This Beauty Giant Will Soon Spell Out What’s Really in Its Fragrances

(Photo: iStock)

By law, labels for beauty products have to declare which ingredients are inside. Except (loophole alert), companies aren’t obliged to reveal anything considered a trade secret—like, say, the specific composition of a product’s scent.

That means when you see the word “fragrance” or “parfum” listed on cosmetics packaging, it’s actually an umbrella term for an unknown number of undisclosed things. And if you’re scent-sensitive or allergic—or just pro knowing all the ingredients for informed shopping—you (understandably) want those deets.

So it’s a big deal that Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s largest consumer goods corporations, has announced plans to spell out exactly which fragrance ingredients (down to 0.01 percent concentration) are in all its products in the U.S. and Canada—that’s more than 2,000 products, from P&G brands like Olay, Herbal Essences and many more. The company aims to publish the details online by the end of 2019.

P&G’s announcement follows a similar decision by Unilever (maker of Dove, TreSemmé, Nexxus, Simple, St. Ives and more). Early this year, it too promised to be way more upfront with consumers about its fragrance ingredients.

All of this is a huge win for clean-beauty activists, who have been pushing for total product transparency for years. And when two industry giants make major moves like this, we predict they won’t be the last.