Should questions arise regarding any of our ingredients in relation to health (parabens1, chemical sunscreens2, phthalates 3) or the environment ( silicones3, SLES 4), we revise our formulas, applying precautionary measures, and so anticipate any legal changes.
We have kept in step with the development of the organic cosmetics specifications of Ecocert 5, an independent certification body, and belong to the Cosmebio 6 association.
Today we offer 100% natural or certified-organic7 products when their safety and effectiveness can be perfectly guaranteed.
Parabens 1 :
Parabens are preservatives. At L’OCCITANE, we have always used parabens in very low doses (between 0.3% and 0.5%) in conjunction with active essential oils, to prevent the proliferation of bacteria. International legislation allows a maximum of 0.8%. As a company that always errs on the side of caution, we replace parabens whenever possible, and today, approximately 80% of our products are paraben-free.
Chemical sunscreens 2 :
The results of a study showed that certain chemical UV filters used in suncare and cosmetic products have an estrogenic activity and can accelerate the growth of cancer cells. More in-depth research is needed to evaluate the real risks. Given our precautionary approach, we have always used chemical filters in low doses, combining them with natural mineral filters to provide effective sun protection. For two years, we have been working on a project to replace all chemical filters in our suncare products and protective face care products.
Phthalates 3 :
Phthalates are used as fixatives or carriers in cosmetic products. The most dangerous phthalates have been shown to be toxic to reproduction. Some phthalates are considered to have a very low risk, such as DEP (diethylphtalate), which is commonly used to denature alcohol contained in fragrances. Since 2005, L'OCCITANE has removed phthalates from its fragrances and now uses pure alcohol derived from plants.
SLES 4 :
Ethoxylated compounds are not dangerous. The controversy surrounding SLS is linked to the process that is used to produce them, which involves a highly reactive gas called ethylene oxide. However, by controlling all processes, as well as the purification stage, any traces of this intermediary substance in the finished product can be eliminated. Ethoxylation offers the advantage of producing a more gentle surfactant than an identical, non-ethoxylated version.
Ecocert 5 :
European certification and inspection body for organic beauty products. By means of the ECOLOGICAL AND ORGANIC COSMETICS standards, Ecocert defines a requirement level that is superior to the conventional regulation governing cosmetics, thereby guaranteeing the genuine practice of environmental respect throughout the production line.
Cosmebio 6 :
Professional association for the ecological and organic beauty products sector. Cosmebio’s mission is to offer consumers effective, non-toxic cosmetic products, made primarily of natural and organic certified components, in respect environment, and with awareness regarding transparency for the ingredients and manufacturing processes used.
Certified-organic 7 :
An organic ingredient is derived from organic agriculture and, under European legislation that came into effect in 1991, must comply with certain basic rules, including:
• Respect for the ecosystem
• Using no chemical fertilizers and pesticides or synthetic herbicides.
• Using no genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
• Mandatory inspection by organic certification bodies
• Traceability back to the source area of the plant, whatever the country of production.