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Microplastics

All the cosmetic products made by Henkel worldwide are manufactured without the use of solid plastic exfoliation beads (so-called microbeads).

We recognize that the discussion about the pollution of the ocean through microplastics is a cause of concern for our customers and consumers.

While cosmetic products are only a minor contributor to potential environmental pollution, all cosmetic products launched by Henkel in Europe since 2014 have been free from solid microplastic particles (microbeads used for exfoliating and cleansing) that measure 5 millimeters in diameter or less. Since the beginning of 2016, all of our new cosmetic products worldwide have been made without these microplastic particles.

For more information, please refer to our Sustainability Report.

This decision means we are far ahead of the recommendation made by the European cosmetics association Cosmetics Europe in October 2015, which stated that companies should stop using solid microplastic particles (exfoliating plastic particles from one micrometer to five millimeters) in the formulations of “rinse-off” cosmetic products from 2020 onwards.

A clear distinction must be made between solid plastic particles and water-soluble polymers, as their physical and chemical properties are completely different. Water-soluble polymers do not contribute to the pollution of the ocean through microplastics, and should not be included in the debate about microplastics.
For detailed background information on this topic, please refer to the website of the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW):

Customers and consumers can trust the quality, safety and environmental compatibility of our cosmetics products.