We're about to examine in depth the alleged dark history and rumored secrets of one of the largest cosmetic companies in the world - L'Oreal. If you're a frequent buyer of L'Oreal, this is definitely going to be a hard pill to swallow. But as disturbing as it may be, it's important for you to see, because there's a lot of things that L'Oreal is allegedly trying to keep secret from its customers. But now people are finally waking up and starting to ask some very important questions of this company. And the answers they're finding are shocking. Many people have heard that L'Oreal is allegedly a shady company, but few are actually aware of how deep the rabbit hole goes...
It's been the same throughout history. Since its very inception, L'Oreal has been reportedly shrouded in controversy and darkness. These controversies seem to follow L'Oreal wherever they go, and whatever they do. Past employees have spoken out about them. Concerned activist groups have demanded answers about the chemicals in their products, and their involvement with animal testing. After reading these, we'll let you form your own opinion about L'Oreal...
18 L'Oreal Got Caught Airbrushing Their Advertisements To Falsely Sell Their Products
One of the most glaring controversies faced by L'Oreal came in the last few years, when they were found guilty of airbrushing in their ad campaigns. This opened a huge can of beans that was extremely relevant to people's concepts of "beauty" today. First of all, the ads featured celebs like Julia Roberts posing and promoting the new products.
But what they never told anyone was that her face was heavily airbrushed. That actually resulted in legal trouble for L'Oreal.
A lawsuit was brought against the cosmetic company, primarily because it was seen as false advertising. The advertisement seemed to suggest that if you used this product, then you would look like Julia Roberts in this photo. But because it was airbrushed, looking like that would be completely impossible. This also raised the issues of self-confidence among women. How can they ever feel good about themselves when they're comparing themselves to a photoshopped image that they can never match? Incidents like this are a huge reason why women have body issues.
17 They Made False Claims About Their Products And Were Sued By The FDA
That wasn't the only reason why L'Oreal found itself in hot water due to advertisements. Another fairly recent ad campaign which became controversial was one that centered around the product known as "Genifique." The advertisement made bizarre, outlandish claims, suggesting that the product would affect your genes and make it seem as if you'd slept an extra 2 hours. They also claimed that they had done extensive genetic research.
As a cosmetic company, they're not allowed to sell things that might be seen as medical drugs. Something that alters your genetic makeup (no pun intended) would most certainly fall into the "drug" category, not the cosmetic category. As a result, L'Oreal was actually sued by the FDA over this advertisement. They do claim that their products contain certain medicinal ingredients, however, and they also use this fact as an excuse to engage in animal testing. More on that later.
16 Lead Was Found In Their Lipstick Brands
Lead found in lipstick was considered to just an "urban legend" for the longest time. But recent studies by the FDA has completely confirmed these so-called "myths." The FDA studied a wide range of different lipstick brands and found that five of the ten most lead-contaminated brands were made by L'Oreal. But it's okay just to have a little bit of lead in lipstick right? No big deal? Wrong.
There is no safe amount of lead for a human being to absorb.
Lead exposure can lead to fertility problems, hormonal changes, delayed puberty, and considerable problems with the brain.
So far, the FDA has done nothing to stop companies from putting lead in their lipstick. They say that it is safe, as long as you follow their "guidelines." But if you read these guidelines, they point out that you can't eat, lick your lips, or kiss anyone while wearing lipstick. It's up to you as the consumer to protect yourself, since neither the government or the FDA cares enough to take action.
15 Their Mascara Brand Has Been Linked With Cancer-Causing Agents
Another L'Oreal product that you may enjoy is their ever popular "Great Lash" Mascara brand. It's definitely one of their most successful products, and you can easily recognize it by its iconic pink and green packages, and bright motifs. It's definitely catered towards young people, which makes its toxic ingredients even more disturbing. There's one ingredient that has been linked to cancer, and most women have no idea what they're exposing themselves to.
The chemical in question is known as "Quaternium-15." If you read the ingredients carefully, you will find it. This is used to preserve the mascara, keeping it from going bad. But there's a huge trade-off. Quaternium-15 releases carcinogenic formaldehyde, which has been linked heavily to cancer. If you use this product for many years, you're putting yourself at considerable risk. And people wonder why the cancer rates are increasing so rapidly...
14 Also, Their 'Kids' Brand Of Shampoo Has Cancer Causing Agents
Finding out that your favorite cosmetic products contain terrible, life-threatening ingredients can be shocking. But surely, L'Oreal would always make sure to create kids products that are safe and toxin free... Right? Actually, no. If you can believe it, the famed L'Oreal kids shampoo, labeled as "2 in 1" with a colorful, animal-shaped bottle is also laden with cancer-causing agents. It seems that L'Oreal doesn't discriminate based on age when it comes to trying to trick its consumers into buying their product.
The shampoo in question contains a chemical known by the abbreviation "DMDM hydantoin," which is known to release formaldehyde. Like the mascara listed above, this has also been linked to cancer. What makes this even more sickening is the fact that other companies that produce kids products removed formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from their children's shampoos long, long ago. It seems as though L'Oreal is the only one still stuck in the dark ages.
13 In Total, Over 11 Types Of Cancer-Causing Agents Were Found In Their Products
The following is a list of all cancer-causing agents found by the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics: Benzophenone-1 in L’Oreal Colour Riche and Maybelline Color Show nail polishes. Carbon black in L’Oreal eyeliner Titanium dioxide (in inhalable form) in L’Oreal eyeshadows, Maybelline blushes and pressed powders. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives known as DMDM hydantoin in L’Oreal Kids shampoos. Imidazolidinyl urea in L’Oreal mascaras, eyeshadows, and both L’Oreal and Maybelline brand eyeliners. Diazolidinyl urea in the facial toner, BB creamQuaternium-15 in Maybelline Great Lash mascaras.
In addition, the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics also found the following ingredients which could be contaminated with carcinogens: Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which can be contaminated with PFOA in L’Oreal eyeshadows and Garnier anti-aging products. Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl ether, which can be contaminated with PFOA in L’Oreal eyeshadows. Polyacrylamide, which can be contaminated with acrylamide in Garnier anti-aging products. Talc (in inhalable form), which can be contaminated with asbestiform fibers in L’Oreal eyeshadows, Maybelline blushes and pressed powders.
12 Toxic Chemicals Are Seen In A Lot Of Their Products
Consumers are starting to become more and more aware of other potentially toxic chemicals in cosmetic products, and one of the big subjects today is Parabens. This chemical is known primarily as a hormone disruptor and mimics estrogen. Therefore,
It can seriously impact a woman's reproductive systems and hormone levels/balance.
Parabens are found in a wide range of L'Oreal's products, including shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial products, shower cleansers and scrubs.
Ethical Consumer reached out to L'Oreal and asked them about their policy regarding Parabens in 2017. They reported that L'Oreal gave only vague answers, and did not suggest that they had any plan or vision for phasing out Parabens in the near future. Parabens are sometimes hard to spot when looking at lists of ingredients, but anything that ends with "-paraben" is a type of Paraben.
11 They Use A Chemical That Was Banned In Europe
Another type of toxin that people are becoming more and more aware of is Phthalates. This is still widely used by a huge range of cosmetic companies, not just L'Oreal. As consumers become more and more educated on these harmful ingredients, more and more women are carefully looking at the ingredients of the cosmetic products they buy. L'Oreal still uses these ingredients, and they do so in a huge range of their products.
Phthalates are harmful because they can disrupt hormones, and alter the reproductive system. They can also have an effect on your organs, and the overall toxicity levels in your body. In many ways, Phthalates are very similar to Parabens. Both of these chemicals pose yet another risk, as L'Oreal's products inevitably find their way into the population's water supply, either through illegal dumping by L'Oreal themselves, or by consumers.
10 They Have Been Allegedly Linked To The Use Of Illegal Labor
Most people have no idea that small Indian children are suffering so your eyeshadow can look sparkly. No, it's not a joke, and it all has to do with an ingredient called mica. This ingredient is mined in India, and is found near small villages where poverty is high. The mica is mined by small children, who work many hours a day, under terrible conditions. Mica is the ingredient that gives some of the most popular cosmetic products that glossy shine we all love so much.
There are countless companies that are guilty of exploiting child labor to get cheap mica. Even Lush, a company praised for its ethical production values, uses mica. Many companies, including L'Oreal, have committed themselves to establishing "child-friendly villages" from which to source their mica. But does this really tackle the problem? It's a tough situation, especially when you consider the fact that these poor Indian families are relying on the income provided by their child workers.
9 Their Statements About Animal Testing Seem To Be Misleading
One of the biggest reasons L'Oreal gets attacked is its policy on animal testing. This is by far the number one thing that concerns the average consumer today, and many are taking a stand and refusing to buy products that have been tested on animals. L'Oreal states that it has ceased all animal testing. But if you read the fine print, another statement from the company reads: “When a supplier proposes us an ingredient, we ask to examine its safety dossier. If the dossier contains data generated by means of animal testing before March 2013, L’Oréal can retain the ingredient. If the data was generated after March 2013 and was for a cosmetics application, L’Oréal cannot retain the ingredient. If the data was generated after March 2013 but was for a usage other than cosmetics, then L’Oréal can retain the ingredient.”
Some have raised concerns that L'Oreal is exploiting loopholes within their policies that allow them to continue animal testing, even while publicly opposing it. They also state that: "Also, in response to questions raised by the scientific community and by civil society, local authorities could choose to reexamine the safety data of a known family of ingredients, and could require new safety data.” This gives them yet another loophole that allows them to engage in animal testing, presumably whenever they feel like it.
8 Women Have Gotten Horrible Blisters After Using L'Oreal's Anti-Aging Cream
But who cares, right? As long as the product makes you beautiful, that's all that really matters. How much can carcinogens really hurt you? Why does a little animal testing really matter? Well as it turns out, after all, some of L'Oreal's practices result in nasty side-effects for certain people with allergies to some of the chemicals in L'Oreal's products.
One 66-year-old woman, Marlene Corrall, reached for a L'Oreal product, and she admits it was one of the worst choices ever: "When I went into my local chemist I spotted the L’Oreal Revitalift range and decided to give it a try, but it was the biggest mistake I ever made, after the reaction I had. Within two days of using the creams, my face started to swell and break out in painful red blisters which spread all over my face. I was really frightened, especially as I have always taken great pride in my skin."
This chemical is widely known to cause allergic reactions to a sizable percentage of the population.
She later found out that it was an allergic reaction caused by a chemical called methylisothiazolinone. This was a preservative added by L'Oreal in order to increase the product's shelf life.
7 L'Oreal Fired A Mixed-Race, Trans Model After She Posted About A Super Controversial Statement On Social Media
L'Oreal won widespread praise when they were one of the first companies to hire a trans model. This woman was Munroe Bergdorf, and not only was she a fresh face for L'Oreal, she has also had some things to say that had never been said before. A smart business move by L'Oreal to embrace diversity and cater towards a larger range of people backfired when L'Oreal decided to fire Munroe Bergdorf, not long after hiring her.
And it was all because of something she said on Facebook. In September of 2017, she said "Honestly I don’t have the energy to talk about the racial violence of white people anymore. Yes, ALL white people. Because most of ya’ll don’t even realize or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege, and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of color. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***." For these comments, Bergdorf was immediately fired.
6 Until Fenty Started To Cater Towards Darker Skin Types, L'Oreal's Makeup Line Was Focused On Majority Skin Types
One of the big stories in the makeup world over the last little while was the emergence of Rihanna's company, Fenty. It became a huge hit overnight, and it won a lot of praise from a huge range of people. Part of the reason for this was because the foundation palette itself came in a huge range. 40 different shades ensured that every possible skin type was catered to, and this made a lot of people happy. Particularly women with darker skin, who previously had trouble finding foundation shades that matched their skin.
One of the companies that were guilty of focusing more on lighter shades of skin was of course L'Oreal.
And coincidentally enough, after the success of Fenty, L'Oreal immediately embraced the same ethos of being inclusive to all skin types. But it's important to note that they only did this because they saw how profitable it could be, not because they actually cared about catering to different skin types.
5 L'Oreal's Founder Financed A Very Controversial Group Called 'La Cagoule'
If you really want to know what a company is all about, sometimes you need to look into how it was created. And in the case of L'Oreal, its creation was very interesting indeed. On the surface, the company's early history seems very reputable. They were actually founded by a French chemist who pioneered a new form of shampoo that was revolutionary at the time. This man was Eugène Schueller. And if you dig into his past, you come to some very interesting conclusions.
Schueller was a huge supporter of a Fascist group in France called "La Cagoule." From the early twentieth century and up to the end of the second world war, Schueller personally financed the group and provided places for its members to meet and discuss their operations. The group was violent and extremely anti-Semitic, and collaborated heavily with the Nazis during the occupation of France. After the war, members of the group found employment at L'Oreal.
4 For Thirty Years, L'Oreal's German Headquarters Was Built On A Land With A Strong Heritage, That They Wish Nobody Knew About
Today, L'Oreal is a massive corporation that has operations in almost every part of the globe. It is after all the biggest producer of cosmetics in the entire world. Europe has always been its home, however, and some of the company's most important headquarters are in economic powerhouses such as Germany. But
for thirty years, their German headquarters were on land that had a dark, terrible secret.
It was the same land that had been confiscated from a Jewish family by the Nazis.
Edith Rosenfelder, a holocaust survivor, was the last surviving member of this Jewish family a few decades ago, and she actually came forward and confronted L'Oreal about the matter. A lawsuit was put forward, demanding that the land be returned. L'Oreal argued that it was sold to them by a third party, so they were not liable. But after the war, the allies agreed that all confiscated land would be returned. A daughter of the Jewish family later wrote in a book, "All the other businesses which took Jewish property have since returned it, without any great debate. I don't understand why L'Oréal should be any different from the others."
3 L'Oreal's Past Deputy Chairman Wrote Controversial Propaganda During WWII
We've already mentioned the fact that L'Oreal was heavily involved with Fascist French groups around the time of the second world war, but it's hard to express the full extent to which these Nazi sympathizers actually infiltrated the company. Those who were prominent members of La Cagoule often found themselves in very high places within the company after the war. One of these men was Andre Bettencourt, who served as the Deputy Chairman of L'Oreal.
He was perhaps one of the most vocal members of La Cagoule, and around the time of the second world war, he was writing page after page of Nazi propaganda for La Terre Francaise, a newspaper that was funded by the occupying Nazis after the fall of France. In 1941, he described Jews as "hypocritical Pharisees," and a race that "has been forever sullied by the blood of the righteous," concluding that "They will be cursed."
2 One Board Member Was Allegedly Fired For Being Of A Different Faith
By now you're probably seeing a very different side of L'Oreal than you might have expected. But that's hardly surprising. After all, L'Oreal is a cosmetic company. And what are cosmetics for, other than making things seem more beautiful and innocent than they actually are? It seems that after all this time, L'Oreal has been wearing their own makeup, their own mask, if you will. Some have tried to expose what is underneath that mask.
One of these men is Jean Frydman, a past employee of L'Oreal and a proud Jewish man. He was in France during the second world war, and narrowly escaped a train that was taking him to a concentration camp after the Nazis conquered France and started rounding up Jews. He alleges that he was fired by L'Oreal because he was Jewish. He claims that the company didn't want to lose business from certain Arab countries and individuals, who were boycotting all companies that had any connection to Jews whatsoever.
1 L'Oreal Has Operations In Countries Where They Can Make Maximum Profit
Consumers are beginning to be a lot more socially aware when it comes to the products they choose, and the cosmetics industry is no exception. For the first time ever, people are beginning to ask "where are these products made?" and "Who makes them?" They might even be asking "How are these workers treated?" A lot of people simply don't care, but there is a growing movement to buy products that are ethically produced, and don't come from places where suffering is considered to be okay.
L'Oreal is one of the major corporations in the world that is heavily involved with countries that have extremely oppressive regimes. India, Vietnam, China, and many other countries that are ruled by very different governments that our own are favorites for L'Oreal. Why? Because in these countries, people don't have the same basic human rights as us, and so the people can be exploited and treated unfairly, all for a low wage. This means more profit for L'Oreal.
SOURCES: preventionstartshere.org, dailymail.co.uk, crueltyfreekitty.com, wikipedia.org