The cold cream shown in Formula 1 is the first cosmetic formulation ever published in Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine. The magazine began publishing as The American Perfumer in March 1906. This formula appeared in May 1909. During the ensuing century, the title changed, the magazine changed and the industry changed—all as a result of a trend toward science-based formulating, crystallized by an effort begun by seven men in an office on High Street in Washington, D.C., in 1971, and leading to a dictionary.
“If I could put my finger on one turning point that changed the cosmetic industry in the 20th century, it would be the cosmetic ingredient dictionary,” says Dino Muccia, current chairman of the Emeritus Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC). He was referring the International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook (CID). “That book lifted the veil of secrecy and applied the rules of science to cosmetic ingredients and formulation,” Muccia says.
Of course, there were other turning points as new ingredients were developed and technologies improved. This article celebrates that century by identifying significant changes in several ingredient classes, such as preservatives, conditioners and colorants.