Archives On The Air 158: Toni vs. The Cosmetics Industry—Toni Stabile Papers

May 22, 2019

Photo from Toni Stabile's article "The Truth About 'Magic Ingredients' in Cosmetics" published in Today's Health, January 1967. Box 41, Toni Stabile papers.

Investigative journalist Toni Stabile began looking into the cosmetics industry in the 1950s. She researched and wrote about issues in the cosmetics industry throughout her career.

In 1967 she exposed the dubious results of anti-aging cremes. Ads often implied the FDA endorsed the magical effects of the cremes. But the FDA only certified if products like cremes were safe. They did not certify whether they worked.

In the 60s new chemicals were used to enhance products. These chemicals were not always safe. Stabile wrote editorials that demanded companies list ingredients on labels. Her work paved the way for listing of ingredients and other cosmetics industry reforms.

Explore more history of the modern cosmetics industry in the Toni Stabile papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.