By Rob

In Cosmetics

Removal of “Toxic ingredients” Due to Public Pressure

Recently, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) created a petition to usher in corporate initiative to remove chemicals from their cosmetic products. The petition was highly received and soon contained over 100,000 supporters. Specifically, long-chain parabens and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals have been highly targeted in the cosmetic industry as “toxic ingredients.” Ultimately, under pressure of public opinion, some company giants announced the removal of isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben from its formulations. Revlon has announced the removal of these debated ingredients and formaldehyde releasers from their formulas based on public pressure. Revlon is one of the first big beauty brands to show a commitment to rethinking their dependence on these conventional chemicals. Some companies are also in the midst of reformulating any products containing butylparaben. Other notable chemicals targeted by the public are the formaldehyde releaser DMDM hydantoin and the chemical quaternium-15. These chemicals were especially concerning to consumers as the EWG identified isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben as being linked to endocrine disruption due to their ability to act as estrogens. DMDM hydantoin is a formaldehyde releasing chemical which is also labelled by EWG as a potent allergen. The EWG is pressing companies to release ingredient policies as well as disclosure of allergens in products. This is an uncommon practice in cosmetics. The ongoing challenge for cosmetic brand owners is to assure the public is receiving factual information on the safety of cosmetic ingredients, and that these highly qualified and experienced cosmetic owners can help educate and consult the public on topics highly debated in the current cosmetic industry.