New quiz to boost consumer understanding on preservatives

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

New quiz to boost consumer understanding on preservatives
In a sign that the beauty industry is keen to be proactive on issues related to safety and transparency, the European trade association has launched an online quiz on preservatives.

It’s move that confirms the industry is keen to lead on consumer education, particularly in the face of recent instances of partial or incorrect information on cosmetics ingredients which have gathered momentum online.

This includes blogger-led rejection of parabens, an ingredient that regulators and formulators alike agree is safe for use in personal care products.

Cosmetics Europe, the trade association representing the interests of the cosmetics and personal care companies in the largest beauty market in the world, has released the quiz on its website, which is free to do and accessible to all. It can be found here​.

You may have read or heard negative comments about preservatives and cosmetic products but how much do you really know about preservatives?”​ the quiz asks users.

Cosmetics Europe assserts: “This area is a major challenge for our industry, and we feel that we need to raise awareness about the benefits of preservatives in cosmetic products, and dispel a few myths​.”

Safety and transparency

formulation1

There is concern in the personal care industry that ‘free from’ claims - for example, free-from preservatives or free-from parabens - do the very opposite of safeguarding and promoting certainty in product choices, and are instead, providing misinformation on safety that creates fear​​.  

Parabens and sulphates are two of the most common free-from claims placed on packaging, and so consequently, there is a considerable amount of fear and reluctance to explore or purchase any products associated with, or that reference these terms.

The frequency and diversity of claims have evolved to become “negative ‘free from’ claims that are creating misplaced fear​”,​ Belinda Carli, Director, Institute of Personal Care Science, has emphasised in comments to CosmeticsDesign.

To date, the industry has been slow to proactively make its case when it comes to the safety and transparency of its ingredients, and innovations like Cosmetics Europe’s new quiz suggest this is now beginning to change for the better.

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