BEAUTY CARE

L’Oreal gets colorful with Essie deal

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK —In a move to bolster its share in the nail color and care market, L’Oreal USA is looking to acquire the Essie cosmetics business, a nail brand that today boasts more than 300 shades and is available in more than 250,000 salons and spas in 95 countries.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed within 60 to 90 days.

Essie Weingarten founded Essie Cosmetics in 1981. Based in Astoria, N.Y., the company’s portfolio includes nail colors, treatments, accessories, spa products and lip glosses. Essie’s net sales through the last 12 months were $28 million.

“This strategic acquisition will enable L’Oreal to increase our share in the nail color and care market, which has seen significant growth year over year,” stated Frederic Roze, president and CEO of L’Oreal USA. Wein garten and Max Sortino, CEO of Essie, will continue to play a pivotal role under a multiyear agreement.

“It’s a perfect match,” Weingarten stated. “This acquisition presents a tremendous opportunity to allow the Essie brand to grow even stronger. With Max and me as part of the team, we will be able to provide our customers with a greater level of service as we take the brand to new heights.”

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Almay names Kate Hudson global brand ambassador

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Revlon has announced that its Almay brand has named Kate Hudson as its newest global brand ambassador.

Hudson will be the face of new and existing Almay products and will appear in global multi-media campaigns that include television, print, in-store and Web placements.  Her first television and print campaign for the brand is set to debut later this year.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kate to the Almay family. She is smart, confident and vivacious. Her energy and youthful spirit are contagious — Kate is a perfect ambassador for the Almay brand,” stated Revlon president and CEO Alan T. Ennis.

In addition to being featured in upcoming global advertising campaigns, Hudson will be involved in various company-sponsored philanthropic and fundraising events.

She will represent the brand at the Almay Rainforest Concert on Thursday, May 13th at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The concert benefits The Rainforest Foundation, founded by Sting and Trudie Styler to support indigenous and traditional people of the world’s rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment.

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Personal Care Products Council’s chief scientist responds to fragrance safety report

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON A new report by activist group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics alleging that a number of popular brand-name perfumes and teen body sprays have “secret” chemicals that could be harmful to consumers is “erroneous” and “does a disservice to consumers,” stated John Bailey, chief scientist of the Personal Care Products Council, in response to the claim.

The report, titled “Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance,” was released on May 12 by the U.S.-based Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group.

An analysis of 17 fragranced products conducted at an independent laboratory allegedly found that, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, they contained “a dozen or more secret chemicals not listed on labels, multiple chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions or disrupt hormones, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety by the cosmetics industry’s self-policing review panels.”

Responding to the report, Bailey stated: “The validity of the report is seriously undermined by its failure to include quantitative measurements of the ‘secret’ ingredients it purported to find. Such measurements are a fundamental element of toxicological risk assessments. Without them, it is impossible to make valid judgments about potential risks.

“The report also erroneously alleges that many of the materials ‘revealed’ in their testing have not been assessed for safety. In fact, most of the ingredients have been the subject of a safety assessment by one or more authoritative bodies.

“Usage standards for fragrance are set based on the recommendations of a scientific panel of toxicologists, dermatologists, pathologists and environmental scientists that is overseen by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, the research arm of the International Fragrance Association. The RIFM database contains a significant volume of information on fragrance materials,” Bailey concluded.

With regard to the allegations of sensitization from fragrance ingredients, Bailey said that it has long been known that some people are sensitive to some natural or manmade materials in the environment. He also explained that because fragrance components are made up of so many substances it is literally impossible to list them all on a product label. Given this, virtually all countries, including the European Union, allow fragrance ingredients to be declared on a label under the general term of “fragrance.”

With regard to the allegations in the report that some fragrance ingredients could be hormone disruptors, Bailey stated that this is “based on incomplete assessments of available scientific data about potential hormone affects and do not take into account actual exposure in cosmetic products. The studies relied upon in the allegations are not directly relevant to human exposure, and many of laboratory tests that have been done were completed under conditions that are not directly applicable to the use of these ingredients in cosmetic products. In some substances, the hormone effects measured are tens of thousands of times less than what would be expected to cause effects in humans. The weight of evidence in hormone disruption science today does not support the conclusions presented in this report.”

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