Fragrance, perfumes, and other fragranced cosmetics may contain any number harmful chemicals of concern, including those linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities. To protect yourself, choose brands that are fully transparent about what’s in their fragrance, or choose products without “fragrance” on the ingredient label. Use our Red List of chemicals to avoid so you know what to look for on labels.
BCPP’s 2018 report Right to Know: Exposing Toxic Fragrance Chemicals in Beauty, Personal Care and Cleaning Products found that fragrance chemicals made up most of the chemicals linked to harmful chronic health effects in the beauty and personal care products we tested. Any product containing “fragrance” – a word representing a secret mixture of up to hundreds of ingredients – may contain sensitizers, allergens, respiratory irritants, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals, or environmental toxicants. Even products labeled as unscented may have fragrance added to mask the smell of other ingredients. Consumers looking for fragrance free products have limited options. Hair product choices, in particular, are especially problematic: more than 95% of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products contain fragrance. Without required fragrance ingredient disclosure, consumers can’t choose to avoid problematic ingredients, and researchers and regulators can’t understand the full universe of ingredients being used to formulate cosmetic products.
 Scheman, A., Jacob, S., Katta, R., Nedorost, S., Warshaw, E., Zirwas, M. and Bhinder, M. (2011) Hair products: Trends and Alternatives: Data from the American Contact Alternatives Group. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 4(7), pp. 42- 46.
The CSC-authored California Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020 (SB312-Leyva) passed into law, making California the first government in the world to require the public disclosure of hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients.
The CSC-supported Safer Beauty Bill Package in U.S. Congress includes the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act. Because, while California has taken the first step toward ingredient transparency, we all have the right to know what’s in our products. Take action to make beauty and personal care products safer for all!
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Use Clearya’s app to find non-toxic products! Clearya alerts you to toxics and helps you find safe products.