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Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, N.C., and a Dermatology Times Editorial Advisor and co-medical editor.
What are GRAS ingredients?
Another way cosmetics insure their safety is by adhering to a list of substances known as GRAS ingredients. GRAS stands for “Generally Recognized as Safe” and indicates ingredients that are currently widely used in the marketplace without safety issues.
What tests do manufacturers perform to ensure cosmetic safety?
Cosmetic safety is very important since these products are used by millions of people worldwide. Think of all the cosmetic products in your bathroom and how many of them have caused problems through years of repeated use.
How are cleansers tested to ensure they do not damage the skin?
Cleansers are routinely tested prior to commercial release for mildness with the Forearm Controlled Application Technique (FCAT).
Common terms in skincare marketing: Hypoallergenic fragrance
Hypoallergenic fragrance is a term that may actually have some dermatologic relevance. Since the term literally means reduced allergy, not the absence of allergy, it can be used loosely.
Common terms in skincare marketing: Nourishing
Many facial serum formulations claim to nourish the skin; however, the term has no scientific meaning.
Common terms in skincare marketing: Sensitive skin
One of the most commonly used terms is “sensitive skin.” It is important for the dermatologist to understand the value of such terminology and the associated implications.
Health concerns with BPA
BPA is found in food containers, dental fillings and vitamin gel capsules. It also is found in milk, butter and meats, just like phthalates, and is also considered a hormone disruptor.
The concerns around phthalates
One of the most concerning group of chemicals are phthalates, which are used as plasticizers to increase the flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity of plastics
Moisturizers and skin firmness
Increased firmness is commonly used to describe the beneficial effects of moisturizers. This is confusing to the dermatologist who considers firm skin indicative of scleroderma.
The impact of facial foundation on luminosity
“Luminosity,” is often used to describe facial appearance after applying facial foundation. What is luminosity?

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