Cosmetic Industry and Chemical Fearmongering

I received the following press release from the PR people at Pantene. Being a beauty blogger I get lots of these things and I mostly ignore them (unless they pique my interest for some reason).

This one from Pantene caught my eye…

Get Frizz Free — Without Formaldehyde!

Achieve Pantene Pro-V hair without the harsh effects

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the hair care industry (and women everywhere) are all a flutter following the FDA’s recent warning to the makers of a popular hair straightening product, Brazilian Blowout, claiming that the company’s smoothing solutions are “adulterated and misbranded, containing misleading labels and advertising that falsely claims that the products are formaldehyde-free.” With dangerously high levels of formaldehyde linked to illness in hair stylists and their customers, are you and your readers willing to risk your health for smooth hair?!

Luckily, you won’t have to put your health in jeopardy to achieve frizz-free locks if you use the Pantene Pro-V Restore Beautiful Lengths Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditioner and Restore Beautiful Lengths Smoothing Balm! As Pantene Celebrity Hair Stylist, Danilo’s favorite product line, these frizz fighters are sure to keep your strands shiny and silky smooth all year round- without any dangerous side effects to worry about.

The Pantene Pro-V Restore Beautiful Lengths Frizz Control line is specially designed to help restore hair’s moisture for smooth, frizz controlled hair. The regimen contains advanced pro-vitamin formulas that penetrate to the core and help to repair damage, and create smoothness. The shampoo and conditioner system helps lock in natural moisture and seal out frizz-causing external moisture and humidity.

Chemical Fearmongering

The thing that bugs me most about this press release is that they call-out a specific ingredient and focus on how dangerous it is to your health. This is exactly the kind of chemical fearmongering that groups like EWG and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics rely upon to manipulate a misinformed public.

Indeed, the FDA did warn the Brazillian blow-out people that their product is improperly labeled. But when they make the further claim that…

“With dangerously high levels of formaldehyde linked to illness in hair stylists and their customers, are you and your readers willing to risk your health for smooth hair?!”

…they are just playing into people’s fears and possibly lying. The Brazillian Blowout is not linked to illness in customers. It has not even been linked to illness in stylists, but rather it has been demonstrated to exceed limits for health and safety. This represents a danger to stylists, not consumers as this press release says.

Then when they say “…you won’t have to put your health in jeopardy…” if you use Pantene, they are just selling a product based on fear, not based on superior performance.  This is exactly the kind of junk marketing that natural and organic players use when they bash Pantene and other mass market brands.

It’s really a terrible way to promote a product.  It makes people fearful and chemically ignorant.

Market your benefits

Now, I’m in agreement with the FDA that the Brazilian Blowout product should be reformulated or removed from the market, but I think it is wrong for Pantene to use the incident as a way to market their own product. They are just propogating the fear-mongering marketing that so frequently harms their own brand.

If the Pantene product is useful for anti-frizz, then that is what they should advertise.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *