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Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
Jun 8, 2017
Reading time
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Over 50 brands, from Nyx to Chanel, named in study on "undesirable" cosmetic ingredients

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
Jun 8, 2017

On Wednesday, French consumer rights group UFC-Que Choisir announced that over 1,000 products are now included in the list, regularly updated by the group, that features cosmetics containing substances regarded as "undesirable". UFC-Que Choisir has once again urged the authorities to intervene, notably against endocrine disruptors.


According to the study, a face powder from Maria Galland was found to contain isobutylparaben, a chemical causing hormonal interference - Photo: UFC Que Choisir


Brands named for the presence of undesirable or worrying products included Chanel; Yves Saint Laurent; Guerlain; Dior; Estée Lauder; Bourjois; Kiko; L'Oréal; MAC; Maybelline; Revlon, Rimmel; Claire's; Sephora and more.

Following an update last February, a year after the list was created, UFC-Que Choisir called on consumers themselves to feed the database, which by then black-listed 400 products.

In a press release, the association identified 12 compounds currently defined as "worrying" (endocrine disruptors, allergens, irritants, etc.), compared to 11 previously, and has highlighted 23 products which include in their formulas substances which are "strictly prohibited", and are yet available on the market.

UFC was outraged to discover that one of these products, a foundation from French brand Maria Galland with a mineral powder formula, also contains isobutylparaben, "a recognised endocrine disruptor, whose use was prohibited over two years ago" in the EU. Other products, such as a children's sunscreen spray, a men's eye-care product and a hairstyling gel, contain instead methylisothiazolinone (MIT), despite the fact that use of this allergen in products that are not rinsed after application was banned by the EU in February.


An Yves Saint Laurent foundation was found to contain BHT, which UFC says 'seems to be an endocrine disruptor' - UFC Que Choisir



UFC-Que Choisir has called for the "immediate withdrawal" of these 23 products, labelling them as "illegal", and once again urged the European Commission to "finally publish a broad-ranging definition of endocrine disruptors," to include also those ingredients which are suspected of having such properties.

After enquiries by the AFP press agency, the President of the French Federation of Beauty Companies (FEBEA), Patrick O'Quin, has called on the distributors to "immediately withdraw [these products] from the market, in compliance with regulations." The "complex structure of certain distribution chains may explain why some non-rinsed products containing MIT are still on sale, even though they were banned four months ago," said FEBEA, which however slammed as "inexcusable" the presence in other products of endocrine disruptors which were banned in 2015.

A year ago, more than two years after the deadline originally indicated, the European Commission put forward a set of criteria suggesting that an endocrine disruptor is to be defined as a substance which has undesirable effects on human health and interacts with the hormone system, with a proven link between the two.

This definition was however regarded as too binding by some member states, including France. Until now, all attempts to reach a consensus among European nations on the matter have failed, and at the end of May a vote on it was once again postponed. 

FashionNetwork.com with AFP

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