Ingredients to Avoid and Why? Part II

In the previous post, Ingredients to Avoid and Why, we shed light on some ingredients that are harmful to the hair and body, but...there's more...

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

Found in many haircare products, these chemicals are used to prevent microbes from growing in water based cosmetics. They are known allergens, asthma aggravators, carcinogenic and can be easily absorbed through the skin, yet still allowed to be used in cosmetic products! Examples are: Parabens, phthalates, triclosan, food coloring, fragrances, toluene, sodium laurel sulfate/sodium laureate sulfate, diethanolamine, triethanolamine, monoethanolomine, propylene glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin



Are a family of industrial chemicals used to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics, and are known to  damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system. As noted in Part I of this series, it can be found in "fragrance/parfum” ingredients so beware.



Also used as a solvent that can dissolve paint and paint thinner, but it is also found in some hair color/bleaching products. This chemical can affect the respiratory system, irritate the skin, and even cause developmental damage in the fetus if expecting mothers are exposed to it. Commonly labeled as benzene, tuluol, phenylmethane, or methylbenzene.



Is a chemical also known as toluene and used in man-made fragrances, which can damage the respiratory system and fetuses, is carcinogenic and a skin irritant. 



A widely used preservative in hair products that prevent microbial growth, is linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions, and possible neurotoxicity. 



Mineral Oil and Petroleum

Mineral oil is a petroleum based product that coat your hair and scalp, stifling pores, which can lead to hair loss. The EWG reported that, "These trace contaminants in petroleum-based ingredients often readily penetrate the skin according to government and industry studies, and their presence in products is not restricted by government safety standards — they are legal at any level." These ingredients can also cause acne, interfere with skin respiration, imbalanced oil levels in your scalp, skin irritation, and are carcinogenic.



Is a Vitamin A derivative and is stabilized with BHT or Parabens, which cause serious harm like reproductive issues and cancer. Retinol is normally used in many skin and beauty products to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but according to the EWG, Vitamin A it is known to heighten sun sensitivity. 



Retinyl Palmitate

Belongs to family of compounds called retinoids and are believed to be a milder version of retinol. However, they are normally added in higher concentrations to cosmetic products than retinol in order to be effective, and therefore, it is still associate with reproductive issues and photocarcinogenicity (increasing the risk of cancer when exposed to UV rays.)


Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin

Amongst the formaldehyde releasing family, these two may increase the risk of cosmetic dermatitis. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause dizziness, joint pain, depression, chest pains, irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions, chronic fatigue, trigger heart palpitations and ear infections. 


Remember, if nutrients can be easily absorbed into the skin and scalp so can harsh and corrosive chemicals. That’s why LaJAshley stands firm in our belief of only using holistic, natural and vegan ingredients in all of our hair products. A lot of the most harmful chemicals were touched in Part I and II of “Ingredients to Avoid and Why” and we will continue to add more as we continue to conduct research. Stay healthy my friends!

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