Product Safety FAQ
In case you have any questions about our products and what’s in them, we’ve collected some answers for you. As every situation is unique, please get in touch with us if you want to know more.
There’s actually no official definition for this term. Usually, "dermatologically tested" suggests a product has been tested and proven safe for human skin. In reality, each company making this claim defines its own methods for testing. For Essity it means the products or the product’s raw materials have passed dermal safety studies in human subjects and are safe for close contact with the skin.
Only approved ingredients are allowed in our products, and we have strict processes in place to ensure our products are safe to use for our millions of customers. We’ve chosen all the ingredients with great care, and each of our Essity intimate washes has been tested under gynecological control. We’re absolutely confident they are safe for their intended use.
Our dedicated Product Safety team assesses every material included in our products to make sure it fulfills all the legal requirements and is safe for use as intended. These assessments include analyses of chemical residues and toxicological tests including tests for skin irritation.
All skin irritation tests and studies are approved by an independent ethical committee, and medically supervised by a clinician. While we cannot guarantee that our products won’t cause skin irritation, we do everything we can to reduce the risk as much as possible.
Because of the nature of allergies, no one can guarantee that a product will never lead to an allergic reaction. All of us react individually and often even differently during the course of one’s life.
But at Essity, we’ve created products that are designed to be gentle on the skin. It starts with our suppliers who are required by us to not include any substances that are known to be allergens. Where relevant, substances that are used in the formulation of our products are then assessed, by product safety specialists, for potential to be allergens. Our complaint statistics confirm that any skin-related reactions to our products are extremely rare with less than one clinical complaint per hundred million sold products.
At Essity we’re all about care – for people, and for the planet. That includes animals.
We don’t support animal testing, and we´re committed to reducing it to the absolute minimum. We never test our products on animals, unless we are absolutely required to by law.
Please see also Essity´s position on animal testing.
Absolutely. Sustainability is an essential priority for each of our brands here at Essity. We’re committed to developing products and services that improve human well-being while also lowering our environmental footprint. Using recycled materials in our products is a great way to do that. For example, we use more than 40% recycled fibers in our global tissue production.
At Essity, we are also continually finding new ways to get “more from less” with thinner or compressed products that function even better while using less material and producing less waste.
Ultimately, it’s our ambition to contribute to a circular society. That means exploring new designs, using renewable and recycled materials and innovating ways to make our products and packaging more reusable and recyclable.
At Essity we recognize the existing long-term uncertainties regarding environmental and health risks concerning the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). That’s why we take a precautionary approach to using materials that derive from GMOs.
If you would like to know more, please see Essity's GMO position.
No materials in Essity hygiene products are bleached using chlorine gas (elemental chlorine). Elemental chlorine is probably what you’ve heard bad things about.
The bleaching methods we accept (for our cellulose pulp and viscose fibers) are the ECF (elemental chlorine free) method and TCF (totally chlorine free) method, considered by the European Industrial Emissions Directive to be the best available techniques. Both methods have a low environmental impact, as they are based on modern and efficient processes, and use effective wastewater treatment. Additionally, both are also safe with regard to any traces of unwanted chemicals.
We’re concerned about that too and consequently, we only use plastics in our products and packaging where it is necessary for the purpose of guaranteeing that the products are not only clean but also safe to use and fulfill the hygienic purpose for which they have been manufactured. Additionally, we’re continually finding ways to use less and less material in our products, including plastics, while also increasing our use of renewable or recycled plastics. One example of this is our optimized use of stretch film, which has allowed us to reduce the usage of plastics at our European tissue sites.
Essity is an active member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's plastics initiative “New Plastic Economy.” Our goal is to achieve 100% recyclability for all our packaging, and we’ve already committed to the ambitious target of manufacturing 85% of our packaging from renewable or recycled material by 2025.
In principle our products don’t contain substances that directly originate from animals. However, we can’t really make the claim of “vegan” for our products. This is because the supply chain for our products is complex, and we can’t guarantee that others further up the chain haven’t come into contact with animal-based materials.
Our plastic bottles are made out of polyethylene, in several different grades (both bottles, pump, valve and cap). Bisphenol A is prohibited by the Essity Global Supplier Standard from being intentionally added to any of our raw materials, and we don’t add it during the production process. So, no – Bisphenol A is not something you need to worry about in our bottles.
Here at Essity, we never intentionally add dangerous substances to our products, and of course that includes formaldehyde since making our products safe to use is an absolute must for us. Trace levels are sometimes found in the raw materials or the process chemicals we use, but when detected, these are barely over the detection limit, so there’s no need to be concerned.
There’s no need to worry about Bisphenol A in our products. Our Global Supplier Standard explicitly says that this chemical may not be intentionally added to any of our raw materials. It’s also not used in the production process of our absorbent hygiene products (that’s your towel, tampon, liner or period panty).
Thanks to an established program of chemical analysis of raw materials for our incontinence, baby and feminine absorbent products, we can confidently state that potential traces, when detectable, are very low – well below any safety and regulatory limits.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that can interfere with your normal hormonal functions and are broadly classified as endocrine disruptors.
At Essity, we never intentionally add phthalates to our absorbent hygiene products (that’s your towel, tampon, liner or period panty). But, as with other undesirable chemicals, we do sometimes find trace levels the raw materials we use. When this happens, the levels are so tiny that they are barely detectable – well below levels that are considered safe.
Yes, some of our Essity cosmetics do contain colorants. This is always clearly indicated in the ingredients list. We always choose colorants carefully and assess them to ensure they’re safe for your health and the environment.