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Consumer Safety

Consumer Safety

We are aware that as a global organisation it is our responsibility to drive positive consumer experiences and to continue to meet the performance expectations of the consumers in whichever market we are operating.

Our approach to product safety adopts the following key principles:

  • We fully comply with all country, regional or global regulations and guidelines on materials usage, manufacturing and labelling.
  • Wherever possible we adopt a common global standard which means we exceed local regulations in some countries.
  • When making safety assessments we consider the product’s intended use and all reasonably foreseeable conditions of use to ensure appropriate pack warnings and safety features, such as child proof closures, are adopted when needed.
  • When concerns are raised about a material’s safe use, either related to consumer safety or its impact on the environment, we adopt a cautious approach. Where we believe there are reasonable scientific grounds we take action to remove, restrict or replace materials ahead of legislation being imposed.
  • Consumer safety starts at the product design stage and continues through material sourcing and manufacturing. At each stage of the process we assess:
    • whether products pose any immediate health risk during use (such as interactions with the hair and skin)
    • the potential longer term impact on consumer health through use of materials with poor or unknown safety records
    • that products are ‘Fit for Purpose’ at the time of use and have undergone appropriate stability testing and manufacturing trials before reaching market.

Managing ‘Materials of Concern’

We operate a ‘Materials of Concern’ list which formalises our approach to material selection. We continually review the scientific and regulatory status of all our materials and continue to progress our programme of actively managing materials usage. Where there are reasonable grounds for concern on consumer safety or environmental impact, we will adopt a cautionary approach and may restrict or prohibit materials ahead of any legislation being put in place.

We may take the following actions on our ‘Materials of Concern’:


Actively remove the material from all PZ Cussons Group products to an agreed timeline through a co-ordinated technical project.

Phase out

Prohibit use in product development, reduce usage and exit the material through the innovation cycle (a time limit may be set).


Where materials are legally allowed and the scientific data and opinion of the Regulatory Authorities and Industry bodies support the safe use of the material, we will continue usage of the material, and manage the issue through clear communication of our position both internally and externally to our consumers and other stakeholders

In the past year we have initiated action on the following:

Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) - This is a preservative material which had been widely used in the cosmetics industry over many years. Concerns were raised by the Dermatologist community, mainly in the UK, about the increasing numbers who had become sensitised to MIT. This prompted a European Union review of the safety profile of MIT and a recommendation that MIT is not permitted for use in leave-on cosmetics. We acted immediately to remove MIT from all leave-on cosmetics within the PZ Cussons Group.

Microplastic Beads - These are used as exfoliating agents in face and body cleansing products and were reported to be accumulating in the oceans and causing the potential for harming marine life. Although only used in a limited number of products in our portfolio, we have taken action to remove or replace them with natural alternatives in all PZ Cussons products.