Guinea Pigs Test New Beauty Aids (Jun, 1939)
Guinea Pigs Test New Beauty Aids
GUINEA PIGS are partly responsible for the beauty of many of the glamorous faces that flash across the screen of your neighborhood movie theater. Tests with these patient little rodents have even saved the film careers of actors and actresses whose skin reacted unfavorably to ordinary studio make-up. Now applied to the manufacture of cosmetics for the general public, similar tests are guarding the beauty and health of millions.
It was five years ago that Dr. Paul W. Jewel first enlisted guinea pigs in the cause of beauty. As chief chemist for Max Factor, Hollywood make-up and cosmetics manufacturer, he was trj’ing to develop an indelible lipstick that would not irritate the delicate tissues of the lips. Since then, the tests have played an important part in determining whether new beauty aids would harm the skin. To test a new ingredient or combination, Dr. Jewel and Max Factor, Jr., director of the laboratory, take a guinea pig from one of the cages that line the room. The chemist stretches the little animal on its back on a tiny operating table, clamps it firmly in place, and runs an electric clipper through the hair on its abdomen. To patches of the bare skin he applies the materials to be tested, reserving one area of untreated skin for comparison.
Several hours later, the guinea pig returns to the operating table. Turning surgeon, the chemist anesthetizes the little subject and removes a small section of the painted skin. A gossamer-thin slice is cut from the skin. By examining this under the microscope, Dr. Jewel can tell whether an irritating agent in the make-up material has caused a rush of white blood corpuscles to the area. If the guinea pigs O.K. the preparation, it is made up in small batches and tested on human subjects before being manufactured for sale.