Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Decoding cosmetics claims: ‘Hypoallergenic’ products

If you have sensitive skin, you may look for products with the words ‘hypoallergenic’ or ‘allergy tested’ or even ‘dermatologist tested’ on the label. But what do these terms really mean? Not much, according to the FDA

What does the law say?


In 1974, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed regulation on the term hypoallergenic in cosmetics, saying that the term would only be allowed if manufacturers could provide competent and reliable scientific evidence that their hypoallergenic products caused fewer allergic reactions than similar non-hypoallergenic products. Cosmetics companies complained that the testing involved in following this regulation would pose an undue economic burden on them (i.e., they didn’t want to shell out the cash for it). The regulation passed, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia eventually struck it down after Almay and Clinique challenged it.

Thus, there is no standard definition for the terms hypoallergenic, allergy tested, dermatologist tested, or dermatologist recommended. No standard definition = cosmetics companies can say it means whatever they want it to mean. After all, there is someone (or something, cue Twilight Zone music) out there, theoretically, who won’t react to a nice plutonium-based cleanser (the results on your pores are absolutely nuclear, darling!).

Why is it so hard to define?

Part of the difficulty with the term hypoallergenic is that people can have skin sensitivity for very different reasons. What irritates someone with rosacea may be very different from what irritates someone with acne, or very different from an ingredient that can irritate someone with ragweed allergies. The American Academy of Dermatology has a great guide to ingredients that may trouble people with certain skin conditions.

What can you look out for?

If a specific product seems to be consistently bothering you, check the ingredients list. Is there a particular ingredient in that product that is not in other non-irritating products? Eliminate that product from your regimen for a while, and try another product with the same suspect ingredient (but no other suspect ingredients). Did you suffer the same reaction again? Hello, science! You might have found the culprit.

Here are a few common ones you may want to pay attention to…

  1. Alcohol
  2. Fragrance
  3. Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals (like quaternium-15 or diazolidinyl urea)
  4. PPD (p-phenylenediamine)
  5. Menthol
  6. Preservatives (like parabens or methylchloroisothiazolinone)
  7. Colors (like FD&C Yellow #5)
  8. Detergents (like sodium lauryl sulfate or TEA-lauryl sulfate)
  9. Basalm of Peru
  10. Acids (such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or vitamin C)
  11. Bismuth oxychloride
  12. Lanolin
  13. Phthalates
  14. Retinoids

“Hypoallergenic” is meaningless on a label, but it may mean something for you. The Environmental Working Group and The Cosmetics Cop are two good places to begin researching specific cosmetics ingredients, and from there you just have to proceed by trial and error.


Courtesy: TruthInAdvertising.org


NSEL files complaint against five defaulting members

NSEL said these five defaulting members did not have adequate commodities in the warehouses, which is against the mechanism specified in the Exchange circulars

National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) said it has filed complaint against five of its defaulting members before the investigation authorities.


In a statement, NSEL said it declared its nine members as defaulters when they did not complete the last pay-in. "Amongst these nine defaulting members, the exchange has initiated case for investigation against five defaulting members who did not have adequate commodities in the warehouses, which is against the mechanism specified in the Exchange circulars. Non-delivery of commodities or its withdrawal is a breach of faith and breach of contractual arrangements," the release said.


The five defaulters against which NSEL has filed complained are, Ark Imports Pvt Ltd, Lotus Refineries Pvt Ltd, NK Proteins Ltd, Vimladevi Agrotech Ltd and Yathuri Associates. The four other announced defaulters are Loil Overseas Foods Ltd, NCS Sugars Ltd, Spin Cot Textiles Pvt Ltd and Tavishi Enterprises Pvt Ltd.


As per the rules and bye-laws, the Exchange has asked these defaulting members to submit their books of accounts and hand-over all the collaterals to NSEL.


NSEL has appointed SGS to carry out quality and quantity inspection of the commodities lying in the warehouses and their reports are being received in stages based on the inspection being done.


NSEL said it will also take similar recourse for other defaulting members who are not cooperating. As informed earlier, the NSEL board has already initiated investigation against the management team and its former managing director and chief executive.



Kamal Gupta

3 years ago

NSEL is making people fool by filing complaints against 5 defaulting members. Can any one in NSEL, tell us that it's whose duty to verify this and in fact NSEL was charging warehousing charges and other charges from the investors. Contract specifications are mentioning the following in the contract specification circulars:
1. Contract specifications;
2. Deductions and quality parameters;
3. Charges relating to Trading, Settlement and delivery;
4. Procedures, norms, conditions of delivery, quality check and withdrawals;
5. other terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions of the contract and process relating to the settlement will be binding on all.

NSEL is having certain fiduciary duties which they have to fulfill but they have not done the same and in fact looted the people by misusing the system. NSEL and borrowers are same and they have close nexus. They have done this keeping in view our legal system and procedures. They knew that it is difficult to prove the nexus. Till the time investigating agencies will catch hold of the borrowers and their related entities, nothing will come out. NSEL, its promoters and directors are liable for this loot. They should be booked for breach of trust under IPC.

NSEL people were giving wrong information to every body including statutory bodies inspite of this fact FMC is still sleeping. They should file a criminal complaint in police against the concerned people of NSEL, its directors, promoters and borrowers. There are many reasons for this. How overnight SGF become 60 crores from 860 crores.

New Companies Act: Towards Better Governance?

Given the recent corporate scandals there has been a greater focus on better corporate governance and transparency in the new Companies Bill with stricter punitive action. However, its effectiveness would be known only when the provisions come into force

“The new Companies Bill has brought in a lot of transparency by making companies disseminate information in a clear and transparent manner,” says Savithri Parekh, Head of Legal & Secretarial, Pidilite Industries at a Moneylife Foundation event. There have been substantial changes in the restructuring provisions with greater focus on disclosure and compliances. The Bill provides for greater autonomy for the companies to function, more of self-regulation, greater responsibility of the board and directors, and focus on compliance. “Many of the new provisions in the new version of the Companies Bill 2012 have been made because of two major incidents, one is the Satyam scam and the other is that of Sahara,” said Jayant Thakur, Chartered Accountant, who advises listed and non listed companies and intermediaries on SEBI laws. “These two incidents raised many questions with the provisions of the existing law such as that of independent directors, voting powers etc. and how could the shareholders be compensated for the losses. All this has led to new provisions such as that of class action suits,” explained Mr Thakur speaking at the same event.

But much depends on the timing of the Bill when it would come into force. “In the last 10-15 years, many of the laws relating to corporate bodies have a provision that they will come into effect partly or wholly on notification. Therefore, the whole act may not come into effect immediately. For example, going eleven years back, the Companies Amendment Act 2002, has still not come into effect wholly, because there are certain provisions that have come into effect and certain provisions that have not come into effect. Much this is because of litigation or the way the laws have been framed. Here again, in the present Bill, some of the sections may come into force on a phased basis,” said Mr Thakur

In terms of disclosures, says Ms Parekh, “the annual return filed by the company would need to contain details of the remuneration of the directors and key management personnel, penalty or punishment imposed, certification of compliances and other details like shares held by foreign investors etc.” The Directors Report would contain enhanced disclosures such as number of meetings of the board, policy on Directors’ appointment, remuneration including qualification, positive attributes, independence and other matters, particulars of loans guarantee and investments and details about CSR policy and initiatives. Though some of the disclosures were available in other parts of the Company’s Annual Report, now, the shareholders would find this information in only one place.

While the earlier Act had no provisions on insider trading, under the new Act insider trading is prohibited and penal provisions under the corporate laws will also be applicable. The guilty would be subject to imprisonment up to 5 years or fine of minimum Rs. 5 lakhs and maximum Rs25 crores or three times amount of profits or both. However, the issue in this provision as pointed out by Ms Parekh is ‘price sensitive information’ is not clearly defined. There are only examples of price sensitive information that is given in clause 36 of the Listing Agreement.

One of the important introductions in the Companies Bill is that of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which has been mandated for all companies. “Well managed companies like the Tata’s, Nestle etc. spend anywhere between 1.2% and 3.5% of their profits on CSR activities,” explained Ms Parekh. The new bill mandates a compulsory expenditure of 2% of average net profit of the last three years. Activities cannot be conducted in remote areas, but in the local areas where the company operates. Details of the activities and the location need to be disclosed as well.

Under the Companies Bill, if anyone (officers, directors, independent Directors, auditors) commits a fraud, they would go for a minimum imprisonment of six months and up to 10 years. And if the public interest is affected in the fraud, the minimum imprisonment is three years. “Fraud is very widely defined,” said Mr Thakur. Statements under oath, mis-statements in prospectus, mis-statements in share sale/purchase agreements, mis-statements in projections, etc. for obtaining bank credit, making multiple share applications and fraudulently issuing duplicate shares are some violations treated as fraud.

For the first time, a provision has been made for class action suits. It is provided that specified number of members, depositors or any class of them, may, if they are of the opinion that the management or control of the affairs of the company are being conducted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the company or its members or depositors, file an application before the Tribunal on behalf of the members or depositors. Knowing the limitation of individual investors to fight against a company’s might, many a company has taken them for granted. To overcome this weakness in the law, the Companies Bill has now proposed a new Clause 37 that provides for action by a group of shareholders. The session ended with some searching questions from the audience.



nagesh kini

3 years ago

Now that the MoneyLife Foundation aims at creating the awareness of Financial Literacy essentially by educating the common man aka the aam janaata it is they who need to be explained in plain and simple terms what the Cos. Bill will do for them through One Man Cos., LlPs, easier closing down of two/three-person private cos. that didn't take off,on dealing with managements in cases of FDs interest and principal defaults delays and refusals of share transfers and transmissions,on going about class action suits by providing names of really dedicated pro bono counsels.
The small man is really affected by how much the Co. spends on CSR and Corporate it does or does not practice as much as the his/her interest and dividend payouts and bonus issues.
He wonders why Cos. are seen to be sitting on high reserves and cash/bank balances without sharing with them with stakeholders like themselves, why Directors are paid fat Commissions when the dividends are cut and employees terminated and why all is this not considered bad corporate governance!


nagesh kini

In Reply to nagesh kini 3 years ago

The second para ought to read - "The common man is NOT really affected.."

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