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Test of chemicals in cosmetics bought outside of the EU

If you buy cosmetics outside of the EU, many of the products often lack an ingredients list. The products can also contain harmful chemicals that are not allowed inside of the EU.

Christel Søgaard Kirkeby · Foto: Getty Images · 7. juli 2021
kosmetiske produkter

Many non EU cosmetic products lack an ingredients list

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals have checked numerous cosmetic products from international platforms such as wish.com, fruugo.com, amazon.com and shein.com for their ingredientlists.

In the test, close to half of the products lacked an ingredient list. The list of all ingoing ingredients is a requirement in the EU. Especially products bought from wish.com were without any declaration.

Some of these products also seemed like copy products. One product was just a clear fluid in a glass bottle without any text at all - therefore no information on brand, purpose, content etc.

Unwanted chemicals in most products bought outside the EU

23 products in the test had an ingredient list and 17 of these products got the lowest chemical rating C.

The products for instance contained parabens, cyclopentasiloxane or BHT. These chemicals are suspected of being endocrine disrupters.

Illegal ingredients in 3 products from Wish, Fruugo and Amazon

In the test, 3 of the products contain chemicals that are not allowed in EU cosmetics.

The products are an eyelash color containing Toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate that is only allowed for professional use and an eyebrow color containing pyrogallol that is not allowed in cosmetics.

The third product is a lip gloss containing 2 parabens. One is isobutylparaben and the other isopropylparaben. Both have been baned in cosmetics since 2015.

Buy cosmetics and care products inside of the EU

If you buy cosmetics outside of the EU, there is no guarantee that they comply with european legislation.

The product can contain harmful or restricted ingredients.

When you buy cosmetics online, it is a good idea to investigate if the web shop is inside or outside of the EU.

About the test

  • How we tested

    The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has purchased numerous cosmetic and care products on the following webshops:

    • Wish.com
    • Amazon.com
    • Fruugo.com
    • Shein.com

    Common to these platforms is that you can buy products outside of the EU.

    We looked at whether or not the products come with an ingredients list and if there are any unwanted chemicals on those lists.

    We have not analyzed the content in the products.

    The companies have been informed of the results of the declaration test.

    What we found

    40 products have been purchased. This is how they are distributed:

    • A level rating: 5 products
    • B level rating: 1 product. This products among others contain perfume and mineral oils.
    • C level rating (missing information): 17 products get a low rating due to the lack on an ingredient list. These are primarily from Wish. On products was just a clear glass bottle without text or any other information.
    • C level rating (chemicals): 17 products get a low rating due to unwanted chemicals. 3 of these products contain chemicals that are not legal in the EU. They were purchased from Wish, Fruugo and Amazon.

Contact us

Do you have any questions regarding the test? Or do you want to receive news articles regarding our tests in English?

Send an email request to Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

contact us here