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Our Policy on Ingredient Safety: Earning Your Confidence for Generations, Every Day

Every day, millions of families around the world show their confidence in Colgate-Palmolive. They trust our toothpaste and toothbrushes for their families, rely on our soaps and body washes to stay healthy and fresh, choose our cleaners to care for their homes, and feed our pet foods to the dogs and cats they love. Colgate-Palmolive began earning this confidence more than 200 years ago by offering the highest quality products, and we know the trust we’ve earned over generations has to be earned anew every day.

Earning your trust begins with the ingredients we choose.

Committed to Safety and Science

All of the ingredients we use in our products are safe for people and the environment. They meet our strict safety standards and all applicable government regulations everywhere they are sold around the world.

The decisions we make on ingredients are based on a thorough evaluation of the latest scientific evidence. When we choose an ingredient – whether to contribute to the performance of a product or to keep it safe against microorganisms – it is first prescreened by a team of Colgate-Palmolive scientists. Every ingredient is assessed alone and within a formula to ensure that nothing unexpected will occur. Our ingredient review assesses not just what happens in our laboratories, but across a range of real-world conditions – during manufacturing, in transportation, at the store, in consumers’ homes, and after consumer use.

We continuously monitor and evaluate the safety of our ingredients and we actively engage outside experts and resources to understand emerging science and deepen our knowledge. We seek the facts so that we can make the right decisions.

Listening to Consumers

We want consumers to continue to have confidence in our products and the ingredients we use. Our ingredient information is easily accessible in the Drug Facts labels on our toothpastes and mouthwashes, and on the labels of many other products. We listen to our consumers and the questions they raise about ingredients. Where we see opportunities regarding ingredients that are raising consumer questions, we substitute with other safe ingredients that provide the same or better benefits without sacrificing quality. Through this ongoing effort, we no longer use – or are on our way to eliminating – some of the ingredients currently raising consumer questions. We’re listening and formulating our products with our consumers in mind to keep earning their confidence.

Ingredient Updates

Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Donors

While formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors are safe when used at approved regulatory levels, we recognize that consumers have questions. Colgate-Palmolive does not add formaldehyde to any of our products. We have never used formaldehyde donors in our Oral Care products and we have eliminated their use as a preservative system in Home Care and Personal Care products.


Triclocarban is an antimicrobial agent used in a small number of Personal Care products. It has been safely used for many years, however consumers and some regulatory agencies have expressed concern and therefore we have proactively eliminated all use of Triclocarban globally as of May 2018.

Chromium pigments

Chromium containing pigments provide a deep vibrant green color to products. These pigments are safe for consumers and the environment and have been used for hundreds of years.  While these pigments have not been shown to convert to environmentally hazardous ions, we have proactively eliminated all chromium containing pigments as of March 2018.


Parabens are widely used preservatives, commonly found in foods, cosmetics and drug products. They are usually easy to identify by name, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben or benzylparaben. Parabens inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold to maintain product integrity and protect consumer safety.

Parabens have been used for many years, reviewed by regulatory bodies around the world, and are considered safe. However, some consumers have questions about their safety. To maintain consumer confidence, we have reformulated our products using alternative, safe preservative systems and are no longer using parabens as of July 2016.

U.S. FDA Parabens Consumer Update:


Phthalates are a group of organic compounds used in hundreds of products. They have been used safely for many years in personal care products, including to improve the performance of fragrances. Although there is no accepted scientific basis for avoiding phthalates, some consumers question their safety, so as of year-end 2014 we stopped using this ingredient.


Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient used in personal care and home care products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination and in toothpaste, where it is proven to reduce the germs that can cause gum disease. Some consumers and regulatory bodies have questions about triclosan, and so, beginning in 2015, we reformulated our antibacterial dish liquid and hand soaps with alternate active ingredients that provide the same or superior performance. Starting late in 2018, we introduced a new Colgate Total toothpaste that delivers more benefits than the original formula with triclosan, and as of January 2019 we no longer use it as an ingredient.


Colgate-Palmolive used microbeads in a limited number of oral care and personal care products to enhance aesthetics and aid in cleaning. However, some groups raised concerns regarding the potential contribution of microbeads to pollution of the world’s oceans. Recognizing that consumers have questions, as of year-end 2014 we stopped using microbeads. More recently, consumer questions have extended beyond microbeads to some polymer-based materials, many of which dissolve in water and biodegrade. Colgate-Palmolive continues to monitor the science and evaluate our use of polymer-based ingredients to ensure continued improvements in the environmental profile of our products.

All exit dates represent the last date of manufacture.