Trivia

Hard

In The Early 20th Century, Which Of These Dangerous Compounds Was Routinely Added To Makeup?

Arsenic
Radium
Lead
Atropine
A 1921 magazine advertisement for Undark, a product of the Radium Luminous Material Corporation.
Unknown Author/Wikimedia

Answer: Radium

By the start of the 20th century, we’d mostly gotten the trend of putting toxic things in makeup out of our system. Gone were the days of ladies powdering their faces with arsenic-based powders or smearing lead-based makeup on their cheeks. Still, the era of proper product testing and safety regulation was decades off, and there was still plenty of time left in the early 20th century to squeeze in some horrible choices.

The most notable of those choices was the inclusion, from around 1910 until the 1930s, of the radioactive substance radium, in everything from lipstick to eye shadow and every other makeup you can think of (as well as numerous other products, for that matter, like radium-infused butter and underwear). The products purported to help keep you young and protect your skin while, ironically, in reality they were damaging your cells and accelerating the deterioration of your body. People exposed to high levels of radium, like the famous “radium girls” who applied glowing radium paint on watch faces and military instrument panels, suffered from tumors, bone loss, and many died within years of the exposure.

Eventually, due largely in part to a very high profile lawsuit filed by five of the aforementioned “radium girls”, the public trust in radium shifted dramatically and in 1938, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act outlawed the deceptive marketing practices that allowed companies to shamelessly tote the imagined health benefits of smearing radium-based makeup on your face or radium-infused butter on your toast.

Trivia

Very Hard

Many Civil War Soldiers Survived Wounds Sustained At The Battle of Shiloh Thanks To?

Trivia

Easy

Which Sci-Fi Actor Raised $25,000 For Charity By Selling His Kidney Stone?

Trivia

Hard

The Densest Naturally Occurring Element Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Tech Company’s Name Means “Three Oceans”?

Trivia

Easy

The Killer In 1978’s Horror Hit Halloween Wore A Mask Of Which Sci-Fi Actor?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Films Led To Increased Popularity And Sales Of Wayfarer Sunglasses?

Trivia

Hard

Who Coined The Term Pyrokinesis?

Trivia

Hard

Exposure To What Made Hat Makers In The 19th Century “Mad Hatters”?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was Responsible For Thrusting “Area 51” Into The Public Consciousness?

Trivia

Very Hard

Popular 1980s Arcade Game Donkey Kong Was Built On The Hardware Bones Of What Previous Game?