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Concerned about Olaplex? What is Butylphenyl Methylpropional?

Lilial found in Tide

Concerned about Olaplex? What is that banned ingredient called Lilial anyway?

Alex Scranton
Director of Science
and Research

Olaplex has been in the news recently as it is a popular hair product that (until recently) contained a harmful fragrance ingredient called Lilial (also known as butylphenyl methylpropional). Lilial has been banned in the European Union (EU) because of links to infertility in animal studies. It is classified as a reproductive toxicant. And products containing Lilial in their fragrance may not be sold in the EU after March 2022. (which has inspired the recent buzz from folks concerned that Olaplex will be taken off shelves.)

While Olaplex is the product currently in the news – it is far from the only problematic product to have contained Lilial. In the United States (and several other countries outside the EU), there is no ban on Lilial. It is fully legal to sell cosmetics, cleaning products and any other fragranced items that contain Lilial despite what we know about its potential impact on fertility. And there are loads of products in our stores that still contain it. Unfortunately, despite being aware of the reproductive hazards of Lilial in animal studies for decades, the fragrance industry has never conducted any research to better understand what impacts it is having in humans. So we simply do not know if using consumer products containing Lilial are contributing to increasing rates of infertility. Several years ago, the fragrance industry calculated that the risk of Lilial-containing products was probably low, and while it placed some restrictions on use of this ingredient in some cosmetics (just this Feb 2022, in fact), it still choses to continue selling products with Lilial. The health authorities in the EU came to a different conclusion, based on the same science, and chose to ban the chemical to protect public health. If you are unwilling to accept an unnecessary excess risk to your fertility and health, (just for the sake of how a product smells), it may be worth your while to avoid Lilial until it is banned worldwide.

What you can do:

  • Check ingredient listings on your products to see whether or not you see “butylphenyl methylpropional” (the commonly used name for Lilial) in your products. (Due to outdated laws however, companies are not required to disclose specific fragrance ingredients, although some do.)
  • If you only see the word “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, without more details – contact the manufacturer to ask them if your product’s fragrance contains Lilial. Products should all have an website and/or toll-free number where you can ask questions.
  • And to further take on these disclosure issues, in the U.S. you can contact your representative to tell them to support the Safer Beauty Bill Package that requires manufacturers to disclosure fragrance ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, and address the use of toxic ingredients.
  • Check out our Beyond the Label report – which investigated cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals – including Lilial.
  • If you identify a product containing Lilial – let us know!

WELL-KNOWN BRANDS THAT CONTAIN LILIAL

Examples of brands/products that still contain Lilial in the US:
(This list simply includes several examples, and is not meant to be exhaustive.)

Personal Care:
Dove (bar soap, shampoo, conditioner)
Axe Daily Fragrance (numerous scents)
Matrix Biolage Colorlast shampoo
Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Eau de Toillette for Him
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
L’oreal Superior Preference Permanent Hair Color
L’oreal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream
Batiste dry shampoo (Bare)
Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de toilette
Softsheen-Carson hair relaxer super strength
Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion
Clinique Happy Perfume Spray
Bedhead for Men (TIGI) Clean Up Shampoo
CHI Keratin Leave-in Conditioner
BioSilk Silk Therapy Original

Home Care:
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original
Fabuloso All Purpose Cleaner, Lavender
Bath and Body Works Candles and plugins (numerous scents)
Pine Sol All Purpose Cleaner Lavender Clean
Windex Original Glass Cleaner
Arm & Hammer Clean Scentsations Scent Booster – Fresh Burst
LYSOL Disinfectant Spray – Crisp Linen
Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer Aerosol (Rainshower Scent)

———-

For detailed ingredient information and sources:

Personal Care

Dove
Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/011111536722-0001-en-US/index.html

Dove Color Care Shampoo
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/079400270276-0001-en-US/index.html

Dove Daily Moisture Conditioner
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/079400998101-0001-en-US/index.html

Dove, go fresh Cool Moisture Beauty Bar
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/011111040939-0001-en-US/index.html

Dove, White Beauty Bar,
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/011111614246-0001-en-US/index.html

Axe
Axe, Anarchy, Daily Fragrance
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/079400197207-0001-en-US/index.html

Axe, Black Chill, Daily Fragrance
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/079400334602-0001-en-US/index.html

Axe, Below Zero, Daily Fragrance
https://smartlabel.unileverusa.com/079400338112-0001-en-US/index.html

Matrix Biolage
Matrix Biolage shampoo
https://www.biolage.com/collections/colorlast-shampoo

Bath and Body Works
Bath and Body Works Candles (like Japanese Cherry Blossom and Rose)
https://www.bathandbodyworks.com/e/product-ingredients?fdid=ingredients&q=butylphenyl%20methylpropional&csortb1=IngredientsProductName&csortd1=1&start=100&sz=25

Acqua Di Giò Eau de Toilette
Acqua Di Giò Eau de Toilette for Him
https://www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com/fragrances/mens-cologne/acqua-di-gio-mens-fragrance/acqua-di-gio-eau-de-toilette-for-him/A005.html#tab=Tabs_w33ffq64o5_control_2

Armani Luminous
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
https://www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com/makeup/foundation-makeup/liquid-foundation/luminous-silk-foundation/A041.html#tab=Tabs_emaadntkkp6_control_2

L’oreal
L’oreal Superior Preference Permanent Hair Color
https://www.lorealparisusa.com/hair-color/permanent/superior-preference-fade-defying-shine-permanent-hair-color?gclid=CjwKCAiAyPyQBhB6EiwAFUuaknMlsiSOE7GwUgEzcevKYAFk-RkVnoaRuIKieaAs3M6YpH5uwrvQ0BoClqAQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

L’oreal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream
https://www.lorealparisusa.com/skin-care/facial-moisturizers/collagen-filler-collagen-moisture-filler-day-night-cream

Batiste
Batiste dry shampoo (Bare)
https://www.batistehair.com/products/dry-shampoo/fragrance-bare

Philosophy
Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de toilette
https://www.philosophy.com/amazing-grace-fragrance.html?cgid=C221

Softsheen-Carson
Softsheen-Carson hair relaxer super strength
https://www.softsheen-carson.com/professional-hair-care/optimum-salon/relaxer-super-strength

Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion
https://www.burtsbees.com/product/radiance-body-lotion/19099-00-2.html

Clinique
Clinique Happy Perfume Spray
https://www.clinique.com/product/1579/5188/fragrance/clinique-happy/clinique-happy-perfume-spray?gclid=CjwKCAiAyPyQBhB6EiwAFUuakgEDFQDxisQ-XIJsqoBB-Bajpo7mGJtFFugVkw0W9p6hqMHHZWq-SBoCW-gQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&size=1.7_oz.

Bedhead
Bedhead for Men (TIGI) Clean Up Shampoo
https://www.bedhead.com/us/product/clean-up-shampoo/

CHI
CHI Keratin Leave-in Conditioner
https://chi.com/chi-products/chi-haircare/maintain-repair-protect/chi-keratin/chi-keratin-leave-in-conditioner/

BioSilk
BioSilk Silk Therapy Original
https://biosilk.com/product/biosilk-silk-therapy-original/

Home Care:

Tide
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original,
https://smartlabel.pg.com/00037000876243.html

Fabuloso
Fabuloso All Purpose Cleaner, Lavender
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/smartlabel/35000530585

Bath and Body Works
Bath and Body Works Candles (like Japanese Cherry Blossom and Rose)
https://www.bathandbodyworks.com/e/product-ingredients?fdid=ingredients&q=butylphenyl%20methylpropional&csortb1=IngredientsProductName&csortd1=1&start=100&sz=25

Pine Sol
Pine Sol All Purpose Cleaner Lavender Clean
https://smartlabel.labelinsight.com/product/6094866/ingredients

Windex
Windex Original Glass Cleaner
https://www.whatsinsidescjohnson.com/us/en/brands/windex/Windex–Commercial-Glass-Cleaner

Arm & Hammer
Arm & Hammer Clean Scentsations Scent Booster – Fresh Burst
https://churchdwight.com/ingredient-disclosure/laundry-fabric-care/42010990-arm-hammer-scent-booster-fresh-burst.aspx

Lysol
LYSOL Disinfectant Spray – Crisp Linen
http://www.rbnainfo.com/product.php?productLineId=360

Scrubbing Bubbles
Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer Aerosol (Rainshower Scent)
https://www.whatsinsidescjohnson.com/us/en/brands/scrubbing-bubbles/Scrubbing-Bubbles-Bathroom-Disinfectant-Mega-Shower-Foamer-Rainshower-Scent

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