We have all seen the many “free from” claims on some of our favorite products. However, what do these claims truly stand for and do we really need them.   In a recent article written by Cosmetics Design, a beauty industry trade publication, many beauty experts expressed opposing views on the need and relevancy of “free from” claims. Some believe that the use of such claims hinders the industry because it suggests that some chemicals used are unsafe when they actually are safe.

So what do industry leaders actually have to safe say? 

  • Lorraine Dallmeier, Director of online Organic Cosmetic Science School Formula Botanica (Cosmetics Design)
    • “I understand that the industry is upset by certain brands claiming that their products are safer because of what they don’t contain. However, there are legitimate cases where a manufacturer might want to label their products as free from animal-derived ingredients, free from alcohol, free from fragrance, for instance.”
  • Alex Gazzola, co-founder of the FreeFrom Skincare Awards (Cosmetics Design)
    • “It’s foolish and short-sighted to attack ‘free from’ labeling terminology across the board as it helps those with allergies to botanicals, fragrances or preservatives, or with ethical, religious and environmental sensitivity. Without free from labeling, these consumers have to trawl through lengthy and often impenetrable ingredients lists, and often have to call cosmetics companies to check if a product is suitable or safe for them to use.”

The Take-a-Way
Often, free from claims are used in misleading ways. For example, conditioners that are labeled as “sulfate free.” This is a misleading claim as conditioners don’t use sulfates.  The problem is that some manufactures use these claims to pray on consumer fears to imply there’s something dangerous about an ingredient when in reality there is nothing dangerous about the ingredient.

Despite conflicting beliefs, it’s important for “free from” claims to be used especially when someone needs to know what’s in a product for allergy or religious reasons. As consumers it’s up to us to self-regulate and to purchase a product not just because the bottle has a “free form” claim but because we need to avoid particular ingredients.

1938 is the online magazine blog for Well-Kept Beauty, formally entitled Primer.

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