Prohibition and the Cosmetic Industry

In January 29, 1919, the United States adopted a Constitutional Amendment, commonly known as Prohibition, that banned the "manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within the territory of the United States for beverage purposes."

"When first presented, the [Volstead Prohibition] bill would have made it impossible for our industry, or the drug industry or the manufacturers of flavoring extracts, or anyone else using alcohol as a chemical or raw material to continue in business," said MPA's Washington Representative at the Association's 1920 annual meeting.

Since an individual was capable of consuming perfumes and toilet goods that contained alcohol, the law could have been interpreted to outlaw these goods.

However, the Association mobilized its forces, convincing legislators to clarify the bill's language to exempt products "unfit for use of beverage purposes."