Cosmetics giant L’Oréal commits to disclosing fragrance ingredients

French personal care brand L’Oréal has announced plans to disclose some of the fragrance ingredients in its products. A company spokesperson told Chemical Watch: “We would like to take this opportunity to state our future goal of communicating to a larger extent the composition of our perfumes in all our products, in a way that meets the expectations of our consumers and ensures their safety while at the same time fully respecting the know-how of our perfume creators and protecting us from the major risks of fine fragrance counterfeiting.” But she said she could not reveal when the initiative would be launched, because this was “confidential”.

‘Lagging behind’

The NGO US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) has been running an ongoing campaign for L’Oréal to disclose fragrance ingredients and eliminate toxic chemicals from its products. Dev Gowda, director of the Make It Toxic-Free programme for US PIRG, told Chemical Watch that L’Oréal was “lagging behind the curve” by failing to disclose the fragrance ingredients in its products. “Certain fragrance chemicals have been linked to cancer and hormone disruption, and consumers have a right to know which chemicals are in the products they use. L’Oréal should step up and disclose fragrance ingredients, because we’re worth it” he said. Last year, representatives from US PIRG and the NGOs Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and the Campaign for Safer Cosmetics delivered a petition to L’Oréal headquarters with 150,000 signatures calling for the company to disclose fragrance ingredients and eliminate hazardous chemicals from its products. The L’Oréal spokesperson said the company communicates “the relevant perfume ingredients that are part of the 26 fragrance allergens listed in the EU” on its products. Products also include ingredients listed on the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) database. The INCI database of cosmetic ingredient names is maintained by the US trade association, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC). Companies can apply for their ingredient to be given an INCI label name and have it added to the database. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel assesses the ingredient before it is added to the database. The spokesperson also said that L’Oréal has a website which communicates how the company evaluates the human and environmental safety of its products and provides answers to specific questions consumers may have about its products and ingredients’ safety.

Disclosure trend

There is a growing trend for consumer goods companies to disclose fragrance ingredients, following increasing demand from the public to know what is in the products they buy. Unilever US disclosed fragrance ingredient information for almost 100 of its products online and through its SmartLabel app last year and expanded the initiative to include the UK and France this year. Last year, US consumer goods giant, Procter & Gamble, announced it will reveal the fragrance ingredients, down to 0.01% of content, for all products sold in the US and Canada by the end of 2019. Cleaning products giant SC Johnson began disclosing fragrance ingredients in 2015 and launched a Glade product range with 100% ingredient disclosure the following year.

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Chemical Watch, 7 June 2018 ;

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