« L’Oréal has withdrawn its Kerastase K Short Mania hair wax line from the market after a new test from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals claimed that it contains polyaminopropyl biguanide (PHMB), which is prohibited in cosmetics.
The French cosmetics maker maintains that at the concentration used in this instance there is no health risk, but that it is having a recall to avoid consumer mistrust in its products.
L’Oréal’s director of communication Sonja Christensen informs that the hair wax in question is no longer in production and refers to an ongoing discussion in the EU about whether the substance is illegal or not.
“Regardless of the result we are convinced that polyaminopropyl biguanide can be used in the given concentration, and The Danish Environmental Protection Agency confirms that the product does not constitute a health risk,” she says.
“Because the product is no longer in production and because we do not want to create mistrust regarding our products, we have chosen to recall the few products that remain on the market.”
PHMB is a preservative that was deemed not safe for use in all cosmetics products up to the maximum concentration of 0.3 % in the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) opinion announced in July this year.
“The safe use could be based on a lower use concentration and/or restrictions with regard to cosmetic products’ categories. Dermal absorption studies on additional representative cosmetic formulations are needed,” it says.
L’Oréal not alone
According to its new test of 48 hair waxes on the market, The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals says that the L’Oréal product fails and receives the lowest mark as it contains the suspected carcinogen.
L’Oréal was not alone however, as in the test, in which the ingredient lists of 48 brands of hair wax were examined, the results show that 23 of the tested products scored the lowest mark, due to the fact that they contain allergenic preservatives or substances which are suspected to be carcinogenic or endocrine disrupting.
Project manager in The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals, Stine Müller, recommends consumers to choose hair wax that has received a good mark in the test.
“Hair wax is not a product that you apply to your skin. However, it gets in close contact with the scalp and the hands, and it is a product, that many people use every single day for many hours,” she says.
“I will recommend parents to take a look at the teenagers’ hair wax and decide whether it should be switched to one without unwanted chemicals.”
‘No need to panic’
IdHAIR waxes, which are a very popular brand in Denmark, were also among the products that failed the test, in this instance for containing the substance chloroacetamide which is a suspected allergen, though the Danish Environmental Protection Agency states that the substance is not prohibited, but a possible ban is being discussed in the EU.
IdHAIR says that it is in a process of finding alternatives to the substance.
“There is no need to panic if you have used one of the failed hair waxes. It is not the exposure from one hair wax that constitutes the whole problem,” adds Müller.
“But a hair wax with problematic chemicals contributes to the amassed exposure of unwanted substances, which we are exposed to from cosmetics, dust, electronics and many other things. The total exposure can create problems regarding for example endocrine disrupting effects.”
A total of 11 hair waxes received the best possible mark in the test, the Consumer Council says. »
Article by Andrew Mc Dougall
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