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French Firm L’Oréal’s Beauty Products Exposing Kenyans To Health Risks

The French firm started direct sales of its beauty products line Mizani to city salons and hair technicians in April 2018.



Beauty products by a French firm are under senate investigation for allegedly exposing Kenyans to untold sufferings and health risks.

In a petition before the Senate Health Committee, Marsabit Senator Mohamed Chute seeks probe into the sale of unregulated hair relaxers and bleaching products by L’Oréal International Cosmetics and Beauty Company.

The senator claims the products and substances sold by the French firm have exposed Kenyans to untold suffering and health risks.

He wants the committee to establish whether the ingredients used by the multinational beauty products firm in the manufacture and preservation of hair relaxers and bleaching substances contain carcinogenic properties such as formaldehyde.


“The committee should clarify whether the company exercises consumer protection and risk assessment by labelling the chemicals used in the products and if they perform risk assessment to minimise the risk of human contact allergic reactions,” Mr Chute said in a statement tabled in the Senate.

“The committee should also establish all complaints of experiencing side effects after the use of L’Oreal beauty products and give data on those who have been compensated, if any.”

The Marsabit Senator further wants the committee to establish whether the beauty products are disproportionately skewed against the black African population.

The committee has 60 days to investigate and table report on their findings.

This also comes at a time when a similar parliament committee that was constituted to investigate Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi in fake Fertilizer scam has absolved him of the crimes amid bribery claims.

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Kenyan legislators are notorious for being bribed to compromise investigations and absolve accused of heinous crimes.

L’Oréal History

L’Oréal is the world’s largest manufacturer of beauty products and also owns the local brand Nice & Lovely.

Some of its top international brands include L’Oréal Paris, Garnier, Mizani, CeraVe, Maybelline NY, Armani, L’Oréal Professionnel Paris, and La Roche Posay.

The French firm started direct sales of its beauty products line Mizani to city salons and hair technicians in April 2018.


Before 2018, the Mizani range of products was previously imported by specific salons for their use. The Mizani range is formulated for textured hair, the category in which African hair falls, adding to Dark & Lovely, which has been under L’Oréal locally since 2010.

The cosmetic giant then launched Mixa, a range of beauty products for sensitive skin, in the market as it looked to grow its brand portfolio in Kenya.

In 2013, L’Oréal purchased InterConsumer Products-makers of Nice & Lovely products targeting Kenya’s first-growing lower end of the market where it had no presence.

The 110-year-old company has a portfolio of 35 international brands with an estimated annual income of €32 billion (Sh4.29 trillion) in 2023.


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