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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
New Calculator Helps Beauty Formulators Assess Health of Products

The chemical giant’s 1,4-Dioxane Online Calculator allows beauty and cosmetic formulators to reassess product formulas when necessary, and helps them navigate regulation for continued success.

Chemistry giant BASF has made the lives of beauty and cosmetic formulators easier with its new 1,4-Dioxane Online Calculator. This digital tool enables personal-care formulators to check the total level of 1,4-Dioxane in the final formula and recommends alternative ingredients to bring the total 1,4-Dioxane value of the formulation to less than 1ppm.

1,4-Dioxane is an organic compound found in products such as paint strippers, dyes, greases, antifreeze and aircraft deicing fluids; and in consumer products including deodorants, shampoos and cosmetics, that the EPA has classified as a “likely human carcinogen.” It’s a trace element that forms as a by-product during the manufacturing process of certain surfactants, emulsifiers and solvents and is miscible in water.

The new calculator comes on the heels of a New York State law, signed in December 2019, which prohibits the sale of personal-care products and household cleaning products containing more than 2ppm 1,4-Dioxane; as well as cosmetic products containing more than 10 ppm 1,4-Dioxane by the end of 2022. These levels drop to a limit of 1ppm in personal-care products by the end of 2023. The state of California is also assessing 1,4-Dioxane in home and personal-care products through the Safer Consumer Products program and its research is estimated to be completed in three years.

The 2019 law left formulators with a need to reassess their ingredient choices and reformulate certain products. Harnessing the expertise of BASF and using the 1,4-Dioxane Online Calculator helps them navigate regulation for continued success.

“Right now, regulations have become stricter in terms of level of 1,4-Dioxane in products, such as shampoo or body wash, so BASF is proactively helping our partners with their formulations,” said Prerna Chatterjee, Sustainability Marketing Manager at BASF Care Chemicals North America — the designer of this tool.

“The 1,4-Dioxane is a regulatory change that seems to align with the current rise in ingredient transparency,” Chatterjee says. “Consumers are more aware about ingredients and continually educate themselves. Beauty consumers specifically are savvier about product ingredients and increasingly favor Clean Beauty products — those that are mindfully created and produced without any proven or suspected ingredients,” she added.

To allow full-formulation flexibility, in addition to BASF product offerings and recommendations, the 1,4-Dioxane Online Calculator allows inclusion of non-BASF ingredients if the 1,4-Dioxane level in them is identified and typed into the system. Formulators are also able to place sample requests for BASF ingredients directly from the calculator.

“The calculator is a testament to our commitment to support the growth of our customers by providing digital tools that ultimately support faster formulation decisions,” said Daniele Piergentili, VP of BASF Home & Personal Care North America.

Learn more about the 1,4-Dioxane Online Calculator here.