Spotlight: The conundrum of free-from

The European cosmetics industry should steer away from claiming its products are ‘free from’ preservatives and other similar ingredients, according to speakers at last month's Cosmetics Europe

The European cosmetics industry should steer away from claiming its products are ‘free from’ preservatives and other similar ingredients, which could give consumers the wrong impression, according to Martin Seychell, Deputy Director-General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission. Speaking at last month’s annual conference organised by Cosmetics Europe in Brussels, he said: “All that preservative-free claims do in the long term is to reinforce the stigmatisation of preservatives, since consumers believe they are wrong.”

Seychell argued that preservatives have an important role to play. “Many cosmetic products remain in consumer homes for months and their microbiological stability is important,” he explained, adding: “nobody talks about this”.

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