Analysis & Results: The Baseline for “Simple” Ingredients Lists

What Were The Results?

So, how close do you think you were? Here are our official results for how many ingredients were in new Beauty and Personal Care products launched in 2018 (rounded). For a full breakdown, see our download below.

What was the Average?

22 Ingredients

What was the Median?

20 Ingredients

Does Simple Mean Clean?

Not always. Simple ingredient lists can be “clean”, but clean doesn’t always mean simple ingredient lists. We support a comprehensive set of criteria to define “clean.” Simplicity actually falls within one of these criteria: performance. If formulators only use high performance ingredients that offer a benefit with proven results then any product with have fewer fillers or unnecessary components. In turn, this will result in simpler lists.

What About EWG Ranking?

A product isn’t toxic just because it includes an ingredient with a higher EWG Skindeep database ranking. Many chemicals may be in a formulation and are safe because they adhere to manufacturing or specification limits. Some chemicals may be a component in naturally occurring in oil, for instance. The number of ingredients does not imply safety in and of itself. A product with many ingredients could be safer than a product with fewer ingredients.

However, adhering to Safety is a critical step, and one of our Future of Clean defining pillars. For this reason, rhe EWG verified program, which is different but related to the EWG Skindeep database, is one standard for safety.

At the same time, consumers today are more aware of their ingredients than ever, and simpler ingredient lists may be easier to understand. Ninety-five percent of consumers are interested in technology that can help them identify ingredients, according to a study done by Label Insights.

Want to see the complete results broken down the number of ingredients by category and EWG ranking? Download our Less is More infographic for additional analysis.

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