FDA takes the ‘lead’ in lipstick research
WASHINGTON —The long-standing debate over lead levels in lipstick once again reared its head as a new Food and Drug Administration study reaffirmed the safety of lipstick and found that trace levels of lead in lipstick is not a safety concern, the Personal Care Products Council announced in late August.
In an article published in the July/August edition of the Journal of Cosmetic Science, FDA scientists reported that they used a new method to analyze lipstick. They found that the lead levels—ranging from 0.09 ppm to 3.06 ppm—were safe and well below limits recommended by international regulatory and public health authorities.
The new FDA study was prompted by recurring allegations by the advocacy group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which alleged unsafe lead levels exist in a variety of lipsticks marketed in the United States. The FDA tested the lead content of the same selection of lipsticks evaluated by the CSC.
However, in a statement issued in response to the new FDA test, the CSC stated that the lead levels were “four times higher than the highest level reported in  by CSC.”
According to the PCPC, lead never is used as an intentionally added ingredient in, or as an additive to, lipstick. Because lead is found naturally in air, water and soil, it also may be found at low levels as a trace contaminant in the raw ingredients used in formulating cosmetics, just as it is in many thousands of other products.
Demeter Fragrance Library launches line at CVS
NEW YORK The Demeter Fragrance Library, a U.S.-based company that consists of more than 250 fragrances inspired by real-life objects and experiences, has launched select classic scents in CVS stores nationwide.
The fragrances now available at CVS are baby powder, pure soap, patchouli, honeysuckle, laundromat and lilac.
“We are thrilled to introduce Demeter to the mass consumer market through CVS,” said CEO Mark Crames. “Making our unique products available to a wide array of consumers is a strategic growth opportunity that is perfectly aligned with Demeter’s mission of providing fun and affordable fragrances to everyone.”
CVS stores carry the new .5 fl oz. purse sprays, as well as the 1 fl oz. cologne sprays, priced at $5.99 and $9.99, respectively.
Unilever seeks to buy personal care sector of Sara Lee
LONDON Unilever is looking to acquire the personal care business of the Sara Lee Corp. for $1.2 billion in cash, a move Unilever believes will further strengthen its positions in skin cleansing and deodorants.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and consultation with European employee works councils.
“Personal care is a strategic category and a key growth driver for Unilever. This transaction builds on our portfolio in Western Europe and also in Asia. The Sara Lee brands enjoy strong consumer recognition, offer significant growth potential and are an excellent fit with Unilever’s existing business,” stated Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.
Vindi Banga, president foods, home and personal care added, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to acquire such a strong stable of brands, which will help build on our global leadership positions in Skin Cleansing and Deodorants. They are a perfect complement to Unilever’s existing portfolio of brands like Dove, Axe and Rexona.”
According to Unilever, the acquisition will strengthen its positions overall in Western Europe. In addition, Unilever sees significant potential to build these brands in developing and emerging markets, which already generate approximately 15% of its annual sales.
The Sara Lee brands generated annual sales in excess of $750 million with an EBITDA of $128 million for the year ending June 2009.