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Why does Pantene Pro-V cause eye irritation and stinging?


Blog post posted by Natural Skincare Authority on January 24, 2010 at 6:32pm

Hi Everyone,

The ingredient list for Proctor and Gamble Pantene Pro-V Always Smooth 2 in 1 Shampoo (following) is a long list of chemical names, the only 'natural' substance being water.

Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Glycol Distearate, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate, Disodium EDTA, PEG-7M, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

The first warning that we will analyse is as stated on the Material Safety Data Sheet (Finished Product) under Section 2 Potential Health Effects is:

'Contact may cause mild, transient irritation. Some redness and/or stinging may occur.'

Reading this it is obvious that some harsh chemicals must be present in this shampoo. Even the possibility of these reactions from the body raises alarm bells. Should any product which needs to be warned as such be so readily available for use?

Let's look closely at the ingredients in Pantene Pro-V Always Smooth 2 in 1 Shampoo to understand this warning...

Ammonium Laureth Sulfate This is a surfactant, or cleansing agent that is used to remove oil and 'dirt' from your scalp and hair. There is strong evidence of this being an irritant to human eyes (skin and lungs as well). Ref: cosmeticsdatabase.com

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review 1983 reported the following:


Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate are cosmetic detergents that exert emulsifying action, thereby removing oil and soil from the hair and skin. The Panel wishes to point out that these two ingredients produce eye and/or skin irritation in experimental animals and in some human test subjects; irritation may occur in some users of cosmetic formulations containing the ingredients under consideration. The irritant effects are similar to those produced by other detergents, and the severity of the irritation appears to increase directly with concentration. However, Sodium and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate have not evoked adverse responses in any other toxicologic testing.


It is recognized that Sodium and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate may induce eye and skin irritation. However, on the basis of the available information, the Panel concludes that Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate are not as safe as presently used in cosmetic products in amounts over 2%.. Most consumer products contain more than 20% of sls.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate(SLS)and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate"

Ref: Published in the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, Volume 2, Number 7, pp. 127-181, 1983.

From this we can conclude that Ammonium Laureth Sulfate is indeed one of the causes of skin irritation in Pantene Pro-V Always Smooth 2 in 1 Shampoo. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review board report almost 30 years ago, it is very unsafe for human use and continued and prolonged exposure increases the risk of damage to your body.

Why is it that common shampoos are full of chemicals with 'potential' to harm us? Why not just make shampoo that does not have the potential to harm humans? Wouldn't that be simpler (and less expensive) for everyone, including the public health system?

However this and thousands of other chemicals are still as prominently used today as ever before. This serves as a reminder that the only person to trust in your skincare decisions is yourself!

You need to know what is in your shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, sunscreen and every other product you apply to your skin. Then you can decide what level of toxicity you are willing to tolerate (or not tolerate) for your health and well being!

More chemicals tomorrow.

Yours in Natural Skincare,
Kelly Makin.

Please leave a post with your thoughts at the NSA Forum at http://natural-skin-care.ning.com/profiles/blogs/why-does-pantene-prov-cause

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