I was reading a post entitled "Fashion magazines can be hazardous to your health" over at the Millikan Daily.
What you're seeing is an extreme allergic reaction caused by a sprayable perfume sample of a fragrance called (no joke) Alien, by Thierry Mugler.
I'll let you click over there for the photographic evidence but it sure sounded like a serious situation to me. All joking about dodging the perfume-spritzers when you are trying to find the escalator to housewares aside...
Luckily, she works at a hospital and was able to take Benadryl within five minutes of the onset of symptoms and a PA there gave her a shot of prednisone when it got worse. "I couldn't see that whole first night and could only open my right eye a slit the next 24 hours. After continued Benadryl use every 4 hours, I had a full recovery after 4 1/2 days."
Yowsa. Pretty nasty. Arikia ends with:
She still doesn't know what specific ingredient in the perfume caused the reaction, but she's going to tell me when she figures it out (right??). In the mean while, I am going to steer clear of Alien. Probably fashion magazines in general, for good measure
and of course, before we get too far down the road we should be clear. We don't know for sure that any one thing is uniquely at fault here. Could be a very limited individual susceptibility. Could be the glue they use to stick the stuff into the magazine. An interaction between competing chemicals in the glossy rag.
Or it could be a failure to properly test the cosmetic product for toxicity.
Resort to teh Google pulls up a suggestion that the company in question qualifies as "cruelty free" in the minds of those concerned with such issues. At least for some products although one link I found claims to have "researched the company" so I'm going to assume for now it is all the products which are untested.
Now, as we know, the "cruelty free" label adopted by companies is essentially meaningless. As Janet detailed,
A label on your shampoo or handsoap that says "no animal testing" does not mean that the substances in the bottle were not tested on animals. They were. They were required by law to be so tested. What the label indicates is that someone else did the testing.
Naturally, the substances have been tested in isolation or in other products but not in the specific formulation being shilled by the "cruelty free" company. (Probably not in the specific context of magazine delivery of product sample either.) Otherwise you would not have a new product you would have an intellectual property / patent type dispute on your hands. Nevertheless consumers should not be permitted to fool themselves. This is a nice little marketing dodge made to salve the consciences of those who like to think of themselves as against animal testing but can't give up their addiction to latest-n-greatest cosmetics. From an ethical perspective it is false.
As I have said before, I think it is very important to draw a distinction between cosmetics testing and animal research. The ARA movement is highly invested in conflating these two issues because they know that people are much less supportive of cosmetics testing than they are of scientific and medical research. If you fool people into thinking the latter is nothing more than the former, you gain a good deal of ground. Although not part of everyone's moral calculus on these issues*, the intended outcome of the use of animal subjects is very much a part of the justification process within animal research. Animal use protocols require a great deal of discussion of the potential outcome of the research that is being proposed.
And to be honest I am sympathetic to one part of the attacks on cosmetics testing. I'm perfectly happy with the available products that I use and do not require any novel ones. So I could do away with the entire industry which generates new cosmetics and personal hygiene type product. The justification for additional products is poor, in my personal evaluation, hence the justification for the testing is poor. However, and this is a big distinction, if we are going to keep making new formulations than I for dang sure want them tested for toxicity. Insist that new products are justified and I am totally on board with toxicity testing. Using the best available models- which in some cases are going to include the use of nonhuman animals.
*by which I mean the "always okay" / "never okay" absolutist positions which do not care one whit for the purpose of the use of animals.