Photo: Courtesy of Olaplex
This week, Olaplex — a haircare brand loved by colorists, beauty editors and Kardashians — announced it would be tweaking one of its most popular formulas in response to concerns and controversy surrounding an ingredient in it.
The product in question is Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector, an at-home suture repair treatment best known for helping to repair dry, cracked locks after bleaching. Not only is it one of the brand’s top sellers, it’s also one of TikTok’s most viral successes — and a product I personally use regularly (and have recommended to numerous friends and relatives with color-treated hair).
Social media has been buzzing in recent days as users began posting that Olaplex would reportedly be banned in the UK and EU over concerns that an ingredient in it might be “reprotoxic”, meaning it could potentially have adverse effects on the fertility. One TikTok video on the subject was viewed more than 700,000 times in two days.
The original formula for Olaplex’s No. 3 treatment contains butylphenyl methylpropional, also known as lilial, a fragrance recently officially classified as “reprotoxic” by the EU, and therefore subject to a ban from 1 March. As this deadline approached, Olaplex proactively chose to remove the ingredient from the formula to allay any concerns.
In an official statement to Fashionista, an Olaplex representative stated:
In September 2020, the EU regulator announced its intention to phase out butylphenylmethylpropional, commonly referred to as ‘lilial’, by March 2022. At Olaplex, lilial was previously used in small quantities as a fragrance in No. 3 Hair Perfector. active or functional ingredient. While this phase-out is limited to the EU, Olaplex has proactively removed lillial from our No. 3 Hair Perfector worldwide as a precaution.”
On Monday, Olaplex’s Chief Scientist and VP, R&D + Regulatory Lavinia Popescu recorded a five-minute video addressing consumer concerns and questions and explaining the company’s thought process behind this development.
While all of this may sound scary, experts—cosmetic chemists and formulators, to be exact—warn that if you’ve been using the existing Olaplex formula, don’t panic. (Insert my own sigh of relief here.)
“This ingredient has been used in cosmetics and other home and personal care products for many years. It acts as a synthetic fragrance ingredient,” explains cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson (who is also the founder of the skincare brand BeautyStat). “It appears that there is data to support that this ingredient may pose a risk to reproduction and therefore it is being banned in the EU for use in cosmetic products. It appears that brands have been working to remove this ingredient from their products to keep consumers safe.”
Olaplex has emphasized that this is exactly the case, and that because the ingredient in question is only in the formula for fragrance purposes — and not for any other active or functional reasons — it was a pretty straightforward swap. Users should also not notice much difference with the renewed formula, the brand assures.
Honestly, the smell of Olaplex No. 3 has always been the only thing I didn’t like using it, so if that’s all that really changes with the formula going forward (well, that and possibly less harmful to reproductive health….), I am on board.
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This post Olaplex Responds to Ingredient Controversy, Reformulates Bestselling Product was original published at “https://fashionista.com/2022/03/olaplex-infertility-controversy-ingredient-reformulation”