Pantene Pro-V - More Causes For Eye Irritation
Blog post posted by Natural Skincare Authority on January 25, 2010 at 10:55pm
After reading a fascinating article at salon.com about the unnecessary chemical ingredients contained in shampoo and the pyschology behind selling shampoo (which can be applied across most skincare products), NSA decided to take a closer look.
The skincare market is extremely profitable and competitive with ever more 'beauty' products being created to 'beautify' our bodies, but what are these products doing on the inside of our bodies? The extreme pressure imposed upon us to strive for some look of perfection means that the psychology of selling skincare products has become more exceedingly important. More important than human safety? NSA thinks absolutely!
What possible other reason is there for creating products which contain chemicals that are even suspected of harming humans? Let alone the products which contain a chemical cocktail proven to cause damage to human cells, mutation of cells, irritation to skin and lungs, cancer, allergic reactions, and are toxic to the environment.
Bill Bunn (author of the article "What's really in your shampoo?", salon.com, 2009) argues that shampoo is full of ingredients which merely 'stroke our emotions' - appealing to our needs for acceptance, perfection, and self esteem. It seems that as consumers, we are 'taught' to place high value on a specifically defined picture of beauty.
What comes to mind for you when you think of perfect hair? Is it a version of your own hair, only shiny, smooth, luminous, thick, with body and style. Is it a coincidence that every shamoo advertisement you've probably ever seen has images of hair with these qualities?
What we see through advertising is so powerful that things like human health and well being become secondary to the goal of 'beauty'. Bunn's article tells that from the 22 ingredients in the well-known, multi-million dollar company, Pantene's Pro-V Always Smooth 2 in 1 shampoo, only three clean hair. The rest are there to 'stroke our emotions'.
Adding to yesterday's look into the chemical ingredient, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, that causes eye, skin and lung irritation, as Pantene so kindly warns us about on their Product Data Safety Sheet, we are today looking at Cetyl Alcohol. Also responsible for irritation to the eyes, skin and lungs, this chemical has been shown to harm at very low doses. Cetyl Alcohol sources include, "Wax found in spermaceti from sperm whales or dolphins. Alternatives: Vegetable cetyl alcohol (e.g., coconut), synthetic spermaceti." (caringconsumer.com, 2010).
This chemical has many uses including: acting as a fragrance; an agent that blends and stabilises other ingredients; surfactant (surface acting agent that allows liquids to spread easily and interact); and a viscosity thickness/gooeyness) increasing agent.
Bunn explains that consumers have been taught to belive that thicker is better for shampoo. People expect and trust the velvet heft of the shampoo squirted into their hands. Many of the ingredients on the list assist is this thickening and gooey feeling of the shampoo. Interestly, cetyl alcohol and other thickeners also ensure consumers use more shampoo than necessary, increasing the amount we buy and expose our bodies to.
Looking at all of the above effects of this chemical...do any of them appear necessary to clean hair? Cleaning hair should be about cleansing the hair shaft and scalp of dirt, that's it. It we used a chemical-free ph balanced shampoo, we should not only avoid most problems associated with the hair and scalp, including greasiness, dandruff, build-up of product on the scalp, dullness of hair, dry hair, but we should also get clean hair. How much of these problems are caused by pouring chemical-laden products into our hair and scalp, day in, day out...
It is fascinating and horrifying looking seriously at this shampoo product, because the reality is that most shampoos on the market contain similar ingredients and then we need to ask questions about facial cleansers, and so on...
We will continue our quest to understand more about this product tomorrow.
Yours in Natural Skincare,
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