| July 23, 2012

Cosmetics have been used for centuries and the United States has been at the forefront of cosmetic innovation, entrepreneurship and regulation. took a look at the history of cosmetics use and regulations in the U.S. See some of the important regulations below or check out the full list here.

In 1848, the Drug Importation Act—a mandate that the U.S. Customs Service inspect imported drugs—was passed. It was the first federal legislation of its kind to regulate drugs.

In 1924, the Supreme Court voted on a landmark case that prohibited statements on a product’s label that were misleading or deceiving.

In 1938, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act regulated cosmetics for the first time. Drug manufacturers were required to provide scientific proof that new products could be used safely, colors were required to be certified as harmless and factory inspections were authorized.

In 1960, the Color Additive Amendment was passed which required manufacturers to make sure color in foods, drugs and cosmetics were safe.

In 1970, the some cosmetics ingredients were banned following legislation protecting endangered species.

In 1976, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel was established. The panel consists of scientists and physicians from the fields of dermatology, pharmacology, chemistry and toxicology. Experts review and assess the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics and publish the final results in the International Journal of Toxicology. As of March 2012, the panel has reviewed 2,650 ingredients.

Here are some fun facts about the history of cosmetics in America. How many did you know?

By 1900, cosmetics were widely used in nearly all societies around the world.

World War 1 allowed many American women to gain more disposable income which lead to a boom in makeup sales.

The tan look became popular in the 1920s by Coco Chanel, but it wasn’t until 1936 that sunscreen was invented by L’Oreal.

The Modern Era of cosmetics business began in earnest in the 1950s. Proctor & Gamble began to sponsor daytime TV programs which eventually came to be called “soap operas.”

In 1952, the first roll-on deodorant was marketed. The design was inspired by a ballpoint pen.

Crest toothpaste was introduced in 1955.

In 1960, false eyelashes became popular and natural products based on botanical ingredients were introduced.

For more information on the Safe Cosmetics Alliance please visit