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Controversial Ingredients: One Brand’s Perspective

By: Ada Polla and Anne Pouillot
Posted: November 29, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 10 of 11

Should they be replaced? Probably. While the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) confirmed in 2002 and 2003 that DEP is not an endocrine disruptor,31, 32 the suspicion of reduced fertility is concerning enough to replace them. Moreover, given that DBP is prohibited in some countries, there is a general mistrust of the use of DEP in cosmetic products.

Finally, the regulatory environment may be changing. Indeed, the same French bill proposal that would ban parabens would also ban phthalates in all industries.

What are the alternatives? One alternative, of course, is to offer fragrance-free products, but many consumers still prefer cosmetic products that smell good. For brand owners who choose to continue to use fragrance, natural fragrances and synthetic fragrances formulated without phthalates are available.33 At Alchimie Forever, we strongly believe in the benefits of smell and aromatherapy. The sensorial properties of our skin care products are essential to our skin care philosophy and are much appreciated by our consumers. Our fragrances are certified phthalate-free.

Conclusion

As a skin care brand owner, I continually learn from science, from new developments in our industry and from our consumers. As such, I periodically make changes to our formulas, some of which have been discussed. A number of ingredients, such as the ones reviewed in this article, have been vilified in the past few years by various activist groups perpetuating ingredient myths.

Scientific evidence suggests that some of these ingredients, i.e., formaldehyde releasers, should be eliminated from cosmetic formulations. Other ingredients, i.e., parabens, while safe according to the available scientific data, should be eliminated for commercial reasons, and replaced with less controversial alternatives that are as safe and effective. Finally, some ingredients are adequate to formulate with, such as silicone or fragrances.