War played an important part. In the decades which have elapsed since the 1939-1945 war cosmetics and toiletries have made extensive desirable developments in the field of soaps and salves bringing cosmetics into line with advances into an international industry.

On the battlefield camouflage creams and protective lipsticks employed against sunburn became known as “commando makeup.” All these  developments have had repercussions in the cosmetic field.  Not only to combat fatigue and build morale but to ensure safety, toilet preparations were adopted by every member of the military and naval aviation, since men marooned on life rafts in naval warfare or in the desert found their skin surfaces might be subject to severe exposure without shelter. Efficacy of insect repellents and sunscreens and over 4000 compounds were studied for use in this connection and nothing was wasted.

Special toilet soaps and barrier creams were developed for use in conjunction with suitable hygienic measures proved to be of value in reducing the incidence of dermatitis. A bewildering range of compounds has been synthesized for use by the cosmetic industry. Some of these products are insect repellents, others emulsifiers, liquid detergents, antioxidants, preservatives and among outstanding examples are the non-ionic emulsifiers and antiseptics incorporated into certain soaps. Chemical and microscopic examination of cosmetics generally includes toilet soap, leg makeup and colouring materials, protective creams and hand cleaners.

Only tests in the laboratory on the final product including perfume and flavour can forecast the hazards involved. Traces of impurities in the components may act as corrosion activators, discolouration, toxic compounds, storage conditions and naturally  composition of the packaging in tubes influence the  steps to be taken to inhibit or minimize the degree of hazard.

Preparation of the most desirable cosmetics includes variation in the quality of raw materials, equipment available and experience of the operator, cost of packaging, advertising and selling price. In the layout of new developments in cosmetic preparations one object in mind occasioned by the use of surface-active materials such as shampoos and in the light of relevant dermatological considerations is that the cosmetician or aesthetician cannot be too well acquainted with the mode of action of the preparation no matter how good.

Cosmetic scientists are by force of circumstance compelled to consider the cosmetic reaction of the purchaser to a product included in the proprietary materials. Dermatologists describe the treatment of many departures from normality found in the human skin but the greater proportion of their daily routine is an attempt to cure disabilities of a more common type. The problem as to how, when and where such medicament becomes active  and the eventual dispersal of the vehicle pleasantly prescribed which will transfer therapeutic content with efficiency to normal  and pathological tissue is carefully considered. Physicians must learn how vehicles can be expected to infiltrate the extremely complicated terrain of human skin.

How can the dermatologist  treat disabilities  in a manner which is welcome to the patient with the constant help of the physical chemist because it does not entail grease, stain, irritant or externally obvious drawbacks? Attention is often drawn to the major problem by the modern cosmetics industry and points the way.



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