Cosmetics manufacturers hit back at 'harmful to health' list

List published by French watchdog alleges that products by Guerlain, Dove, Nivea and Hawaiian Tropic contain banned substances

French cosmetics manufacturers have hit back at allegations by French consumer watchdog UFC Que Choisir, which has published a list of cosmetics being sold in France that allegedly contain banned substances.

France’s Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention, the DGCCRF, has now said it will test the products listed by UFC.

The latest list identified 23 products containing substances that are actually banned, including a mineral foundation with isobutylparaben, a known endocrine disruptor that has been banned in the EU since 2015.

Other products included Hawaiian Tropic's silk hydration suncream, a male eye care product and a hair styling gel containing MIT, an allergen that was banned in the EU in February.

Perfumes by Guerlain, Hugo Boss and Kenzo, make-up by Dior and Chanel and deodorants by Dove and Nivea were also on the list.

One of the products mentioned by UFC is Nuxe's prodigious oil. Nuxe hit back at the findings, saying: "Our oil is one of the most natural on the market.”

The oil has “a formula composed of 98.1% ingredients of natural origin,” said the company, adding that it was in compliance with European cosmetics regulations.

L'Oréal said it had ended the marketing of its non-rinse products containing MIT "several months" before the date of the ban and had replaced them with new formulations.

Under EU law, said Loïc Tanguy, Deputy Director at the DGCCRF, it is the responsibility of manufacturers to cease production of banned products and to inform their distributors.

Distributors, in turn, are required to stop the marketing of non-compliant products. Distributors found guilty of deliberate deception are liable to two years in prison and a fine of up to €300,000.

UFC first began compiling its list of products ‘harmful for health’ in February 2016 and has kept it updated ever since.

Companies