OUR COMMITMENT TO SAFETY

Guaranteeing the quality, efficacy and safety of our cosmetic products is the commitment of our teams daily.
Because we know that your beauty is above all a matter of trust we are committed to providing you with the answers to the questions you have about our products and ingredients.
This page is made for you, it will evolve over time based on your feedback and we strive to constantly enrich it with new content, to always better answer your questions.

INGREDIENTS

ALCOHOL IN COSMETICS

What is alcohol in cosmetics?

The alcohol used in cosmetics is denatured alcohol (also called denatured ethanol) to alter the taste and avoid misuse.

In our products, it appears in the list of ingredients on the packaging, under the name "ALCOHOL DENAT. "or "ALCOHOL". Not to be confused with fatty alcohols (cetyl alcohol for example), which appear on the list of ingredients with the word ALCOHOL always preceded by a term ending in "yl".

Where does it come from?

Allergens are substances that are naturally present in our environment and food. For example, pollen or mites in dust can cause asthma. Peanuts and some dry fruits, shrimp, kiwis are well known to cause potentially serious allergic reactions. Finally, synthetic ingredients can also be allergenic; this is the case of certain drugs, dyes and perfumes.

Why are they questioned?

Denatured alcohol is obtained by fermenting sugar starch (beet or sugar cane) or by synthesis. At YSL Beauty we do not use synthetic alcohol.

Why is it used?

Alcohol may be present in many categories of hair, cosmetic and hygiene products such as hair styling products, foundations, perfumes and deodorants.
• In cosmetics, alcohol is used for its high volatility (it disappears immediately after application), its drying, refreshing and antimicrobial properties.
• It facilitates the penetration of active ingredients into the superficial layers of the skin and promotes the deposit of ingredients on the skin or hair. For example, in make-up, it improves the deposit of foundation pigments on the skin.
• It is a very useful hydrolysing agent that helps dissolve certain ingredients.

Why is it questioned?

Denatured alcohol is sometimes perceived as irritating and drying.
The Facts:
• Because it evaporates rapidly, skin contact time with denatured alcohol is very short.

• We use it in our products in non-irritating concentrations and this is systematically checked in all the product categories concerned.

• We do not use alcohol in our halal certified cosmetic products.

What is it used for in our products?

• At YSL Beauty we do not use synthetic alcohol in our hair, cosmetics and hygiene products. The alcohol we use has a good environmental profile; it is sustainable, respects biodiversity and is not ecotoxic.
• Used in almost all categories of our product, the quantity of alcohol in cosmetics varies according to the type of product concerned. For example, alcohol is the main ingredient in perfume and eau de toilette formulations.
• At YSL Beauty, we also use denatured alcohol in products certified as organic or natural for its antimicrobial properties, in association with the preservatives authorised by organic labels.

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ALLERGENS

What are allergens?

Allergens are foreign substances to the body that can cause in some individuals, after contact, an exaggerated response of the immune system called "allergy".
There are several types of allergies among which the best known are :
- Immediate allergy mainly of food origin but also aerial or due to venoms, which can be very severe with expressions that go from skin rashes to anaphylactic shock
- Delayed allergy, or contact allergy, which results in skin symptoms (redness, itching...) that are more or less extended around the contact area with the allergen.

Where do they come from?

Allergens are substances that are naturally present in our environment and food. For example, pollen or mites in dust can cause asthma. Peanuts and some dry fruits, shrimp, kiwis are well known to cause potentially serious allergic reactions. Finally, synthetic ingredients can also be allergenic; this is the case of certain drugs, dyes and perfumes.

Why are they questioned?

Cosmetic products can sometimes cause allergic reactions, mainly what we call contact allergies.

Facts

- These reactions are rare, generally located where the product was applied and completely reversible when the product use is stopped. They may require a consultation with a dermatologist and an appropriate treatment.
- If a dermatologist diagnoses an allergy to one of our products, we provide him/her with the ingredients that compose it so that he/she can test it and determine the possible allergy of the patient. More suitable products can then be chosen.
- With regards to cosmetics, the only study that exists shows that the number of cases of true allergy (i.e. confirmed by a dermatologist) in the general population is estimated at 0.1 - 0.2%.

Why and how do we use them?

The ingredients we use in our products have all been rigorously evaluated regarding their allergenic potential. When we assess the safety of a cosmetic product before it is placed on the market, we check that the ingredients are used in such conditions that they will not induce any allergy.
Our products are subject to dedicated tests to check the absence of allergic reactions when used. This rigorous approach is applied to all the products we develop.
The complete list of ingredients in a product allows consumers who already know they are sensitized or allergic to a specific ingredient to choose products that do not contain it. And we propose a method of detecting a potential allergy before using the product. This is the case for hair dye products for which we recommend to routinely perform an allergy alert test 48 hours before using it.

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ALUMINIUM SALTS

What are they?

Aluminium salts are widely used: as adjuvants in vaccines, coagulants in water treatments and antacid drugs. Furthermore they are naturally present in food and water.

To identify them in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. They can be found under names such as “aluminium sulfate”, “aluminium chloride or “aluminium chlorohydrate”.

Where do they come from?

Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust and the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon.
Alum stone, which contains an aluminium salt, has long been known for its antiperspirant properties.

The aluminium salts used in our products are synthesized.

What are they used for?

Aluminium salts typically used in antiperspirants are the aluminium chlorohydrates. They are effective in combatting perspiration and associated odors.

They reduce sweating by forming small crystals at the mouth of the channels through which sweat flows.

Insoluble forms of aluminium are also used in the colored pigments of lipsticks and in toothpastes to eliminate tooth staining due to tea or coffee.

Why are they questioned?

Aluminium salts are accused of playing a role in the development of breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Facts:

● The safety of aluminium salts have been examined by many international expert groups over the last 10 years including the World Health Organization, the US Food and Drug Administration, the American Cancer Society as well as the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products.
● All confirmed that current knowledge does not support the link between aluminium salts used in cosmetics and breast cancer or Alzheimer's disease. These conclusions are perfectly consistent with the very low capacity of aluminium salts to penetrate the skin. More information here.
● A recent study has shown that ~ 0.01% of the aluminium present in an antiperspirant product penetrates the skin, which demonstrates it only pursues an action at surface level of the skin

Why and how do we use them?

We use aluminium salts in our antiperspirant products in a way that ensures the safety of our consumers.

To meet the demands of some of our consumers, we also develop deodorants without aluminium salts and work on equally effective alternatives.

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BHT

What is BHT?

Butylated Hydroxytoluene or BHT is a stabiliser that can be found in cosmetic products. It acts as an antioxidant that helps maintain the properties and performance of a product as it is exposed to air (to avoid a change in odor, in color, in texture...).

To identify BHT in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the acronym "BHT".

Where does it come from?

In cosmetics, BHT is of synthetic origin.
BHT is formulated in the laboratory.

What is it used for?

BHT is used in various cosmetic products, including certain formulas containing fats or in aqueous emulsions containing certain active ingredients or plant extracts.

It is used in certain products to stabilise and protect the raw materials themselves, and less as an ingredient in and of itself

It can resist to high temperatures (unlike some natural antioxidants): it is therefore very useful in certain raw material manufacturing processes

We exceptionally use it as an ingredient for its antioxidant properties, helping to protect the products of oxidation and ensure the quality and stability of formulas

Why is it questioned?

BHT is accused of being an endocrine disruptor and of having toxic effects on the liver, kidneys and lungs at extreme doses, by ingestion. BHT is also suspected of having a potential for bioaccumulation in aquatic species. Lastly, it is wrongly accused of carrying a carcinogenic potential because it is confused with another ingredient called BHA.

Facts:

● BHT is not an endocrine disruptor according to the definition by the World Health Organization (WHO), whose role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations
● Studies showing the potential toxicity of BHT have been performed under conditions that are in no way similar to cosmetic use: ingestion of very high doses. More information here
● BHT is not considered a bioaccumulative substance for the aquatic environment. It has been evaluated by Sweden in the context of the 2004 European Working Group on Persistence, Bioaccumulability and Toxicity of Products on the Environment

Why and how do we use it?

BHT is an antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of products, and in particular the fatty phase of formulas that are likely to rancor or degrade when in contact with the air. It enables to maintain the properties and performance of a product when exposed to air.


We always use BHT at an optimal and regulated concentration level: 0.1% in leave-on products and 0.5% in rinse-off products. The safety of our products and ingredients is an absolute priority. We only market products that are safe which have been subject to a very strict evaluation of their quality and safety by internal and third party experts.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we are working with our suppliers to stop the use of BHT as a protecting agent of raw materials.

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COMPOSITION OF A FRAGRANCE

What are fragrances and fragrance ingredients?

Fragrances are olfactory compositions that require a perfumer's unique expertise. These olfactory compositions are combinations of fragrance ingredients. They are unique and are not protected by property rights such as patents. That's why they are closely protected by the perfumer's secrecy.

In cosmetic products, the presence of a fragrance is indicated in the list of ingredients under the name "FRAGRANCE". As the composition of the fragrance is subject to the perfumer's secrecy, only the potential fragrance allergens are available in the list of ingredients. This makes it possible to inform consumers that they are present. Fragrance allergens are synthetic or natural constituents. These ingredients are also found in essential oils.

Where do they come from?

There are two types of ingredients:
- Either obtained by synthesis
- Or extracted from natural ingredients

The arrival of synthetic ingredients at the beginning of the 20th century revolutionised the perfume world. The palette of ingredients was multiplied by four and enabled the perfume industry to reinvent itself by moving into new olfactory territories.
Without synthetic molecules in the composition of a fragrance, it would be impossible, for example, to reproduce certain fresh floral scents, like lilac, lily of the valley or jasmine... Indeed, these flowers remain 'mute' when you try to distil them or extract their scent.

Why are they used?

The role of smells in social relationships and well-being has been known for millennia.

• Fragrance ingredients are present in the composition of perfumes, eau de toilette and eau de Cologne.
• They also contribute to perfuming other cosmetic products (skin care, make-up, hygiene, etc.), where they contribute to the overall performance of the products.

Why are they being questioned?

Whether natural or synthetic, some perfumes or fragrance ingredients are perceived as causing allergies and others contain substances suspected of being reprotoxic and endocrine disrupting.
Others are identified as persistent in the environment.
The Facts:

● Fragrance ingredients are subject to risk assessment by the IFRA [lien IFRA : "https://ifrafragrance.org/], a body which strictly regulates the use of each fragrance ingredient in each product category. The European Cosmetics Regulation is also involved in the regulation of fragrance ingredients.

● Olfactory compositions are subject to an initial safety assessment by the supplier. They must then meet L'Oréal's specifications, which may go beyond what is required by international regulations. Our safety assessment takes account of the cumulative effect of fragrance ingredients found in any type of cosmetic product and exposure corresponds to the conditions of use (frequency and area of application). In the case of cosmetic products (excluding eau de toilette), exposure to the fragrance is very low as its content rarely exceeds 1%. This dual evaluation by both the supplier and by our teams of toxicologists guarantees that the products are used safely, minimizing the risk of allergy.

● Recent studies have included certain fragrance ingredients on lists of potential endocrine disrupters. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of endocrine disrupters, fragrance ingredients are not endocrine disrupters.

How are they used in our products?

• We use fragrance ingredients to create the Group's perfumes, eau de toilette and eau de Cologne products. The level of olfactory concentrate in these products can be up to 25%.
We also use fragrance ingredients to perfume other cosmetic products. For example, we put between 0.1 and 0.5% of olfactory concentrate in skin care products and 1% in hair products.
• The fragrances we use in our products for babies, children and people with atopic skin are formulated to minimize the risk of allergies.
• To limit the impact on the environment, we are working on more sustainable fragrances.

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EDTA

What is EDTA?

EDTA or ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid is a chelator that is widely used in cosmetic products.

To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the names: “calcium disodium EDTA”, “diammonium EDTA”, “dipotassium EDTA”, “disodium EDTA”, “disodium EDTA-copper”, “trisodium EDTA”.

Where does it come from?

EDTA is a synthetic ingredient.
It is formulated in the laboratory.

What is it used for?

EDTA acts as a chelator. It “grabs” metal ions that can affect the stability and / or appearance of cosmetic products.

EDTA is used to counter the hardness of water in rinse-off products.

It helps avoid the precipitation of certain ions (calcium, magnesium...) in order to ensure the quality and preservations of products

Why is it questioned?

EDTA is accused of causing irritation when in contact with the eyes and eczema. There are some concerns regarding the persistence and bioaccumulation in the environment, given the widespread use of EDTA.

Facts:

● There exists a lot of data on EDTA. Its safe use in cosmetics for decades is well reported.
● At the concentration level it is used in our products, EDTA is a very well tolerated ingredient and allergy cases are very rare.

Why and how do we use it?

We work with our suppliers to limit the use of EDTA to protect the raw materials we use.

In a process of continuous improvement, we are working to reduce or substitute EDTA present in our formulas when possible, while guaranteeing the same level of quality and product performance.

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MICA

What is mica?

Mica is a naturally-occurring mineral. It is used in pigmented products like powdered foundation to provide opacity and give pigments a pearly, shiny appearance.

To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name “mica”.

Where does it come from?

Our mica mainly comes from the USA and India.
Mica is extracted directly from the topsoil. It is one of the main compounds of granite.

What is it used for?

Mica is a safe ingredient used in lip make-up, nail polish and foundation thanks to its multiple properties and benefits:

Sparkle and shine (e.g. in eye shadows)
Glitter
Opacity to increase coverage (e.g. in powdered foundation)

Why is it questioned?

In India, mica mainly originates from socially and economically challenged regions where there is a risk of child labor, unsafe working conditions, and where the supply chain involves multiple actors, which makes it difficult to completely assess.

Facts:

● Facing these challenges, we have committed ourselves to remain in India and ensure the traceability and transparency of our supply chain. We believe that discontinuing the use of Indian mica would further weaken the situation in the region. In addition, local NGOs and expert organisations are supportive of efforts made to secure the mica supply chain and thus improve the living and working conditions in the region.
● We play an active role in collective actions such as the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI)* to ensure the responsible sourcing of Indian mica.
● As a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, we are committed to respect and promote human rights throughout our supply chain. This commitment is one of the pillars of our Code of Ethics.

*An initiative to eradicate child labour and unacceptable working conditions in the Indian mica supply chain by joining forces across industries with support of local NGOs.

Why and how do we use it?

We use Indian mica for its highly performing properties: bringing shine, glitter or opacity (e.g. for a better coverage in powdered foundation).
When technically possible, we use synthetic mica.

Today, 98% of our mica comes from completely verified sources. L’Oréal is a founding member of the Responsible Mica Initiative and is committed to ending child labour practices and improving the working conditions of Indian communities whose livelihoods depend on mica.
By partnering with stakeholders (industries, NGOs, etc.) and mica buyers through the RMI, we contribute to ensuring that the sector is responsible, ethical and protects children.

We support the livelihoods of local Indian communities by securing the supply chain.
By continuing to source mica in India via a transparent and traceable supply chain, we encourage to foster economic development and improve the living conditions of workers in India.

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MINERAL OILS

What are mineral oils?

Mineral oils are fats of fossil origin, colorless, odorless and tasteless that come in different forms (oils, gels...). The most known mineral oils are petrolatum and paraffin oil.

To identify them in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. They can be found under names such as "mineral oil", "paraffinum liquidum", "petrolatum", "cera microcristallina", "microcrystalline wax", "ozokerite", "ceresine isoparaffin", "paraffin" and "synthetic wax".

Where do they come from?

There are two types: mineral synthetic oils, which are perfectly pure from their production, and mineral oils from petrochemicals. The latter are refined mineral oils that are obtained after the purification of fossil materials such as coal, crude oil or natural gas.

The mineral oils we use in our cosmetic products are of pharmaceutical grade and thus very pure.

What are they used for?

Mineral oils are used in skincare, hair care products and lipsticks for their multiple benefits.

They protect the skin from dehydration
They are efficient for cleansing and for removing make-up
They improve the quality of textures

Why are they questioned?

The quality of mineral oils can be put into question due to the possible presence of impurities and polycyclic aromatic compounds that are cancerous. In food, mineral oils (which are saturated fats) can lead to cardiovascular risks.
In cosmetics, they are accused of being comedogenic and occlusive (which means they could block the pores of the skin).
From an environmental point of view, mineral oils - which are of fossil origin - are accused of not being assimilated by the environment after usage and that their use contributes to the depletion of natural resources.
Mineral oils are also regularly opposed to vegetable oils which are perceived as more environmentally friendly due to their renewability.

Facts:

● Mineral oils have been used in cosmetics for more than 100 years without having ever been associated with intolerance. They are very well tolerated and do not trigger any allergies, which allows them to be used on sensitive and fragile skin types.
● The mineral oils we use are of pharmaceutical and food grade. Thus, they do not contain polycyclic aromatic compounds.
● As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we strive to keep on reducing the environmental impact of our formulas.

How do we use them?

The mineral oils we use are not only duly authorized, they also meet the highest standards in terms of purity, quality and safety.
We only use mineral oils of very high quality corresponding to food or pharmaceutical grades. These oils have a very high level of purity and are thus perfectly safe.
Mineral oils used in lipsticks and balms - although the amounts ingested are minimal - are of food grade - the highest level of purity.
They are very stable and do not grow rancid. Their properties are complementary to those of vegetable oils.
Mineral and vegetable oils each have specificities of their own, responding to different desired effects. They are not substitutable.

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MIT

What is MIT?

Methylisothiazolinone or MIT is a preservative used in many consumer goods including cosmetic products, to preserve product quality and guarantee consumer safety by preventing the growth of microbes.

To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name « methylisothiazolinone ».

Where does it come from?

MIT is a synthetic ingredient.

What is it used for?

MIT is used to protect products from contamination by potentially pathogenic microbes (fungi and bacteria).

Antifungal and antibacterial properties
Preventing contamination
Ensuring the product is safe for consumers

Why is it questioned?

Following the controversy over parabens, MIT has been used increasingly as a preservative of cosmetic products. It was then accused of causing allergies and eczema.

Facts :

● MIT can induce allergies for some people, when it stays in prolonged contact with the skin, such as when using leave-on products (that do not rinse with water).
● Since the beginning of the 2000s with the increase of the presence of MIT in products, in particular leave-on cosmetic products, but also in several other types of consumer goods, cases of allergies to MIT have multiplied.
● For cosmetic products, this risk of allergy has only been confirmed for certain leave-on products that are not meant to be rinsed after use. As a result, a European regulation from July 2016 banned the use of MIT in leave-on products. Moreover, as early as 2013, the European Cosmetics Industry Association (Cosmetics Europe) had anticipated by asking its members to voluntarily cease the use of MIT in leave-on products.
● The use of MIT is limited to a concentration of 0.0015% in rinse-off products.

Why and how do we use it?

Since 2017, we no longer sell leave-on products containing MIT.
We have decided to go beyond the regulation and to completely phase out MIT of our products, including rinse-off products.

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NANOPARTICLES

What are nanoparticles?

The nanoparticles we use are tiny versions of the same safe ingredients that we have been using for decades. The only difference is that they are used at an extremely small scale, the nanometric scale.
1 millimetre = 1,000,000 nanometres.

All ingredients present in the form of nanomaterials are clearly indicated in the list of ingredients on packaging. The names of such ingredients are followed by the word “nano” in brackets: [nano.]

Which ones do we use?

At L’Oréal, we only use 4 ingredients at the nanometric scale.

Nano titanium dioxide
Nano zinc oxide
Nano carbon black
Nano silica

What are they used for?

Nanoparticles are used safely for their unique cosmetic benefits:

Increase the level of sun protection and avoid white marks on skin (nano titanium dioxide & nano zinc oxide)
Deliver the best product texture and provide a matte finish on skin (nano silica)
Increase the black intensity in mascara (nano carbon black)

Why are they questioned?

Nanoparticles are subject to controversy due to their possible impact when applied on damaged skin, and their potential toxicity in the event where they are ingested or inhaled (due to their small size).

Fact:

Nanomaterials are deemed safe for cosmetic use by the EU’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS). You can find more information

Why and how do we use them?

We only use nanoparticles when they enhance product performance: provide a higher quality and comfort, a better texture, a greater colour intensity.
The nanoparticles we use are perfectly safe, as confirmed by the SCCS.

We use nanoparticles in products that are not inhaled or ingested. They are not used in lipsticks or aerosols.
And the nanoparticles we use cannot penetrate the skin, including damaged skin.

When nanoparticles are present in our cosmetic products, we always inform our consumers in a transparent way. We apply the highest EU regulations everywhere in the world by labelling nanoparticles as [nano.] in the ingredients list.

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OCTOCRYLENE

What is octocrylene?

Octocrylene is an organic sun filter. It mainly absorbs UVB radiation, known to cause tanning but also sunburns and skin cancer.

To identify octocrylene in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name “octocrylene”.

Where does it come from?

Octocrylene is composed of organic compounds (carbon compounds that absorb UV rays) transformed to obtain this sun filter.

What is it used for?

Octocrylene protects the skin from sun damage and premature ageing. It also helps prevent risks of skin cancer.

This filter mainly absorbs UVB radiation, and also short UVA radiation, which is responsible for ageing but also for skin cancer

Octocrylene remains stable and thus effective during sun exposure. It enables the use of avobenzone, a sun filter that is particularly effective against UVA rays, by stabilising it

It allows sunscreen products to be water resistant

Why is it questioned?

Octocrylene is questioned due to its allergenic potential. Some cases of allergies by exposure to the sun (photo-allergies) have been identified as well as cases of transient skin irritation in contexts of high concentration of octocrylene. This ingredient is also accused of being an endocrine disruptor.

Facts:

● Octocrylene alone does not induce photoallergy. In general, cases of allergies to this ingredient are very rare.
● According to the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety of the European Commission, octocrylene is not considered a photo-allergen or even an allergen.
● Lastly, octocrylene is not an endocrine disruptor according to the definition by the World Health Organization, whose role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations.

Why and how do we use it?

We use octocrylene at a concentration level of 7% in products for adults and 3.5% in children's products, even though it is authorized at a concentration level of 10% in all formulas, regardless of the target.
Whenever possible we even go beyond the regulation. We have developed with pediatricians a specific formulation chart for products destined to children, which limits the concentration level of octocrylene to 3.5%.

Octocrylene is necessary to stabilise avobenzone: their use in association enables to ensure an optimal performance (UVA + UVB coverage).
Alternatives to octocrylene do not provide a level of protection that is as sufficient.

As it is the case for all of our products, those containing octocrylene undergo a strict evaluation of their quality and safety before they are placed on the market anywhere in the world.

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PALM OIL

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is a vegetable oil used in cosmetics for its moisturising and texturising properties. Palm oil derivatives are glycerol, fatty acids or fatty alcohols, ingredients used in products for their emollient or foaming properties.

To identify palm oil in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name “Elaeis Guineensis Oil”.

Where does it come from?

Our palm oil trees are grown in Malaysia and Indonesia, which represents 85% of the world’s palm oil supply. 40% of producers are smallholder farmers.

Palm oil comes from the palm fruit while palmist oil is derived from the kernel.

What is it used for?

Palm oil and its derivatives are used for their unique natural cosmetic properties:

Moisturising
Foaming, softening and solubilising actions
Texturising

Why is it questioned?

The palm oil industry often faces criticism for the deforestation it continues to cause and its consequences: clearing of wild animals’ natural habitat (including rainforests), and depletion of valuable carbon sinks including peatlands and trees.

Facts:

• 100% of the palm oil sourced by L’Oréal has complied with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards since 2010, following the rigorous Segregated (SG) model, one of the most demanding.
• Our ambition and achievements in fighting deforestation have been recognised. In 2017, for the second year running, L’Oréal was awarded an “A” score by CDP, the highest possible level of performance. For more information, click here.

Why and how do we use it?

We use palm oil and its derivatives thanks to their multiple benefits such as skin hydration, foaming, softening and texturising actions in products.
Palm oil and its derivatives have essential cosmetic properties with no viable alternatives.

The palm oil we use is sourced sustainably.
Moreover, in 2014, L’Oréal set about tracing its palm oil derivatives back to the field. To date, research has traced 95% of the total palm oil derivatives volume back to the refineries, 85% to the mills and 25% to the plantations. By 2020, at the latest, none of our products will be linked to deforestation.

We are committed to supporting independent smallholders, who make up to 40% of palm oil production, by helping them grow without causing further deforestation.
By 2020, our sustainable sourcing strategy will provide livelihood for more than 10,000 small independent farmers.

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PARABENS

What are parabens?

Parabens are preservatives used in some cosmetics to preserve product quality and guarantee consumer safety by preventing the growth of microbes.

To identify them in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. They can be found under names such as “methylparaben” or “propylparaben” among others.

Where do they come from?

In cosmetics, parabens are of synthetic origin.
Parabens also come from nature and are present in food items such as red fruits, carrots and royal jelly.

What are they used for?

Most hygiene and beauty products contain water, which makes them prone to the growth of harmful pathogens (fungal and bacterial) which could lead to mold, the breakdown of the product and more. Parabens have been used in medicine and cosmetics for close to a century.

Antifungal and antibacterial properties
Preventing contamination
Ensuring the product is safe for consumers

Why are they questioned?

A few non-clinical studies suggested that a certain type of parabens (long chain parabens) might cause endocrine disruption and breast cancer.

Facts:

● The most widely used group of preservatives in cosmetics are short-chain parabens. They are safe, gentle, and efficient preservatives.
● These facts are repeatedly confirmed by the EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).

Why and how do we use them?

We use short-chain parabens (methyl- and ethyl-) in an optimal concentration level to ensure our products are well protected against microbes, and that they can be safely used by consumers.
As it is the case for all of our products, those containing parabens undergo a strict evaluation of their quality and safety by internal and third party experts before they are placed on the market.

We are committed to using short-chain parabens only, which are recognized as perfectly safe by the EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety.
Short-chain parabens are well known to be safe preservatives.

Short-chain parabens are biodegradable.
They do not pose any threat to the environment

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PEG/PPG

What are PEG/PPG?

Polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polypropylene glycols (PPG) are humectants (which help retain or preserve moisture) or emulsifiers that can be found in many cosmetic products.

To identify them in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. They can usually be found by names starting with PEG- or PPG-

Where do they come from?

PEG and PPG are synthetic ingredients.

What are they used for?

Mainly used as emulsifiers to homogeneously mix ingredients that are normally immiscible such as water and oils.

Also used as thickening or gelling agents.

Key ingredients in cosmetic products also used as a food additive in certain food items (E1521).

Why are they questioned?

They are accused of being carcinogenic, of being toxic to the liver and kidneys and of causing allergies. They are also suspected of being toxic for the environment.

Facts

● PEGs present no risk for health. They have been used in the medical field for decades.
● According to the general opinion of scientists and health authorities, PEGs are well tolerated by the skin: they do not present any allergenic potential at their concentration level in our products. PEGs can be irritating if used pure but present no risk in formulas when used in low concentrations.
● They are not toxic to the environment, yet they are not biodegradable.

Why and how do we use them?

PEGs and PPGs allow to formulate products of many different kinds of textures. Their diversity makes it possible to offer products with various sensorialities and which are adapted to each type of skin.

In a process of continuous improvement, we are working closely with our suppliers to improve the production process of PEGs and PPGs and their impact on the environment.

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PHENOXYETHANOL

What is phenoxyethanol?

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in some cosmetics to preserve product quality and guarantee consumer safety by preventing the growth of microbes.

To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name “phenoxyethanol”.

Where does it come from?

In cosmetics, phenoxyethanol is of synthetic origin.
Phenoxyethanol can also come from nature and be found in plants such as chicory.

What is it used for?

Phenoxyethanol is used to preserve products from being contaminated:

It has antifungal properties
It prevents the contamination of products by microbes
It boosts the efficacy of other preservatives and decreases the total amount of preservatives needed in a product

Why is it questioned?

Phenoxyethanol is accused of causing endocrine disruption and having effects on the blood and liver at extreme doses. Phenoxyethanol is also said to cause allergies though only very few cases have been observed.

Facts:

● The SCCS* from the European Commission reviewed the full data set available and concluded that the use of phenoxyethanol as a preservative at a concentration level of 1% in cosmetic products is safe for all consumer targets.**
● The studies that stirred controversy were conducted under high doses: the equivalent of 120 bottles of cream applied to the skin every day.
● Skin allergies are extremely rare: 1 case out of 1,000,000 users.
*Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety.
**The French National Agency for Medicine and Health Products Safety (ANSM) alone recommended not using phenoxyethanol in wipes or diaper area products.

Why and how do we use it?

We use the optimal concentration of phenoxyethanol, which is below 1%, to ensure our products remain safe and well protected against microbes, so they present no risk for the consumer.
As it is the case for all of our products, we always assess their quality and safety profile before they are placed on the market by internal and third party experts.

When it is present in our products, we label it clearly in the ingredients list on packaging.
We always inform our consumers in a transparent manner about the ingredients used in our products. Everywhere in the world we apply the EU regulations with regards to labelling.

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PRESERVATIVES

What are they?

Preservatives are substances of natural or synthetic origin whose main role is to prevent the development of microbes (bacteria and fungi). They are widely used to prevent microbial contamination of food, medicine or cosmetic products.
Parabens and phenoxyethanol are examples of preservatives.

Where do they come from?

Preservatives are most often synthetic substances of different chemical families (aldehydes, parabens, phenoxyethanol, organic acids).
They can also be of natural origin and chemically transformed (e.g: benzoic or salicylic acid).

What are they used for?

Preservatives are used in cosmetic products to preserve product quality and guarantee consumer safety by preventing the growth of microbes. A poorly protected and contaminated cosmetic product poses a risk to the consumer and can lead to irritations or infections.

Essential to ensure the protection of certain categories of products from microbial contamination that can occur during manufacturing or after repeated use.

Cosmetic products have a so-called long lifetime (6 to 24 months after opening) and, unlike perishable foods, are kept at room temperature.

Why are they questioned?

They are often accused of causing allergies, playing a role in the occurrence of certain cancers, and are singled out as endocrine disruptors.

Facts:

• The number and concentration of preservatives that can be used in cosmetic products are very limited and strictly regulated by numerous international regulations.
• The safety data of these preservatives are very often re-examined by the scientific experts of the international health authorities, in order to take into account the most recent studies.
• At this occasion, the concentrations that can be used in cosmetic products can be adjusted in order to eliminate the potential impacts on the consumer’s health.

Why and how do we use them?

We use a very limited number of selected preservatives for certain categories of products. Their concentrations are rigorously determined to guarantee the right level of microbiological protection of the product, in the strict respect of international regulations, while ensuring a perfect innocuity for the consumer.

We use different kinds of preservatives: if the same preservatives are constantly used, this leads to a higher exposure and therefore a higher risk of allergy for the consumer.

The preservatives used in organic products are of natural origin and chemically transformed. We already use some of them in our products, but given their intrinsic allergenic potential (increased risks of contact allergy), we want to gather more cosmetovigilance data before using them on a larger scale. In addition, their specific characteristics mean that they cannot be used in all formulations.

We are developing more and more specific packaging and new formulations that are not vulnerable to microbiological contamination.

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SILICONES

What are silicones?

Silicones are synthetic ingredients that come in the form of oils and gels with a more or less thick texture.

To identify them in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. They can be found under names such as "dimethicone", "cyclopentasiloxane", "dimethiconol", "phenyl trimethicone", "amodimethicone", "cyclomethicone". The easiest way to identify silicones is to look for words that end in one of these: –cone, –conol, –silane or –siloxane.

Where do they come from?

Silicones used in cosmetics are of synthetic origin.
Silicones are ingredients synthesized from silicon, a mineral compound found abundantly in nature as silica, the main constituent of sand.

What are they used for?

Silicones are used in some cosmetic products thanks to their unique sensory benefits and properties:
Long lasting effect in lipstick
Silicones are smoothing: they give products like creams or make-up a silky, spreadable, luxurious texture
Shine and softness in shampoo and other hair care products

Why are they questioned?

Silicones are accused of causing skin congestion, clogging pores and dehydrating the skin. They are also said to have an occlusive effect on hair, making it greasy again quite fast.
Silicones are not easily biodegradable in the environment, meaning some silicones accumulate.
Lastly, the silicone called cyclotetrasiloxane (D4) is suspected of having carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic effects for reproduction.

Facts:

● There is no scientific evidence that hair products containing silicones have a negative impact on scalp health (greasing or other undesirable effect)
● We always choose silicones that are at once highly performing and with the least impact on the environment. Cyclopentasiloxane (D5) and cyclohexasiloxane (D6) are currently being evaluated at European level under the PBT criteria (Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic) for the environment.
● We don’t use D4.

Why and how do we use them?

The silicones we use allow to achieve a wide range of textures and a high level of product performance, especially in terms of shine and lightness.

We favor the use of silicones which have the least environmental impact. Furthermore, efforts are continuously being made to improve the biodegradability of our formulas in general.
D5 is only used in our rinse-off products.

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SULPHATES

What are sulphates?

Sulphates are ingredients that create the foaming effect of shampoos and shower gels for example and that help rid the skin and hair of soiling.

To identify them in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. They can be found under names such as "sodium lauryl sulphate" (SLS), "sodium laureth sulphate" (SLES), "ammonium lauryl sulphate". The most commonly used ones are SLS and SLES.

Where do they come from?

In cosmetics, sulphates are of synthetic origin.
Sulphates are ingredients synthesized in the laboratory from fatty alcohol. We only use fatty alcohols of vegetable origin.

What are they used for?

Sulphates are used in cosmetic products such as shower gels, exfoliants, shampoos, conditioners, facial cleansing gels, liquid hand soaps, personal hygiene products, toothpastes, thanks to their benefits:

Cleaning and foaming agent
Easy to rinse
Clean sensation

Why are they questioned?

Sulphates are accused of causing irritation or dryness. They are said to remove part of the protective hydrolipidic film naturally present on skin and scalp. Sulphates can also sting when in contact with the eyes.
Lastly, the supply of fatty-chain alcohols, which are at the origin of sulphates, is questioned as they could be derived from palm oil. The methods of obtaining certain sulphates can lack eco-friendliness.

Facts:

● Sulphates, which are destined for use in rinse-off products, do not persist in the environment.
● Because we only use them in products that are rinsed with water, the risk of irritation is very low.

Why and how do we use them?

Sulphates are always used at the right concentration to ensure the efficiency of our products without any compromise on skin or scalp tolerance.
Sulphates, especially sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), have been used safely in our shampoos since 1930.

We only use sulphates in our rinse-off products. These products can be used without any fear of skin or scalp irritation as the contact with the skin is very short.
We offer products specifically for sensitive skin that are labeled as such. To meet the expectations of certain consumers, we also offer sulphate-free formulas.

We guarantee a sustainable supply of our sulphates and favor the use of those that have a lower environmental impact. We try to propose formulas that are as biodegradable as possible (> 90%) and also use a selection of softer sulphates, even natural ones.

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SUN FILTERS

What are sun filters?

Sun filters are essential ingredients that protect the skin from sun damage and prevent the risks of skin cancer such as melanoma as well as sunburn, premature aging of the skin, or the appearance of spots.
Organic filters absorb UVA and UVB rays, while mineral filters reflect mainly UVB radiation.
Each sun filter provides a specific type of protection, which is why sunscreen products or daily photo-protection products (day cream with SPF) are usually composed of a combination of filters to guarantee the most adapted protection.

To identify sun filters in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. They can be found under the names "mexoryl", "octocrylene", "tinosorb" (organic filters), "titanium dioxide", "zinc oxide" (mineral filters).

Where do they come from?

Sun filters consist of mineral compounds (originating from rocks and which reflect UV rays) or organic compounds (originating from carbon and which absorb UV rays) that are transformed to obtain sunscreens.

What are they used for?

Sun filters are ingredients used in sunscreen and skincare products to protect the skin from sun damage.

Sunscreens prevent the risk of skin cancer by protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays
They protect against skin reactions and sunburns
They protect the skin from premature ageing by preventing UVA rays from penetrating deeper into the skin

Why are they questioned?

Certain organic filters are accused of causing allergies, while others are pointed out as being endocrine disruptors. Mineral filters - when in nanometric form - are suspected of crossing biological barriers like the skin or mucous membranes, and spreading into the body, causing certain types of cancer. Lastly, sun filters are said to impact the environment and in particular coral reefs.

Facts:

● Sun filters are not endocrine disruptors according to the definition of the

World Health Organization

, whose role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations
● In nanometric form, they are safe, as confirmed by the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), and do not cross the skin barrier.
● Lastly, according to the scientific community, they do not contribute to the bleaching of coral reefs. This phenomenon is mainly due to the rise in temperature of oceans linked to global warming. Secondary reasons are overfishing, the poor purification of urban effluents or the water streaming on agricultural surfaces that pollute the lagoons.

Why and how do we use them?

We use sun filters only in products where they are required to protect the skin from sun damage (skin cancer, sunburn, premature aging of the skin, appearance of spots).
A regular application of sunscreen helps maintain the protective effects on skin. We develop various products and textures (sprays, mists...), encouraging consumers to use sunscreen and reapply them as often as necessary.

We always choose a combination and quantity of filters that provide both an optimal level of protection and tolerance, coupled with a minimal environmental impact.
All of our products undergo a strict evaluation of their quality and safety for humans as well as for the environment before they are placed on the market. This is a fundamental principle that we apply anywhere in the world.

For more than 20 years, our environmental research laboratory has been working to understand and always improve the impact of our sunscreen products on the aquatic environment.
To benefit from the latest scientific advances, we collaborate with research teams of excellence such as the Monaco Scientific Center, the Criobe and the Tara Foundation.
In fact, the Monaco Scientific Center and L’Oréal Research & Innovation have just published their findings on the absence of harmful effects of UV filters used in cosmetics on the photosynthetic activity of corals.

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TALC

What is talc?

Talc is a natural mineral from the same family as clays. It has been known and used as a skin care ingredient since the Antiquity. It is historically used for its absorbing properties.

To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name “talc”.

Where does it come from?

In cosmetics, talc can be of natural origin and in some cases synthetic.
Talc is obtained by powder reduction and purification of magnesium silicate, a naturally occurring crystalline mineral.

What is it used for?

Talc is used in a large number of cosmetic products such as antiperspirants, powdered foundation, feminine hygiene products or baby care, for its multiple properties and benefits:

For the skin: absorbing properties, transparency, soft and silky finish

In formulation: for long lasting fragrances, better adherence of textures, efficient to disperse pigments

Why is it questioned?

Talc is accused of being carcinogenic when used in feminine hygiene products, due to the possible presence of asbestos traces in it – which are known to be carcinogenic to humans when inhaled. Talc powder is also accused of causing irritation. Lastly, talc sourcing can be controversial as the revenues coming from talc supplies originating from Pakistan and Afghanistan could contribute to the financing of terrorist groups, due to an opaque and poorly regulated mining.

Facts:

● L'Oréal does not market feminine hygiene products.
● We only offer two products in the form of talc powder, and all precautions of use are indicated on the packaging so they are used in a safe way by our consumers.
● Regarding talc sourcing: the talc we use mainly comes from France and Italy. We do not source talc from Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Why and how do we use it?

The talc we use is of high quality, guaranteeing the absence of risk for bronchopulmonary cancers.
As part of our continuous improvement process, we have developed a quality commitment with our raw material suppliers to guarantee the absence of asbestos traces in the talc we use.

The precautions of use of talc are clearly indicated on the packaging of our products.
Because it can cause irritation when inhaled, talcum powder must be used with caution.

Our talc mainly comes from France and Italy. 99,94% of the talc we source is from secured origin. We do not source talc from Afghanistan or Pakistan.
Responsible sourcing is at the heart of our purchasing policy, in line with our values - integrity, respect and transparency. Our teams strive to always improve our control over the talc supply chain.

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TITANIUM DIOXIDE

What is titanium dioxide?

Titanium dioxide is a mineral composed of titanium and oxygen in the form of a white powder. It can be found in cosmetic products like sunscreen.

To identify titanium dioxide in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the names "titanium dioxide", "titanium dioxide [nano.]", "CI 77891".

Where does it come from?

In cosmetics, titanium dioxide is used either as a sun filter or as a white pigment.
Titanium dioxide is a white powder obtained by transformation of mineral compounds extracted from rocks.

What is titanium dioxide used for?

Titanium dioxide has many applications in food or in cosmetics, especially for:

Its white colouring properties
Its ultraviolet filtration properties

Why is it questioned?

Titanium dioxide used as a food additive is currently subject to discussions because of its impact in case of oral exposure (or ingestion) - a different use from that of cosmetics.
The controversy around titanium dioxide is linked to the fact that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified titanium dioxide as a possible carcinogen for humans by inhalation.
Titanium dioxide is also suspected of crossing the skin barrier when applied in nanometric form on injured skin.
Lastly, there is a debate on the contamination of the environment by titanium dioxide in nanometric form, especially in aquatic ecosystems (plankton).

Facts :

● In sunscreens and beauty products, titanium dioxide nanoparticles have been assessed by the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS), which has approved their use as anti-UV, with a maximum concentration of 25%*.
● Whatever its size (nanometric or not), titanium dioxide does not penetrate the skin. More information here and there
*Opinion on Titanium Dioxide (nano form)” Report, COLIPA n° S75 (SCCS /1516/13), April 2014

Why and how do we use titanium dioxide?

When it serves as a sun filter, it is in nanometric form, so it is more efficient. In its other uses, it is used in non-nanometric form.
We use titanium dioxide in nanometric form only when it improves the product performance - quality, comfort, texture. When we use titanium dioxide in nanometric form, it is clearly indicated on the product packaging.

We only use nanometric titanium dioxide in products that cannot be inhaled or swallowed. We do not use it in aerosols or lip products.
All of our products undergo a strict evaluation of their quality and safety before they are placed on the market. This is a fundamental principle that we apply anywhere in the world.

The type of titanium dioxide used in cosmetics does not impact plankton in the aquatic environment.
This type should not be confused with other types of titanium dioxide used in products other than cosmetics.

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ZINC OXIDE

What is zinc oxide?

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a white powder known for its protective and purifying properties. It is also known as a UV protective filter, reflecting light and absorbing UVA and UVB rays. In addition, zinc has anti-inflammatory, astringent and drying properties.

To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name “zinc oxide” or “CI 77947”.

Where does it come from?

In cosmetics, zinc oxide is from synthetic origin.
Although it occurs naturally as the mineral zincite, most zinc oxide is produced synthetically.

What is it used for?

Zinc oxide is used for its many properties and applications:

As a UV filter in sunscreen (in the form of nano zinc oxide)
As an agent to soothe skin and ease irritation
As a white pigment in some make-up products such as foundation

Why is it questioned?

Zinc oxide is accused of causing undesirable effects when applied on damaged skin, and of impacting the aquatic environment.

Facts:

● Extensive reviews* have been conducted on the safety of zinc oxide used in cosmetics and as a sunscreen. They show that zinc oxide can be safely used in cosmetics.
● The concentration level of zinc oxide in our products is controlled carefully in order to limit their impact on the environment

*By the US Food & Drug Administration and the EU Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety

Why and how do we use it?

We use it as a sun filter as it is very efficient in blocking UV rays and thus protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun (such as skin cancer, sunburn or premature aging of the skin).
It is one of the only sun filters still allowed in some countries such as the United States.

We use it in an optimal and regulated concentration level in our products, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It is not present in products that can be inhaled or ingested (such as aerosols or lipsticks).
We control the concentration level of zinc oxide used in our formulas very carefully to limit the impact of our products on the environment.

When zinc oxide is present in nano form in our formulas, we always inform consumers in a transparent manner and apply the highest EU regulations everywhere in the world by labelling nanoparticles as [nano.] in the full ingredients list found on packaging.
Zinc oxide in nano form is perfectly safe and cannot penetrate the skin's inner layers.

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