Why We Will Never Be Free From “Free-From” Claims via Cosmetics & Toiletries

11 July 2016

July 8, 2016 By: Robert Ross-Fichtner and Claire Robichaud, Focal Point Research, Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada – See more at:

Many of us who work in the industry were shocked when “free-from” ingredient claims appeared more than 10 years ago. It was offensive to our understanding of the safety of cosmetic products. We felt they besmirched the reputation of safe and useful ingredients we had trusted for years.

When paraben bashing became widespread, cosmetic formulators scrambled to find new preservative systems and the seriousness of this trend became truly apparent. Ingredient after ingredient has been attacked, and no amount of communication by the industry or its experts seems to have had an impact. Cosmetic manufacturers have retreated from known and trusted ingredients and have been forced to embrace ingredients we know far less about.

We have sadly been reminded of a fundamental principle in product development: It doesn’t matter what the scientists say. The consumer is in charge, and those who fail to give the consumer what he or she wants will not succeed in the marketplace.



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