7 INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IN YOUR SHAMPOO
When choosing hair care products, have you ever had a closer look at the ingredients list? If not, you should! While the endless selection of products can be quite overwhelming, it’s important to carefully analyze the products you buy, instead of ignoring the small print altogether. Ultimately, everything you use on your body can potentially impact your health and the environment, and while you may assume commonly used ingredients are regulated, sadly, that’s not the case.
Every time you shampoo your hair, the 20 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands and 1,000 nerve endings on your scalp might be absorbing a toxic mix of ingredients that do more harm than good. Steer clear of toxins by checking out ViTA’s list of 7 shampoo ingredients you need to avoid…
ViTA’S NO-GO INGREDIENTS
SULFATES. Sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are extremely powerful detergents, mainly designed to create bubbles and foam. Although they are omnipresent in pretty much all kinds of beauty products, sulfates can actually be pretty damaging to your hair, as they strip the oils from your scalp and rob your hair of its moisture. These cleaning agents are so harsh that theycan cause rashes, severe allergic reactions and skin diseases like eczema. Contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane, sulfates are also known to have mutagenic properties, cause liver damage, eye irritation and depression.
PARABENS. Parabens are added to shampoos to act as a preservative that prevents bacteria from growing. About 85% of American personal care products are estimated to contain parabens. While parabens sound like a good idea on paper, they are suspected endocrine disrupters that can mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to an increased growth of breast cancer cells. Stay on the safe side by avoiding propyl paraben, benzyl paraben, methyl- paraben, or butylparaben or any other ingredients with the suffix -paraben.
SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES. One of the top 5 allergens in the world, fragrance is an ingredient you definitely need to watch out for! Synthetic fragrances expose you to hundreds (!) of chemicals you won’t even know about. This is possible thanks to a loophole in the law which allows companies to use dangerous chemicals like phthalates (another hormone-mimicking chemical!) without needing to specify them, just because fragrances (or parfum) are considered “proprietary formulas”.
SYNTHETIC DYES. Derived from carcinogenic petrochemical derivatives, synthetic dyes are added for aesthetic purposes only, but can cause severe skin, eye and lung irritation, and contribute to environmental pollution. Check your label for FD&C or D&C combined with a number.
FORMALDEHYDE. A preservative known to cause DNA damage and cancer; formaldehyde may be just about one of the scariest shampoo ingredients. While the European Union has already restricted the use of formaldehyde in all personal care products, the chemical is still legal in the U.S. Formaldehyde is often added as a preservative, although this known human carcinogen can easily be absorbed through the skin and irritate your eyes and skin.
TRICLOSAN. Linked to various effects on human health, such as an abnormal endocrine system, a weakened immune system, uncontrolled cell growth, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and an increased chance of developing allergies, triclosan was banned from being used in antibacterial soaps back in 2016. Ironically, it is still allowed to be used in shampoos and many other beauty and household staples, although there is good reason to believe that the use of triclosan has contributed to bacterial resistance. Additionally, triclosan is lipophilic, meaning it can bioaccumulate in your fat and keep your body in a state of toxicity.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL. Not only is this ingredient used in anti-freeze for your car radiator, it’s also a common ingredient in shampoo and conditioners, added to help your hair and scalp absorb other ingredients in your shampoo. However, it turns out propylene glycol might be doing more than just that: it has been linked to kidney damage, liver abnormalities and skin and eye irritation.
HOW TO AVOID TOXIC INGREDIENTS
Although the list of toxic shampoo ingredients is pretty much endless, it’s always worth checking your labels to keep the most harmful chemicals from entering into your lungs, liver, brain and heart. If you really want to get a handle on what you are buying and avoid greenwashing, you might even have to do some additional detective work. Luckily, there are a few great resources that will help you start your natural beauty journey! One of them is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin-Deep database, which allows you to look up a product and review the relative level of concern posed by exposure to its ingredients. Also, if products are free of fragrance, SLS, parabens or phthalates, they will most likely be marked as such! After all, why wouldn’t brands want you to know that their products are better for your health?!
Certified free of Environmental Working Group’s ingredients of concern, ViTA’s non-toxic hair care duo
is formulated with nature’s most powerful plant-derived ingredients to effectively reverse the damage done by harsh, chemical ingredients, and enhance the overall look of your hair – naturally and without all the toxins!