Beauty Byte: Cosmetics Labels Are About to Bug Out


If you read your food labels closely, you might want to start doing the same for your cosmetics. After 10 years of deliberation, the Food and Drug Administration has ordered food and cosmetic companies to list carmine and cochineal when used as ingredients. Both colorants are derived from the wee cochineal bug, from whose shriveled bodies color is extracted.

Until this ruling, insect-derived hues were listed with phrases such as "artificial colors," "natural red," and "crimson lake." The new ingredient-listing plan doesn't have to be implemented for two years, but companies can start complying anytime. Expect to see these ingredients show up on cosmetics that are red, pink, or otherwise rosy in 2011.

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