Olaplex removes lilial from No.3 Hair Perfector following EU ban

Lilial, a common fragrance ingredient, has been linked to infertility

Saman Javed
Tuesday 01 March 2022 11:12 GMT
<p>Olaplex’s No.3 Hair Perfector has not been banned </p>

Olaplex’s No.3 Hair Perfector has not been banned

Olaplex has clarified that one of its best-selling products, the No.3 Hair Perfector, no longer contains an ingredient that has been linked to infertility.

The Olaplex hair care range, which promises to repair and prevent hair damage, is highly coveted by beauty enthusiasts and hair stylists.

The No.3 Hair Perfector is an at home treatment which is designed to strengthen the hair and reduce breakages.

In 2019, a scientific committee on consumer safety for the European Commission concluded that a fragrance compound named butylphenyl methylpropional, also known as lilial, “cannot be considered as safe”.

Lilial, which is found naturally in chamomile essential oil, has been classed as reprotoxic. This means it can have adverse effects on reproductivity.

Any products containing the ingredient are prohibited from sale in Europe as of 1 March, with a UK ban expected to follow soon.

Prior to the ban, lilial was a common ingredient in many cosmetic products, and until recently, was also in No. 3.

In a statement to the Independent, Olaplex said it had now removed the ingredient from its No.3 Hair Perfector across the world, adding that Olaplex products containing lilial had not been sold in the UK since January.

“In September 2020, the EU regulatory authority announced their intent to Butylphenyl methylpropional commonly referred to as ‘lillial’ phased out by March of 2022,” a spokesperson said.

“At Olaplex, lilial was previously used in small amounts as a fragrance in No. 3 Hair Perfector. It is not an active or functional ingredient.

“While this phase out is limited to the EU, out of an abundance of caution, Olaplex proactively removed lillial from our No.3 Hair Perfector globally. Since January 2022, Olaplex no longer sold products using lillial in the UK or EU.”

Some popular retailers stocking the No.3 Hair Perfector, such as Space NK and Beauty Bay still list lilial as one of its ingredients. Cult Beauty and LOOKFANTASTIC have removed the fragrance from their ingredients lists.

Misinformation around the ban has caused alarm on social media, with many users confused about whether they should continue using products they already own.

One video by TikTok creator Hasini Kay, which suggested that all Olaplex products would be banned in Europe, has received almost one million views.

Cosmetic experts at The Cosmetic Regulator have clarified that lilial is usually present in formulations at a concentration of 0.1 per cent or less and “is not enough to directly impact fertility”.

“It is fairly easy for fragrance houses to reformulate existing signature fragrances to remove lilial,” they added.

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