Rebuttal Rewrite – Schoolcookiemonster

Cosmetic Abuse

While some argue that cosmetics should not be classified as drugs, the fact that they cause dangerous effects from being applied and absorbed into the body proves that they are and should be classified as drugs. Cosmetics should also be regulated as drugs by the Food and Drug Administration. As people become more educated throughout their life, the majority learn that medications, hard drugs, alcohol, and marijuana all fit in the category of a drug. The Food and Drug Administration article “Human Drugs” states that drugs are “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.” Cosmetics do not fall into the definition of what a drug is according to the FDA since beauty products do not act as a form of treatment or cure for a disease.

There are three reasons why Cosmetic products do not fall into the FDA’s definition of a drug. The first example is that cosmetics have not been shown to cure or prevent disease. The second example is that the side effects of cosmetics are moderate in comparison to drugs. Lastly, the side effects caused by these cosmetic products are short-term. Topical ointments that are used to help those with eczema might have a side effect of burning which would be regulated. Cosmetics do have long-term effects when they are absorbed into the deep layers of the skin. Cosmetics are not used to sure to cure or prevent illness making it, even more, important for these products not to cause harm to users. Cosmetics have no health benefits which prevents them from balancing the harm they do to the body.

Narcotics such as Heroin, LSD, and Cocaine are identified as drugs since they stimulate the brain and nervous system in extreme ways. The effects of cosmetics will never be able to compete with those types of drugs. Hard drugs can easily result in first-time users becoming addicted. The effect of cosmetics on consumers is drastically lower, making it less of a priority for the FDA to regulate and consider to be a drug. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics article called, “Drug Abuse Statistics” the federal budget in 2020 for drug control was “$35 billion” dollars. This statement proves that the United States will prioritize its citizen’s health by placing strict regulations on drugs. Deaths resulting from overdose have skyrocketed, according to the NCDAS, saying that “over 700,000 drug overdose deaths” occur on an annual basis. This proves that drug addiction is an issue that snuck up on many people, affecting not only the United States but the entire world. 

The article “Drug use and aggression: How to protect yourself” from the Positive Choices website explains, “If people do become aggressive this increases the risk of harm to themselves and others.” Drugs are making people harm themselves as well as their loved ones, making them isolated from reality. What makes these substances identify as a drug is since long-term usage leads to depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, increased aggression, cardiovascular disease, and damage to the brain, liver, and kidneys. All these side effects can prevent users from having a stable job, taking care of their children, and being in the right state of mind. 

While some drugs are used to cure the population, cosmetics are used for high beauty standards. People have the choice to use cosmetics while people who use drugs for medical purposes do not have a choice if they want to stay healthy. Even though drugs have a lot of side effects their ability to save lives is why people still take them. However, cosmetics have a lot of unhealthy side effects but do not have life-saving capabilities like some medications do. There are thousands of cosmetic products that are on shelves, including body care, makeup, and skincare. Even though there are so many options to choose from, cosmetics are still considered beauty-enhancing, which disqualifies them from being a part of the definition of a drug. High beauty standards lead to increased demand for beauty products. In Korea, there was an experiment with 114 undergraduate female students who took selfies with and without makeup and showed drastic changes in mood and self-esteem. Korea Science published an article called “Effects of the Virtual Makeup Using Beauty Makeup Applications”, on this experiment and concluded that “The level of body satisfaction significantly decreased only for women who took selfies without the use of a beauty makeup application.” This is not shocking since a majority of women from their teens to their adult years are insecure about their appearance and will go to any extreme, such as using cosmetics with harmful ingredients. The NIH article called, “Cosmetics, skincare, and appearance in teenagers” wrote that “The cosmetic industry has identified teenagers as “powerful” consumers.” There is a lack of interest in cosmetic products, especially from younger users who are the main target for cosmetic products. Young girls will continue to wear makeup and use other beauty products no matter what the side effects and future harm they might cause them.

Medications, unlike cosmetics, have been proven to cure, treat, and prevent diseases which makes them defined as drugs. Both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications have been effective in saving lives for years, especially in decreasing deaths from the common cold. The Center for Control and Prevention article, “Treatment for Common Illness” stated that there are “More than 200 viruses” that can lead to the common cold. The CDC also stated that “Viruses that cause colds can spread from person to person through the air and close personal contact.” It has been proven that common colds are easy to spread. Back in the day, the common cold caused many deaths because medications were not used to help fight the virus. Medications such as Dayquil, Tylenol, Mucinex, and hundreds of others have been helping our society to fight the common cold. Cosmetics on the other hand have not shown drastic improvements in the health industry nor have they caused a wave of people to die by using harmful ingredients. Cosmetics have their own category in the beauty industry and should have their own regulations, but should not have to become identified as drugs to change the beauty industry.

Even though cosmetics can cause minor side effects such as allergic reactions, swelling, and irritation, they have no comparison to the extreme power and effects of drugs. It seems clear that the lack of interest in ingredients used in cosmetics will not change the fact that harmful ingredients may be used in beauty products.


Substance abuse and addiction statistics [2022]. NCDAS. (2022, April 6). Retrieved April 15, 2022, from 

Affairs, O. of R. (n.d.). Human drugs overview for imported products. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from 

Yu, H. L. (n.d.). Effects of the virtual makeup using beauty makeup applications on mood, body satisfaction, and self-esteem among female university students. Journal of the Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from 

D;, M. (n.d.). Cosmetics, skin care, and appearance in teenagers. Seminars in cutaneous medicine and surgery. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from 

Netfront. (2021, March 16). Drug use and aggression: How to protect yourself. Positive Choices. Retrieved April 16, 2022, from yourself#:~:text=When%20a%20person%20is%20intoxicated,harm%20to%20themselves%20and%20others. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 7). Treatment for common illnesses. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 19, 2022, from

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13 Responses to Rebuttal Rewrite – Schoolcookiemonster

  1. schoolcookiemonster says:

    I finished my Rebuttal argument but wanna make sure I am making a strong argument that is clear and straightforward.

  2. davidbdale says:

    I fixed your Title.

    You have made the same mistake a couple of times, Cookie. Understand this important difference in the way you characterize people with opinions different than your own.

    While some argue that cosmetics are not considered drugs and should not be considered drugs, It is actually true that cosmetics should be identified as drugs because of the extensive list of dangerous side effects they have on users.

    What you want to do is point out a Categorical Difference.
    —You say “Cosmetics ARE Drugs.”
    —Other people say “Cosmetics ARE NOT Drugs.”

    Don’t lose sight of this critical difference. When you say, “some argue that cosmetics are not CONSIDERED drugs,” you completely change the argument from WHAT COSMETICS ARE to WHAT COSMETICS ARE CALLED.
    If your opponent said, “I object that cosmetics ARE NOT CONSIDERED drugs,” she would be arguing that cosmetics SHOULD BE CONSIDERED drugs. In other words, you and she would be in agreement. Here’s what your paragraph should say:

    While some argue that cosmetics ARE NOT DRUGS and SHOULD NOT BE CALLED DRUGS, the fact that they are taken into the body and have serious, often very dangerous effects on the body means that they ARE DRUGS and SHOULD BE CLASSIFIED AND REGULATED AS DRUGS by the Food and Drug Administration.

    I hope that’s clear. Please steal this sentence to establish your argument clearly before you get to the evidence.

  3. davidbdale says:

    In your first paragraph, while you’re praising the FDA as a reliable source of information, you actually want to use them as your Worthy Opponent here, Cookie. While they’re overall credible, in the case of defining what a drug is, they CREATE CONFUSION and SEND A DANGEROUS MESSAGE to consumers that cosmetics are not drugs. They disqualify cosmetics as drugs because of their PURPOSE. (They are not intended to cure disease.) Your point of view, on the contrary, is that their purpose is irrelevant to the WAY THEY AFFECT THE BODY. They are absorbed into the body (LIKE DRUGS) and they have dangerous effects on our health and bodily functions (LIKE DRUGS). Based on those effects, they should be CLASSIFIED as drugs and REGULATED as drugs because they ARE DRUGS.

  4. davidbdale says:

    When you say it this way:

    It is clear that there is a straightforward definition of what a drug is that cosmetics do not fall into

    you sound as if you’re arguing AGAINST classifying cosmetics as drugs.

    What you mean is that THERE IS A FLAWED DEFINITION of what a drug is that DISQUALIFIES cosmetics as a drug.

  5. davidbdale says:

    I’ve broken your Introduction into two paragraphs, Cookie. You need to establish the groundwork carefully before you move on to whether the severity of side effects warrants deliberate regulation. And I don’t think you need to give much ground there, either. Right now your second paragraph sounds VERY SUPPORTIVE of the position that cosmetics can be sold without regulation because they don’t kill their users quickly.

  6. davidbdale says:

    You should try to use the opioid crisis to your advantage, Cookie. It’s not exactly true that

    “Over 700,000 drug overdose deaths” occur on an annual basis. This proves that drug addictions are an ongoing issue that has been WIPING out large populations of both teens and adults across the nation.

    For your purposes, the lesson of opioids is that the catastrophe snuck up on the nation. The general public was unaware of it UNTIL it started killing hundreds of thousands annually. It HAS recently, but it HASN’T ALWAYS. So . . . while we’re not convinced currently that cosmetics are a SEVERE HEALTH HAZARD, they need to be rigorously tested and regulated to PREVENT THEM from becoming a crisis.

    Dangerous chemicals DO eventually get recognized and removed from the market. Vitamin B10 sounds innocuous, but:

    PABA can cause skin irritation and might also stain clothing with a yellow color. It might cause nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take PABA in high doses. Taking more than 12 grams per day can cause serious side effects such as liver, kidney, and blood problems.

    Nobody wants PABA in their sunscreen any more. And the FDA has at least PROPOSED regulations:

    So, shouldn’t there be a blanket understanding that chemicals absorbed into the body DESERVE to be treated as drugs based on their invasive nature and danger?

  7. davidbdale says:

    Your “While drugs” paragraph could use a little fine-tuning too. Doesn’t the fact that cosmetics are used for the comparatively trivial purpose of enhancing our appearance make them MORE QUALIFIED for regulation than drugs that SAVE OUR LIVES? We understand when we take cancer drugs that there will be serious, often dangerous side effects. BUT WE TAKE THEM because their life-saving BENEFITS outweigh their dangers and costs.

    How can we justify taking potentially harmful drugs into our body, though, when the big benefit is SLIGHTLY LESS CRAPE-Y SKIN? Cosmetics should have to PROVE THEIR SAFETY since their benefits DON’T QUALIFY for special favors.

  8. davidbdale says:

    I like your point that cosmetic users VOLUNTEER TO PARTICIPATE in drugging themselves for beauty. It gives you the chance to argue that these consumers need to be PROTECTED FROM THEMSELVES, since they don’t seem motivated to protect their own safety.

  9. davidbdale says:

    I hope that was valuable, Cookie. Your argument has come a long way, and you’re taking a careful, reasonable, logical approach with lots of evidence from a variety of angles. It’s the nuance of how you express yourself that needs the most fine-tuning. Feel free to put this back into Feedback Please at any time following significant revisions.

  10. schoolcookiemonster says:

    I did a lot of clarification on this argument since some of my sentences were confusing to understand. I wanted to make sure my writing was more organized and had a better flow. I also worked on punctuation as well as some grammar problems.

  11. davidbdale says:

    I have noted your many improvements, Cookie, and regraded your post accordingly.

    Where you’re still confusing, it’s because you make flat claims that don’t champion their own value. In other words, you’re not “wielding” your claims. Let me demonstrate. Your paragraph:

    Cosmetics have limited regulations since consumers only experience moderate side effects within a short period of time. Medicinal drugs are used to ensure better health, physically and internally, that help patients in a matter of days. Drugs have a large handbook of side effects and powerful active ingredients that work quickly and precisely when it comes to doses given to their patients. It is important to understand what audience is consuming a drug since one wrong dose can be life-threatening.

    It’s all good information, but readers need your help to decide what it means. First sentence:

    Cosmetics have limited regulations since consumers only experience moderate side effects within a short period of time.

    —You’ve already said that “cosmetics should be regulated as drugs by the FDA.”
    —And you’ve said that “Cosmetics do not fall into the definition of what a drug is according to the FDA”
    —So, this is time to put the claim to bed.

    Cosmetics FAIL TO MEET the FDA’s definition of a drug for THREE REASONS. 1) Cosmetics are not intended to cure or prevent disease; 2) Side effects of cosmetics are moderate; and 3) Side effects are short-term. But these criteria are both narrow-minded AND short-sighted. The side effects are not negligible. If a medicinal skin cream caused rashes, or was linked to serious skin ailments, it would certainly be regulated. Also, the long-term effects of cosmetics absorbed through the skin should not be ignored. And the fact that cosmetics don’t cure or prevent illness is EVEN MORE REASON they should be prevented from DOING HARM since they serve no HEALTH BENEFIT to balance the damage they do.

    See what I mean? You’ve made most of the foundational claims but without GUIDING readers to the argument point by point.

    Regraded. Still eligible for more feedback and improvement.

  12. schoolcookiemonster says:

    Thank you for the feedback I made the changes to the essay to ensure my audience has a clear understanding of my argument.

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