Procter & Gamble’s initiative comes years after the competitive household products company SC Johnson, starting in 2015, began disclosing the specific fragrance ingredients in each of its home care products.
Cosmetics Design first reported on the SC Johnson initiative in late 2014, just after the company announced plans for the ingredients disclosure at the American Oil Chemists’ Society World Conference in Montreux, Switzerland.
And now, thanks to that company and to the clean and green movement in indie beauty, consumers increasingly expect ingredient transparency in personal care.
“Our goal is to give people information that is clear, reliable and accessible,” Kathy Fish, chief technology officer at P&G, explains in a press release. “This,” she says, “is another step in our sustainability journey toward enabling consumers to make informed choices.”
“We want people to feel great about putting our products in their shopping baskets. We’re providing more information about fragrance ingredients because we believe this will build even greater trust in the quality and safety of all of our products.”
Little by little
The full P&G portfolio includes over 2,000 fragranced formulations. The company’s announcement promises that P&G “will share online all fragrance ingredients down to 0.01 percent for its entire product portfolio in the US and Canada by the end of 2019.” This expands on the company’s earlier disclosure of a comprehensive list of fragrance ingredients used by the company. And “the additional level of detail on product fragrance ingredients announced today will offer consumers more reliable information,” explains the release.
To illustrate what such transparency will look like the company issued fragrance ingredients lists for a small selection of its products lines including Olay and Herbal Essences. The Olay list (with the heading shown above) comprises: Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexylcinnamal, Limonene, and Triethyl Citrate.
Information is a prerequisite for many good decisions. And as Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook comments in the release, “the example set by Febreze, Tide, Olay and Herbal Essences today will without question encourage greater ingredient transparency efforts throughout the industry, providing consumers with the information they want and need to make better, healthier choices for themselves and their families.”
Cook is optimistic that this move by P&G is only the first of its kind in the cosmetics and personal care industry, that many more legacy brands and multinational corporations will follow suit. “The policy announced today not only demonstrates P&G’s deep commitment to providing consumers everywhere with the information they increasingly demand, it also marks a turning point for the entire consumer product industry,” says Cook.