Panic in the cosmetics department? Apps that promise consumers the decryption of their beauty products are at the heart of heated debates. Yuka, whose success in food products cannot be denied, launched in July in cosmetics (now available on iPhone and in November on Android) and last week, UFC-Que Choisir released the new version of its own app called QuelCosmetic. The response from professionals in the sector was not long in coming. La Febea, the federation of beauty companies, denounced the very next day in a press release “erroneous, obsolete, partial or even inappropriate” information in the apps. And on Tuesday, this same professional union held a press conference focused on five existing apps, a conference to which the co-founder of one of them was invited… Overheated atmosphere.
But why is there such a commotion? Like their colleagues intended to decipher food products, cosmetic applications are on the rise. The promise is simple: to provide clear information on the composition of shampoos, face creams or other lipsticks that inhabit our bathrooms. And consumers are asking for it, if we are to believe Yuka’s millions of downloads or the 800,000 UFC-Que Choisir has claimed since the launch of its own application in March. It must be said that the question of controversial substances, and in particular that of endocrine disruptors – these substances which disrupt hormonal functioning – regularly hits the headlines. Not to mention that the new health notebooks have recommended since April to avoid using cosmetic products in the first months, for the baby but also for the parents, further adding to the climate of mistrust.
What scientific backing?
“The expectation of the consumer is legitimate. He is right to want to know what is in the product”, recognizes Anne Dux, director of scientific and regulatory affairs at Febea. But the union that represents more than 300 cosmetics manufacturers denounces the stigma of ingredients and the “biases” of applications that “fuel controversy and consumer anxiety” even though they do not have access to the concentration of substances in the product. And Anne Dux to ensure that “European cosmetic regulations are the safest in the world” and evolve with the progress of science.