ASCP Skin Deep

MAY | JUNE 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 74 of 76

72 ASCP Skin Deep May/June 2021 SKIN HISTORY Radioactive Skin Care by Mary Barthelme Abel A dangerous quest for beauty WHEN MARIE AND PIERRE CURIE discovered radium in 1898, a number of European skin care and wellness companies thought it would be a great idea to include the radioactive element in skin care products and more common items like soap, hair tonic, and toothpaste. In 1917, a London-based company called Radior created a line of cosmetics containing radium, including night cream, rouge, and face powder. Its advertising boasted radium rays "vitalize and energize all living tissue." For those who wanted a full-body treatment, radioactive mud became a popular product to use in both salons and at home during the 1920s. One of the most popular was Kemolite Radio-Active Beauty Plasma, which promised to get rid of everything from sagging muscles to acne and freckles. A pharmacist and doctor launched a French product line called Tho- Radia (the combination of the two "active" ingredients thorium chloride and radium bromide) in 1933. The company claimed its products would activate circulation, rm skin, and cure conditions such as boils, pimples, and aging. Perhaps we can cut these companies a little slack; the dangers of radioactivity were not fully understood in the early 20th century. Then again, there wasn't any science to show their claims were true. The moral? Understand your ingredients and follow the science!

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of ASCP Skin Deep - MAY | JUNE 2021