Article by: Perry Romanowski

On the Internet, big cosmetic corporations frequently get labeled as evil and there is the implication that they are trying to harm their consumers. Small companies don’t seem to experience that kind of scrutiny which is baffling to me because they are much more likely to make labeling errors, make misleading claims, and produce unsafe products. That’s not to suggest big companies are immune from these mistakes but if given the choice to buy a product from a big company or a small company, I suggest people stick with big companies. A big company just has so much more to lose than a small company. evil cosmetic corporation

Here is a report from the FDA which illustrates why I think big companies are more trustworthy when it comes to the safety of cosmetics.

According to this report Johnson & Johnson (a big corporation) issued a recall of their Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer. This affected about 8500 units. Apparently, the product was mislabeled because during manufacturing someone used a combination of raw materials 1,3 Butylene Glycol and Dimethicone rather than Dimethicone alone.

I’m sure this kind of mistake happens on occasion at every cosmetic manufacturing facility both big and small, but it is only a big company that would do anything about it.


Because there is no way the FDA would be able to catch this kind of error. It is essentially invisible. In fact, the only way that the FDA learned of the error was because J&J reported it themselves.

The amount of money that this will cost J&J might approach $1 million. To a big corporation, this isn’t much but to a small company this would ruin them. Does anyone believe a small cosmetic company would report an invisible mistake to the FDA and initiate a product recall that could destroy their company? I don’t think so.

When it comes to product safety, consumers should trust the big guys. This is not to suggest that the big companies are perfect but all things being equal, they are just a safer bet.



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    I can attest that small companies go under the radar with a lot of noncompliance and consumer deception than larger companies. The likelihood of coming across a misbranded product is much higher, since they are not monitored and don’t get a lot of attention, they never get dinged.

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      Perry Romanowski

      That is unfortunate but based on my experience I have to agree.

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    Thank you for this amazing forum here, I work in the paint industry here in the US and I agree that big companies do recall product mostly. Now with my knowledge in paint I like to think that its the same ingredient but different formulation methods but same ideas. Again thanks for this forum very interesting and educational insight.

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    Hi Perry! First time commenting so let me just say that I love this website! I’ve just started working in the cosmetic industry and it has helped me a lot.
    I both agree and disagree with your argument. You do have a point but regarding claims for example, major companies just do whatever they want and then pay the fine and everything remains the same. I don’t know if this is slightly different in America than it is here in Europe, but smaller companies are much more controlled. Also, I don’t think consumers think that smaller companies are safer, just that some informed consumers know that big brands just close the market for everyone, and destroy everything in their path…

    Keep up with awesomeness!

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      Perry Romanowski

      Thanks for the comment and the kind words!

      I think it is different in Europe. In the US little companies can do pretty much whatever they want because the government regulators mostly ignores them or don’t know of their existence. I do agree that big companies can make misleading claims then just pay a fine, but that kind of thing mostly doesn’t work for television advertising. The TV stations are very strict in their requirements to substantiate claims. If they broadcast something that is a lie they risk losing their broadcasting license.

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        Oh it’s a veeeery different reallity then! Here TV stations advertise “suspicious” cosmetics and even nutraceuticals that promise to even reduce your chance of cancer and stop ageing. Super bogus for mass consumerism!! Unofrtunatly nothing happens to these companies except getting a fine and having the ad removed (but only after they managed to air it a bazillion times). At least this is the reallity here in Portugal, the smaller companies are much more strangled than the big ones, which is frustrating! Nice to know a different reallity 🙂

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          I would prefer to buy from a bigger company since they are more likely to do safety testing… however….I don’t wish to support corporations who crush entrepreneurial endeavors. Tradeoffs. Either way, big company or small company…NEVER trust marketing claims

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