French warned to avoid more than 1,000 'worrying' high street cosmetic products

Evie Burrows-Taylor
Evie Burrows-Taylor - [email protected]
French warned to avoid more than 1,000 'worrying' high street cosmetic products
Photo: AFP

A leading French consumers group has again sounded the alarm on high street cosmetic products, telling the public some 1,000 of them should be avoided and 23 should be pulled off the shelves immediately, due to the "undesirable" or even illegal substances they contain. Items by popular brands such as L'Oréal and Head&Shoulders are among those on on the black list.


The list, published by the French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir features everything from perfumes, make-up products, shower gels, deodorants, tooth pastes, creams and pretty much every product you could find in your bathroom.
It was originally published in February 2016 and regularly updated. It has increased from 400 to 1017 in the last three months with the help of consumers. 
The most worrying new development is that the group says 23 products on the list - including an eye treatment by L'Oréal Men, a sun cream for kids by Lovea and Vivelle hair gel - should be pulled from the shelves immediately because they contain chemicals that are banned by law, including hormone-altering substances (known as endocrine disruptors).
"In light of the continuing damning analysis, UFC-Que Choisir urges public bodies to demonstrate responsibility in defining and banning hormone-changing substances and pulling the 23 products containing banned substances from the shelves," the group said in a press release on Wednesday.  
UFC-Que Choisir recommended the public to not buy any of the 1,000 products on the list because of the "undesirable substances". The products should not be used at all on at-risk individuals, such as babies, they say.
Some of the products on the list are a red nail varnish by Chanel, Hawaiian Tropic's silk hydration suncream and a selection of hair dye by Garnier as well as dental products like Aquafresh 24 hour multi-action whitening toothpaste and Sensodyne's sensitive long lasting mint-flavoured mouthwash. 
Perfumes by Guerlain, Hugo Boss and Kenzo, some make-up by Dior and Chanel and deodorants by Dove and Nivea are also in the list due to the hormone-changing substances they contain.
On top of that, a Carrefour toothpaste, some suncreams by Bioderma, make-up products by Bourjois and a handwash by Dettol are on the blacklist.  
And more worryingly, the list includes several products that you're likely to use on a babies and young children made by popular household brands. These include Bubble Fruit toothpaste for ages 2-5 by Colgate and Nivea's moisturising face and body baby cream. 
The group has divided its list into the following eight categories: make-up, shampoos, deodorants and perfumes, baby products, dental products, sun protection, face products and products for your body, such as shower gel and body moisturiser. 
You can CLICK HERE for the full list.

Photo: AFP

In all, some 12 ingredients have been identified as "undesirable" with the group expressing particular concern in the use of hormone-changing products, such as BHA.
Hormone-changing substances may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in humans.
The list of ingredients to watch out for also includes allergenics, and irritants like MIT, as well as antibacterial and antifungal agent Triclosan and colorless and odorless liquid, Cyclopentasiloxane. You can CLICK HERE for the full list of substances to avoid. 
The group highlights the fact that without strict regulations for cosmetics products, the guidance provided on cosmetics labels just isn't enough. 
UFC-Que Choisir has urged the European Commission to publish a "bold definition of hormone-changing substances" including those suspected of being so. 
The consumer group is advising people to lead the hunt against undesirable substances themselves by checking the list of ingredients on the products they use.



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