Exposing the Cosmetics Cover-up

EWG's Investigative Series on the Cosmetics Industry and Products

October 10, 2013

Exposing the Cosmetics Cover-up: Revlon and L’Oreal Should Follow J&J’s Example

Cosmetics products and brushesby Jason Rano

This morning, millions of Americans needlessly exposed themselves to harmful chemicals in their personal care products.


Because two cosmetic industry giants refuse to stop putting preservatives in products that have been linked to cancer and reproductive health problems.

Revlon and L’Oreal continue to use Quaternium-15 and DMDM hydantoin -- preservatives that slowly release formaldehyde. Health experts classify formaldehyde as a carcinogen when inhaled.

What’s more, Revlon and L’Oreal continue to use long-chain parabens as preservatives as well. Some parabens are endocrine-disruptors—that is, they interfere with the hormones that regulate the development and growth of our reproductive system.

Last month, more than 100,000 of you joined a petition urging Revlon and L’Oreal to reformulate their productive to stop using formaldehyde-releasing preservative and endocrine disruptors like parabens. We’ll be sharing your request with Revlon and L’Oreal soon.

We hope Revlon and L’Oreal will follow the example set by Johnson and Johnson, which has already promised you they would phase out some of these ingredients.

J&J announced last year that the company would phase out formaldehyde releasers like Quaternium-15 and DMDM hydantoin in all baby products and -- except for rare instances -- in adult products as well

J&J still has a ways to go to get potentially dangerous ingredients out of products many Americans use daily. Although the company committed to phase out some parabens, J&J will continue to use others that have been linked to negative health effects.

Why are consumers at the mercy of cosmetic giants like Revlon and L’Oreal?

Because some companies are blocking legislative reforms that would give FDA the power to ban or restrict the use of harmful ingredients in cosmetics.

Guess who? That’s right. Revlon and L’Oreal, according to a recent report (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230468250457915384263...) by the Wall Street Journal.