics law to require FDA reviews of other dangerous substances in cosmetics. Sadly, lead is not the only toxin hidden in our personal care products.” 

    Due to the highly-publicized events in Flint, Michigan and in other parts of the country, consumers are becoming more aware of just how bad lead can be for...