Your ingredient questions answered

We are often asked questions about the ingredients we use in our home and personal care products. For example: Why is a certain ingredient included in a product? What does it do? Is it safe for me, my family and the environment? Sometimes we are asked why we choose not to use certain ingredients.


Many people enjoy using fragranced products.

Fragrances

Many people enjoy using fragranced products. To create them we only use high-quality ingredients that meet global standards set by the International Fragrance Research Association (IFRA).

Find out more about fragrances
We use preservatives to help protect our products from bacteria, yeasts and moulds.

Preservatives

We use preservatives to help protect our products from bacteria, yeasts and moulds. In the natural world preservatives help defend plant, human and animal cells.

Find out more about preservatives
Mangroves in a pristine marine environment in Belize

Plastic scrub beads

We stopped using plastic scrub beads in 2014 in response to concerns about the build-up of microplastics in oceans and lakes.

Find out more about plastic scrub beads
worlds largest family Vim

Silicones

Many of the things people say they like about personal care products – from the silky effect of hair conditioners to the smooth feel of roll-on deodorants– are made possible by silicones.

Find out more about silicones
worlds largest family Vim

Sodium hypochlorite

Our brands help keep homes and workplaces clean, fresh and protected from germs. For many decades, we have used sodium hypochlorite in our home care products because it is a powerful and fast-acting disinfectant that combats a wide range of micro-organisms, including bacteria and viruses.

Find out more about sodium hypochlorite

To find out more about some of the topics we are asked about most, please select from the list below.

Aluminium salts

Aluminium salts have been used for over half a century as the active ingredient in antiperspirants to control sweat and associated body odour. In fact, the traditional use of aluminium to combat body odour dates back hundreds of years, in regions like Europe, Mexico, Thailand and Asia. Today, aluminium salts help millions of people around the world feel and smell fresh, and enjoy more self-confidence.

Find out more about aluminium salts

Controlling impurities

Slight impurities (known as ‘traces’ or ‘trace contaminants’) can occur in some products – either because they are naturally present in raw materials, or because they arise during the manufacturing process.

Find out more about controlling impurities

Fluoride

Having strong, healthy teeth and gums is essential to people’s health and wellbeing. Regular brushing with toothpaste containing fluoride helps prevent cavities and improves oral hygiene.

Find out more about fluoride

Formaldehyde donors

We use preservatives to keep home and personal care products in good condition: without them, they could be spoiled by bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We choose our preservative ingredients carefully, making sure they are safe and effective for people who use our products.

Find out more about formaldehyde donors

Fragrances

Fragrances can make us feel a whole range of emotions. The familiar and welcoming smell of our homes partly comes from the cleaning products and cosmetics we use.

Find out more about fragrances

Petroleum jelly

Petrolatum, more commonly known as petroleum jelly, is widely used in cosmetics and personal care products. Petrolatum’s unique moisturising ability is unlike many other ointments and creams, some of which just sit on the skin’s surface, or enter and leave the skin too quickly.

Find out more about petroleum jelly

Plastic scrub beads

Our personal care brands help people to achieve healthy-looking skin. Exfoliation – the removal of dead skin cells through gentle scrubbing – is key to this. Several ingredients can act as a mild abrasive to aid exfoliation, including plastic scrub beads.

Find out more about plastic scrub beads

Preservatives

We use preservatives to help protect our products from bacteria, yeasts and moulds. In the natural world preservatives help defend plant, human and animal cells. Similarly preservatives play a vital role in keeping our products safe and of a high quality.

Find out more about preservatives

Parabens

Parabens are a family of ingredients used as preservatives in personal care products. ‘Paraben’ refers to many slightly different paraben forms, some of which can be found in nature. They come from para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) which, as well as occurring in fruit and vegetables, forms naturally in the human body.

Find out more about parabens

Methylisothiazolinone (MI)

We use preservatives to keep home and personal care products in good condition: without them, they could be spoiled by bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We choose our preservative ingredients carefully, making sure they are safe, effective to people who use our products.

Find out more about methylisothiazolinone (MI)

Phenoxyethanol

We use preservatives to keep home and personal care products in good condition: without them, they could be spoiled by bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We choose our preservative ingredients carefully, making sure they are safe and effective for people who use our products.

Find out more about phenoxyethanol

Silicones

Many of the things people say they like about personal care products – from the silky effect of hair conditioners to the smooth feel of roll-on deodorants– are made possible by silicones.

Find out more about silicones

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Removing dirt from clothing, dishes and our skin is an important part of daily life. From soaps and toothpastes to laundry detergents many products foam when used to unlock their cleaning action.

Find out more about sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Sodium hypochlorite

Our brands help keep homes and workplaces clean, fresh and protected from germs. For many decades, we have used sodium hypochlorite in our home care products because it is a powerful and fast-acting disinfectant that combats a wide range of micro-organisms, including bacteria and viruses.

Find out more about sodium hypochlorite

Talc

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that is used on its own as talcum powder and as an ingredient in a range of personal care products.

Find out more

Triclosan and triclocarban

Through their use in toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, deodorants and cleaning products, anti-bacterial ingredients help maintain healthy bodies and clean homes.

Find out more about triclosan and triclocarban

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