10 ingredient categories to avoid in shampoo
Nowadays, more people are looking for natural shampoos, softer for their hair, eco-friendly and kind on the environment. All those labels filled with information, it gets confusing! “Sulphate free”, “Silicone free”, “Paraben free” … what information is true and what should you base your choice on? Is it enough to just avoid certain ingredients? In order to help you to make the right choice, here is a list of 10 ingredients you do not want to find in your shampoo. We also give you tips and tricks on finding the best natural products!
10 Ingredients Categories To Avoid In A Shampoo*
- Formaldehyde. On label: DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinylurea, Imidazolidinylurea, Quaternium-15: all release formaldehyde which is now a worldwide known carcinogenic contaminant;
- Ethoxylated surfactants. On label: Sodium Laureth Sulfate and all the ingredients that end in -eth (eg. Ceteareth, Laureth-4, Laureth-23: they are all contaminated with carcinogenic agents; these ingredients are caused by a reaction with ethylene oxide, a synthetic chemical known to be carcinogenic and contaminated by a manufacturing impurity listed carcinogenic to humans like 1,4-Dioxane. This chemical is listed to be part of the group 2B by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) because of its cancer-causing properties in humans;
- Ethoxylated emulsifiers. On label: PEG, PPG- ..., Polysorbate- (20, 30, 80...): they are all contaminated by carcinogenic substances generated from the reaction caused by ethylene oxide, like the one mentioned above;
- Ingredients containing amines. On label: Cocamidopropyl betaine, Triethanolamine and Cocamide DEA/MEA (and all the ingredients that end in ‘DEA’ or ‘MEA’): these ingredients are contaminated by nitrosamines, a chemical known to have cancer-causing risks to humans named in the Proposition 65 list;
- Polyquaternium. On label: Polyquaternium-XX (10, 14…): Raw material used in manufacturing is contaminated by nitrosamines and is not biodegradable; according to the standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);
- Endocrine disruptors. On label: Propylparapen, Isopropylparapen, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, BHA, BHT, Phthalate, Triclosan: These substances can interfere with the correct functioning of the hormonal system;
- Isothiazolinones. On label: Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT): chemicals known to cause skin allergies and eczema. There have been multiple cases of individuals that developed heightened sensitivity and increase incidents of chemical burns due to these ingredients;
- Allergens. On label: Phenoxyethanol, Cinnamal, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene and Linalool: Are all allergenic substances listed by the European Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (CSSC) and the EWG. They pose risks of toxicity (aquatic fauna), irritation and skin allergies. The phenoxyethanol is classified in particular as "moderate danger" for health, in particular for its toxicity to the immune system and for allergies, according to EWG. It is an ingredient of concern;
- Silicones and polymers. On label: Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Acrylates crosspolymer: are synthetics compounds, non-renewable and non-biodegradable sources;
- Fragrance and perfume. On label: Fragrance/Parfum. A “secret” combination of ingredients in which endocrine disruptors are often found and/or carcinogenic agents and/or synthetic materials and/or allergens. It is impossible to know the list of ingredients unless it is detailed on the label (now recommended by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI);
How To Choose Natural Shampoos?The government considers that using cleaning and personal care products with carcinogenic agents is not dangerous for our health and tolerate their presence. However, organizations like the EWG or the American foundation Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, who promote the “Campaign for safe cosmetics”, want to expose the danger of these chemicals on us. Questions are being raised, however it is the consumer’s choice to use natural products or not. Who wants to be repetitively exposed throughout their lives to low doses of chemicals contained in our everyday care products? We all react differently to the chemicals in care products. It is up to us to choose our priorities; natural ingredients, without synthetic material, without allergens, without products derived from animals, etc.?
Here is a list of tips and tricks that will help you easily find the best natural shampoos: - Choose trust-worthy brands that are certified (by EWG VERIFIED ™, for example); - Identify care products and shampoos made with natural ingredients, vegetal or mineral-based; - Look up any ingredients that are unknown to you on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database of the EWG. They list the possible health hazards associated with the chemicals found in the personal care and beauty products; - Be aware of those so-called Paraben-free, Sulphate-free, Phthalate-free shampoos. Paraben is a preservative often replaced with another dangerous chemical, like Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT) for instance.