Have a look inside the bottle
Our goal is to answer your questions about what’s in the P&G products we make by providing product ingredient information that is clear, reliable, and accessible. In other words, if you don’t find what you’re looking for here or on our brand sites, please let us know so that we can live up to our promise.
Product ingredient choices and how we make them
Some people believe that natural product ingredients are safer to use than man-made, synthetic ones. The reality is that it’s not that simple; both natural and synthetic ingredients have a safe and unsafe range.
That said, we know that some people prefer to use natural product ingredients, so we are working to provide more products with elements that are naturally sourced. While natural product ingredients may be appealing, we also have to confirm they are safe to use in P&G products. Being natural alone doesn’t translate to being “safe”—even water and sunshine have safety limits.
Some people also expect natural product ingredients to be more sustainable because they use less energy to source and require fewer resources. The reality is that the sustainable features of any product ingredient depend on the use, context and energy consumption—in creating or harvesting it, as well as making or using it. Ultimately, we seek to source the best ingredients for our products so that you can use them with confidence. And we’re also doing the legwork to ensure we use the most sustainable and earth-friendly solutions.
Product ingredients we do not use
Here is a list of some of the most common materials we get asked about that we do not use as ingredients in any of our formulated products (health care, skin and personal cleansing, hair care, laundry, home care, and oral care):
- Alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates
- Bisphenol A (not in formulas*)
- Heavy metals: Arsenic, Lead, Chromium VI, Mercury, Cadmium, Nickel
- Organotins (TBT, DBT, MBT, DOT)
- PVC (not in formulas*)
- PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
- PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls)
- Phthalates** (incl. perfume materials)
This list is not exhaustive but a starting point. For specific product ingredients, please see the Brand website here.
Understanding common product ingredients
Even though we ensure that our products are safe to use before they hit shelves, we know there’s a lot of conversation around certain product ingredients. Here's our point of view on them.
1,4-dioxane is not an ingredient, but rather a by-product that can form in tiny (trace) amounts when making a variety of products—and it’s most common with cleaning products. Importantly, the presence of 1,4-dioxane in our products is already well below the safe limit in all our cleaning products. For example, if you washed and wore over 1,000 loads of laundry every day, you’d still be below the safe limit for 1,4-dioxane. Further, 1,4-dioxane is not easily absorbed by the skin and is also rapidly eliminated from the body, much like excess vitamins in our diet. Regardless, we’re continually working to reduce and/or eliminate it from our products, while still delivering the performance we all expect.
Phosphates are essential nutrients for plant growth and a healthy ecosystem, and are commonly found in fertilizers. While phosphate is naturally present in the environment, it can also be released in much smaller amounts from some cleaning products after their use. A series of product innovations now allow us to produce many effective, phosphate-free cleaning products without a compromise in cleaning performance. Therefore, we’ve removed phosphates from over 95% of our cleaning products already—and are working to eliminate the remaining 5% from our consumer products over the next few years. In the few instances we continue to use phosphates, we are in compliance with all applicable regulatory limits.
You may have heard general safety questions about phthalates. There are several types of phthalates and each one is different (much like there are safe and unsafe types of mushrooms). We comply with all phthalate bans globally. In fact, we have removed the only phthalate that was used in our product fragrances even though agencies found it to be safe.
Triclosan and triclocarban are antimicrobial ingredients that slow or stop the growth of germs such as bacteria and mildew. We have already eliminated triclosan from our products globally and have an exit plan for our few remaining uses of triclocarban.
Microbeads are solid plastic particles of 5 mm or less and are used to exfoliate or cleanse in personal care products.
We previously included microbeads in some of our exfoliating cleansing products and toothpastes based on positive feedback from people who use them. Because microbeads are made from plastic, certain groups have questioned whether plastic found in our oceans and waterways is from microbeads. The science to date shows the breakdown of larger plastics to be the primary source of plastics in the ocean, not microbeads.
Now we have removed microbeads from all P&G facial/body cleansers and toothpaste formulas, so today the products we are manufacturing are microbead-free.
Preservatives (including parabens and others)
Preservatives help keep all of us safe by preventing growth of bacteria and mold during the use of consumer products. Different product types need different preservatives that work best for that particular formula. You can rest assured that all of our preservatives comply with applicable regulations and safe limits wherever they are sold.
|Baby diapers & feminine hygiene||Baby Wipes||Air fresheners||Health & oral care||Laundry & household cleaning||Hair care & personal cleaning||Skin care leave on products||Learn more|
|Benzoic acid||contain||contain||contain||contain||contain||Visit site|
|Benzyl alcohol||contain||contain||contain||Visit site|
|DMDM Hydantoin:||contain||contain||Visit site|
|Diazolidinyl urea (small number of products)||contain||Visit site|
|Imidazolidinyl urea (small number of products)||contain||Visit site|
|Quaternium-15 (small number of products)||contain||Visit site|
|Formic Acid||contain||contain||Visit site|
|Iodopropynyl Butylcarbarnate||contain||contain||Visit site|
|Isothiazolinones: Benzoisothiazolinone||contain||contain||Visit site|
|Parabens: Methyl-, Ethyl-, Propyl- & Butylparaben||contain||contain||contain||Visit site|
|Salicylic Acid||contain||contain||Visit site|
|Sorbic Acid||contain||Visit site|
A small number of products require a different preservative not listed above, including potassium sorbate, benzalkonium chloride, dehydroaceticacid and chlorhexidine digluconate. They are indicated on the ingredient list in the product used.
For more information on our product safety data, certifications, and strategies, visit our Product Safety & Compliance site.
We have strict product safety limits in place when any of these materials could be found in tiny amounts due to their natural (or background) presence in water, the environment, or as part of the manufacturing process.
* We do not use BPA or PVC in any of our product formulas. Our use of PVC and BPA is restricted to very small amounts in some P&G product packaging like pressurized aerosol cans or electrical devices where their unique performance is essential for product safety. We will consider new material options as soon as they do arise.
** We do not use these ingredients in new products and are exiting them. More details on our exit timings for these materials can be found in the Common Ingredient Questions section above.