You are here

Restricted ingredients

This is a list produced by the EU Scientific Commission on Health and Consumers, of “perfumery material which must not form part of cosmetic products except subject to restrictions.”

These restrictions limit the percentage of the substance within a consumer product, based in whether it’s to be left on the skin or washed off. If a consumer leaves a “wash-off” product on their body, or uses more of the product than the regulators have guessed they will, or if they use several different products containing the ingredient, they will be getting more than the safe level of the ingredient.


You might notice that several of these are the same as the previous list: “Most-used ingredients”. That means that many of the products we use every day contain ingredients that are known to cause health problems.  In the EU, a consumer at least is informed of this and can choose whether to risk health effects.  But these rules only apply within in the EU. These chemicals can be used in higher concentrations in other countries.  They don't have to be declared on the label.

Some of these chemicals are allergenic or sensitizers ( that is, they cause allergic responses). Others cause contact dermatitis. All are so dangerous to human health that the countries of the EU have acted.  They haven't banned the substances (manufacters of fragrance would resist that with all the power at their disposal) - but at least the most dangerous ones are named on the label.   

Another 36 fragrance ingredients are being considered for restriction or banning by the EU.


The fragrance ingredients that the EU has been able to act on because of their demonstrated effects on human health are:

  • Amyl cinnamal
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Cinnamyl alcohol
  • Citral
  • Eugenol
  • Hydroxy-cintronellal
  • Isoeugenol
  • Amylcinnamyl alcohol
  • Benzyl salicylate
  • Cinnamal
  • Coumarin
  • Geraniol
  • Hydroxymethylpentyl cyclohexecarbonaldehyde (brand name Lyral)
  • Anistyl alcohol
  • Benzyl cinnamate
  • Farnesol
  • 2-(4 tert Butylbenzyl) Propionaldehyde
  • Linalool
  • Benzyl Benzoate
  • Citronellol
  • Hexyl cinnam-aldehyde
  • d-limonene
  • Methyl Heptin Carbonate
  • 3-methyl-4-(2,6,6,-trimethyl-2-cyclohexen-yl-3-buten-2-one
  • Oak Moss and Tree Moss extract


Because the EU has declared these ingredients to be dangerous we haven't listed their health effects here.  If they are subject to restriction in the countries of the EU (against all the pressures that the manufacturers can bring to bear),  then the dangers they pose to human health are beyond argument.

What a shame that consumers in the US and Canada, and in Australia and most of the rest of the world, don't have even the small protection against these substances that citizens of the EU do.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer