Unilever, the parent company of mega beauty brands like Dove, Nexxus, Simple, TRESemmé, St. Ives and more, has just made a pretty significant announcement: As part of its new Transparency Initiative, it will provide consumers with access to additional fragrance ingredient information for its personal care products.
The initiative includes two key parts: First, Unilever will be making moves to expand its current product ingredient lists available through SmartLabel™ (an app that scans the barcodes on products to give you detailed ingredient information) to include the fragrance ingredients in a product’s formulation above 0.01 percent (100 parts per million). Updates to Unilever product labels should be finished by the end of 2018. Second, the company has plans to launch a new webpage called “What’s in our Products” that gives people access to explanations of ingredient types and SmartLabel, answers to common questions, and information on Unilever’s approach to developing safe products.
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So what does this mean for you at home? Much-needed transparency. It has long been debated in the beauty and personal care arenas that the United States does not enforce proper rules on the use of fragrances in cosmetic and personal care products, and many health care pros say that when you see “fragrance” on a product label, it’s code for “miscellaneous, not-good-for-you chemicals.” In Europe, government rules to regulate product labeling have been in place for years.
In an interview conducted by MindBodyGreen with Ken Cook, president and cofounder of the Environmental Working Group, Cook said, “Fragrance chemicals ultimately end up in and on the bodies of virtually everyone who uses personal care products, including babies. Unilever’s action is a game changer for transparency in the personal care product market, and we expect other major companies to follow suit. This is an enormous win for consumers’ right to know. It may not happen overnight, but Unilever’s watershed actions will place enormous pressure on the rest of the market to respond and make it very difficult for other companies to continue to shield their fragrance ingredients from consumers.”
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