Removing Toxic Chemicals from our Personal Care Products: Progress Report

Some consumers have expressed their dissatisfaction that removing toxic chemicals from U.S. personal care products is such a slow process. Why should it take so much time?  To begin with, the issue of toxic chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products is a complicated one that is embedded in a complex content of long-standing systemic problems that involve a lack of regulation and oversight by governmental bodies, labeling laws that favor corporations over consumers, and federal regulations that permit the use of questionable chemicals.


CFL Graphic-toxic personal care products


Additionally, the process of removing toxic chemicals from all of the personal care products in the U.S. is a very big undertaking and involves extensive R&D testing for adequate replacement chemicals, contracts to run out on the chemicals of concern currently used as ingredients for shampoos, soaps, and other products, and new agreements and arrangements with suppliers to be made involving the replacement chemicals.  But fortunately, despite these obstacles, the process to go toxin-free on personal care products sold in the U.S. has begun and some progress has already been made…


Slow and Steady Progress Getting Toxic Chemicals out of Soaps, Shampoos, and More

U.S. Pirg

Here’s what’s happened over the past year:

Procter & Gamble (P&G) increases transparency and removes triclosan

Unilever commits to fragrance disclosure

SC Johnson removes galaxolide and discloses skin allergens

In January, 2017, Target Corp. unveiled a bold new chemical policy to eliminate and disclose certain harmful chemicals from their products. Target’s new policy will phase out a wide range of chemicals of concern, including phthalates, certain parabens, and formaldehyde-donors, and also sets a goal to disclose all “fragrance” ingredients in personal care products by 2020.

Also, in April 2017, CVS announced that it will remove parabens, phthalates, and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors across nearly 600 beauty and personal care products from CVS-brand product lines by the end of 2019.

How CVS is cutting back on chemicals in cosmetics

Costco starting to take stock of toxic chemicals

and as reported earlier on this site…

Walmart to remove 90,000 chemicals of concern from its shelves


Tell us how we are doing


chemical removal report card for big retailers

Shoppers guide to avoiding toxic chemicals