Fluorinated substances found in lotion, mascaras and shaving foam

30. jun 2016

Data from the app ‘Kemiluppen’ from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals shows, that problematic fluorinated substances can be found in a number of cosmetics and personal care products.


Fluorinated substances in personal care products
Photo: iStock

Fluorinated substances in cosmetics and personal care products

An app from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals called Kemiluppen – which roughly translates to ‘The Chemical Magnifying Glass’ - has more than 50 personal care products that contains problematic fluorinated substances in its database. The products are for example lotion, mascara and shaving foam, all found on the Danish market. Most of the products are from international brands.

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals began to look for fluorinated substances in products in the app’s database after research from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation was published. The Swedish organization found that fluorinated substances were present in lotion, shaving foam and makeup – no one had focused on this before.

App: These products contain fluorinated substances

In the app ‘Kemiluppen’ from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals more than 50 products with the problematic substances were found. 20 of the products were bought in shops on the Danish market in order to confirm the content of the substances.

  • Garnier Skin Naturals BB Cream Sensitive Skin Medium (BB-cream)
  • L’Oréal Nude Magique CC Cream (CC-cream)
  • Biotherm Aquasource Rich Cream Dry Skin (cream)
  • Kiehl’s Facial Fuel (cream)
  • Clinique For Men Anti-Age Moisturizer (cream)
  • L’Oréal Skin Perfection Unifying Day Moisturiser (cream)
  • Garnier Skin Naturals The Miracle Cream SPF 20 (cream)
  • L’Oréal Nude Magique BB Cream (BB-cream)
  • L’Oréal Revitalift Night Cream (cream)
  • L’Oréal Revitalift Day Cream SPF 30 (cream)
  • Maybelline Super Stay 24h 21 Nude (powder)
  • Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara 01 Jumbo Jet (Mascara)
  • M.A.C Extended Play Lash (Mascara)
  • Eylure Brow Palette, no 10, Dark Brown (eyebrows)
  • Gosh Foundation Drops 002 SPF 10 (Foundation)
  • Gillette Series Sensitive Shave Gel (shaving cream)
  • Gillette Satin Care Olay Sensitive Shave Gel (shaving cream)
  • Gillette Series Moisturising Hydratant Shave Gel (shaving cream)
  • Gillette Series Pure & Sensitive Shave Gel (shaving cream)
  • Raunsborg Night Cream Nordics (the manufacturer says that they are phasing out the product with the fluorinated substance)

Fluorinated substances can be a problematic cocktail

Fluorinated substances are allowed for use in cosmetics and personal care products, and a product is most likely not problematic in itself. But the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals recommend that you minimize your exposure to the substances where you can.

You encounter problematic substances from many sources in your everyday life – for example in other personal care products, in electronics or in textiles. They can contribute to what scientists call the cocktail effect, which the current legislation on chemicals does not take into account.

Fluorinated substances can contribute to the amassed exposure to unwanted chemicals.

Fluorinated substances are persistent in the environment

Fluorinated substances are a large group of chemicals. The substances are not to be confused with fluoride in toothpaste.

Fluorinated substances are only examined properly in a few cases. But scientists know that for example the 2 types of fluorinated substances, PFOS and PFOA, have a long list of unwanted effects on health. They are among other things suspected to be endocrine disrupting, carcinogenic and to increase the risk of miscarriage.

But scientists know less about most other fluorinated substances – this also goes for the ones found with the app ‘Kemiluppen’. Scientists know that all fluorinated substances are persistent in the environment. That is the reason why a number of scientists have urged the industry and authorities to minimize the use of all fluorinated substances.

These fluorinated substances were found in personal care products

  • C9-15 fluoroalcohol phosphate
  • Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl ether
  • Ptfe
  • Perfluorooctylethyl triethoxysilane
  • Perfluorooctyl triethoxysilane
  • Perfluorodecalin
  • Acetyl trifluoromethylphenyl valylglycine
  • Perfluorononylethyl carboxydecyl peg-10 dimethicone
  • Tetradecyl aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric urea trifluoroacetate


For more information:

Mrs Stine Müller, sm@fbr.dk, +45 41 94 79 06

Project Officer, Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals