France to probe 1,000 'worrying' high-street cosmetic products

Evie Burrows-Taylor
Evie Burrows-Taylor - [email protected]
France to probe 1,000 'worrying' high-street cosmetic products
Photo: AFP

French authorities are set to investigate 1,000 cosmetic products that were included on a black list published by a leading French consumers group because they contain "undesirable" substances. The list included items by popular brands such as L'Oréal and Head&Shoulders.


French authorities have vowed to take action after leading consumer group UFC-Que Choisir recently published a list of 1,017 cosmetic products that contain "undesirable" or even illegal substances.
The DGCCRF, which is in charge of clamping down on fraud in consumer products, said it planned "to carry out checks to see if the products are still being sold and why."
"We are very attentive to cosmetics every year," the department's Loïc Tanguy told AFP. Just last year the DGCCRF carried out checks on 8,000 products. 
"In addition to our own checks, we will take into account the information from UFC-Que Choisir," he added. 
The price for breaking the laws around making and importing banned substances is high. Penalties include two years in prison and a fine of €30,000 that can be pushed up to €150,000 in some cases. 
The black list, published last week, features everything from perfumes, make-up products, shower gels, deodorants, toothpastes, creams and pretty much every product you could find in your bathroom. 
You can CLICK HERE for the full list. 
French warned to avoid more than 1,000 'worrying' high street cosmetic products
Photo: AFP
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 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. 
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. 
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. 



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