A claim that we often hear from people outside of the cosmetic industry is that they want companies to label all the ingredients that go in cosmetics. When we tell them that cosmetic companies already do this, they quickly point out Fragrance and “contaminants” as loopholes to the rules.
We find this odd. Do people really want ingredient lists that are over 100 ingredients long. Let’s just compare what products would look like if they listed all the component ingredients of a fragrance.
Ingredient lists – short version vs long version
Here is what your ingredient list looks like for Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
WATER, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GLYCERIN, PEG 40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, CITRIC ACID, DMDM HYDANTOIN, FRAGRANCE
Here is what it might look like if you included all the component fragrance ingredients.
WATER, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GLYCERIN, PEG 40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, CITRIC ACID, DMDM HYDANTOIN, ACETANISOLE,4-METHOXYBENZOIC ACID,STYRENE,BENZONITRILE,BENZYL ALCOHOL, BENZALDEHYDE, ANISOLE, DIMETHYLPHENETHYL ALCOHOL, PENTADECANOIC ACID, JUNIPER, OCTANAL DIMETHYL ACETAL, 2-ETHYLBUTYL ACETATE, HEPTANAL DIMETHYL ACETAL, HEXYL ISOVALERATE, HEXYL 2-METHYLBUTYRATE, DIMETHYLPHENETHYL FORMATE, HEX-2-ENYL ACETATE (ISOMER UNSPECIFIED), 3-HEXENYL 2-METHYLBUTANOATE, BENZENEETHANOL, 4-(1-METHYLETHYL), METHYLCINNAMALDEHYDE, METHYL PHENYLACETATE, PHENYLACETALDEHYDE DIMETHYL ACETAL, PHENYLACETALDEHYDE ETHYLENE GLYCOL ACETAL DIPHENYLMETHANE, DIPHENYL ETHER, AMYLCINNAMYL ALCOHOL, HEXYLCINNAMALDEHYDE, P-TOLYL PHENYLACETATE, ETHYL PHENYLACETATE, 2H-1-BENZOPYRAN-6-OL, 3,4-DIHYDRO-2,5,7,8-TETRAMETHYL-2-(4,8,12-TRIMETHYLTRIDECYL), ISOBUTYL PHENYLACETATE, BENZYL PHENYLACETATE,ANISYL PHENYLACETATE, ISOAMYL PHENYLACETATE, PHENETHYL PHENYLACETATE, GERANYL PHENYLACETATE, 2-PROPANOL, 1,1′,1′,1′-(1,2-ETHANEDIYLDINITRILO)TETRAKIS, TRIETHANOLAMINE, (TRI-)ACETIN, ZANTHOXYLUM, 2-HEPTEN-4-ONE, 5-METHYL-, (E), PHYTYL ACETATE, 4-HEPTANOL, 2,6-DIMETHYL-,ACETATE, 2-METHYL-4-PHENYL-2-BUTANOL, 2-METHYL-4-PHENYL-2-BUTYL ACETATE, 2-ETHYLHEXYL ACETATE, DI-(2-ETHYLHEXYL) ADIPATE, METHYL CINNAMATE, BENZYL ISOBUTYRATE, ETHYL CINNAMATE, BENZYL BUTYRATE, BENZYL ISOVALERATE, BENZYL CINNAMATE, PHENETHYL ACETATE, PHENETHYL ISOBUTYRATE, DIBENZYL ETHER, PHENETHYL BUTYRATE, PHENETHYL CINNAMATE, CINNAMYL ACETATE, CINNAMYL PROPIONATE, 3-PHENYLPROPYL ISOBUTYRATE, CINNAMYL ISOBUTYRATE, 2-PHENOXYETHYL ISOBUTYRATE, CINNAMYL BUTYRATE, PHENYLACETIC ACID, ACETANILIDE, P-TOLYL ISOBUTYRATE, 2-METHYL-3-(P-ISOPROPYLPHENYL)PROPIONALDEHYDE, 3,7-DIMETHYL-1,6-NONADIEN-3-OL, CARBONIC ACID, BENZYL VALERATE, 1-NAPHTHALENOL, 1,2,3,4,4A,5,8,8A-OCTAHYDRO-2,2,6,8-TETRAMETHYL-, 3-TRIMETHYL BENZENEPROPANOL, P-TOLYLACETALDEHYDE, 4-(P-METHOXYPHENYL)-2-BUTANONE, ANISYL ACETATE, PROPYLANISOLE, ANETHOLE , OCTALACTONE, 3-PHENYLPROPIONALDEHYDE, CINNAMYL ALCOHOL, CINNAMALDEHYDE, BENZYL FORMATE, NONALACTONE, PHENETHYL FORMATE, CINNAMYL FORMATE, UNDECALACTONE, 2-ETHYL-1-HEXANOL, TOLUALDEHYDE, METHYLANISOLE, EUGENYL PHENYLACETATE, 2-PHENYLPROPYL ACETATE, METHYL 2-[[3-(1,3-BENZODIOXOL-5-YL)-2-METHYL-1-PROPENYL]AMINO]BENZOATE
So, do you feel more informed? How do you think that will affect the products you purchase?
Full Ingredient Disclosure
And while we’re at it, shouldn’t we also list all of the “hidden” ingredients present in natural oils and other substances?
Would you want the ingredient list of Dessert Essence pure Jojoba oil to look like this…
or like this…
CAPRYLIC ACID, CAPRIC ACID, LAURIC ACID, MYRISTIC ACID, PALMITIC ACID, STEARIC ACID, OLEIC ACID, LINOLEIC ACID, ARACHIDIC ACID, BEHENIC ACID, ERUCIC ACID, NERVONIC ACID, 5-DECANOL, 1-DOCOSANOL, 1,19-EICOSANEDIOL, 1,22-DOCOSANEDIOL, 1-HEXADECANOL, 9-OCTADECEN-1-OL, HEPTANE, OCTANE, NONANE, DECANE, 1,5-HEPTADIEN-4-ONE,3,3,6-TRIMETHYL, UNDECANE, DODECANE, BUTANE1,1-DIBUTOXY, TETRADECENE, TETRADECANE, PENTADECANE, OCTADECANE, 1-OCTADECENE, DOCOSANE, HEXADECANE, HEXATRIACONTANE, 1-EICOSENE, 9-OCTADECENAL, 14,17-OCTADECADIENOIC ACID, 1,21-DOCOSADIENE, 14-TRICOSENYL FORMATE, STIGMASTEROL
Now, imagine this same level of chemical listing for every ingredient that was in your cosmetic product. Ingredient lists would be multiple pages long! Would this really be helping anyone?
Would it really make you a better informed cosmetic buyer?
Image credit: http://pixabay.com/