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California Passes Law To Make Skin Care Products More Transparent

by kelly / October, 28 2020 01:30

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Good news if you care about your skin. Recently California passed the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020 (aka California SB 312) into law. Like the title suggests, this new law will require cosmetic and skin care companies to disclose ingredient information, specifically as it relates to the fragrance and flavor ingredients. Even if you don’t live in California this new law can benefit you…

Why Should You Care About Fragrance and Flavor?

First off, you might not have known that fragrance and flavor are actual ingredients that can appear on your skin care product’s ingredient list. And, you might logically think they have to do with how the product smells or tastes.

In fact the words “fragrance” and “flavor” on an ingredient list often mean something quite different. What’s that? Well, in the cosmetic and skin care industry fragrance and flavor represent an undisclosed mix chemicals and ingredients that can be used for a wide variety of purposes beyond smell and taste.

Until now, these undisclosed mixes were considered a trade secret and companies were not required to reveal what made up their mixtures.

You might be thinking – so what’s the big deal if I don’t know? Well according to The Environmental Working Group and The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics some of the following can be hidden in your fragrance and flavor ingredients: parabens, neurotoxins, phthalates, and synthetic musk. Some studies have linked these ingredients to hormone disruption, cancer, and brain toxicity.

Revealing Fragrance and Flavor

Now thanks to the Right To Know Act we’re no longer flying blind when it comes to these two ingredients.

Starting January 1, 2022, the act requires cosmetic and skin care companies to fully disclose fragrance and flavor ingredients to the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control. This division, in turn, must list the ingredients publicly on their website along with each ingredient’s associated health hazards.

There are some caveats, one being that companies only have to disclose the ingredients if the ingredient is on the list written into the bill. That said, the ingredient list in the bill is quite extensive and can be updated and added to in the future.

While this law is specific to California, it has the potential to benefit everyone in America. The Division’s list will be publicly posted and anyone can access this list online. Also it might inspire these companies to share their information to other state databases (if the state has one) since they’re already sharing it in California.

So it’s a good thing for consumers. More transparency. If you want to know the nitty gritty, you can find th full text of the law on California’s Legislative Information site here.

Block Island Organics Free of Fragrance and Flavor

While none of our products include fragrance or flavor, we’re excited about this law because one of our core missions is transparency. We feel it’s always important to share everything about our ingredients.

You can find all of our ingredients on Our Ingredients page or our Ingredient Truths blog series.

Of course, we’ll always try and keep you up to date on any new developments with this law and others that might affect your skin and skin care products (so check our Skin Care blog series for the latest). Because your skin matters to us.

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