Home Cosmetic Science Talk Cosmetic Industry Do you avoid the dirty dozen?

  • Sarah

    July 9, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Our marketing department did a google search to find the top ten baddies and based the ‘free from’ claims based on this list. I now have to formulate around these claims.  

  • bill_toge

    July 9, 2014 at 4:22 am

    coal tar has been banned from cosmetics in Europe since 1999, as it’s a class 1 carcinogen (i.e. there is substantiated, relevant in-vivo data indicating its carcinogenicity); you can only use it in over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and only if you have data to prove that it’s safe for use in that particular application

    most phthalates bar DMP and DEP have been banned as well, as they are class 1 reprotoxins

    as far as personal preference goes, I tend not to use triclosan because salicylic acid is more effective in liquid soaps, and CPC is more effective in oral care

    apart from that, I have no issues with the others; any “x free” statements on our products are there because they’ve been requested by the customer

  • chemicalmatt

    July 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I never thought the “sulfate-free” trend would get farther than use in color-retention shampoos, for which they are actually preferred; yet there it is.  Plenty of customers are now asking for sulfate-free cleansers, even laundry detergents!. Same for parabens: a shame the perception has gotton this far advanced, and we are forced to use less effective anti-fungal preservatives.  As for triclosan - no problem and good riddance.  p-chloro-m-xylenol was - and still is - just as effective a microbiocide, when coupled with phenoxyethanol, as triclosan, only at half the price.  It is accepted as a preservative globally and works at any pH. Sure it has odor issues, but that is easily overcome. I seem to recall triclosan’s original appeal was it didn’t impart a medicinal odor like PCMX, and had better solubility in water. Big deal.

  • Zink

    July 10, 2014 at 5:50 am

    I use Dimethicone at times. Does anyone know any better non-dirty alternatives for use in o/w emulsions? ;)

  • pma

    July 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I have to say I personally like the sulfate-free trend. Of course everything it too relative, but in general these amino acids based surfactants, specially the ones from Ajinomoto, leave the skin with a very comfortable feel after the cleansing process. And they foam up very beautifully. 

  • Anonymous

    September 11, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Actually for naturally curly hair, sulfate free shampoo does make the hair nicer.

  • Chemist79

    October 19, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I hate the internet scare mongerers too often they are journalists or bloggers basing their “expert” opinion on bad science and internet research. Until there is some real scientific data to suggest they are harmful to human health and they are prohibited by the EU cosmectic regulation I would be happy to use any of the dirty dozen (except coal tar, phthalates and the banned parabens obviously). I am surprised to see the thiazolinones didn’t make the dirty dozen yet mineral oil, the primary ingredient in most baby oils, did.

  • belassi

    October 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Sulphate free usually means salt free, too, since salt doesn’t thicken these surfactants. It’s far easier to make multipurpose (conditioning) versions since cationic compounds play well with amphoteric surfactants. Yes they are a lot more expensive to make, because the surfactants cost more and the thickener is expensive.

    My own range of sulphate-free shampoo is based on Kao’s surfactants. I really like them.
    Is anyone else here using Kao Chemicals surfactants?
  • bill_toge

    October 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    @Chemist79 mineral oil which has a viscosity of 21 cSt or less at 40°C has been classified as an inhalation hazard, due to several reported cases of suffocation; at higher viscosities it’s harmless

  • shapeshifterstudio

    October 19, 2014 at 7:29 pm
    Obviously there is a significant amount of fear mongering and green washing happening, it seems a lot of it is coming from cosmetic companies themselves in their marketing departments, in addition to lazy journalists and blog-activists. What’s a consumer layman to do or believe?

    Here is what the FDA currently has to say to the public about Triclosan:

    What is known about the safety of triclosan?

    Triclosan is not currently known to be hazardous to humans. But several scientific studies have come out since the last time FDA reviewed this ingredient that merit further review.

    Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. However, data showing effects in animals don’t always predict effects in humans. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

    In light of these studies, FDA is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient. FDA does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.

    You’re not helping, FDA. So, the average person reading that (myself included!) is seeing “Well, we were pretty certain this ingredient was safe and closed the book on it, but during the last 20 years some studies were done with enough scientific merit that we’re going to check it out again. Please continue to utilize this ingredient in the mean time and we’ll get back to you if it turns out it’s harmful.”

    Perhaps only a tiny portion of ingredients have legitimate suspicion that leads to reseach in the scientific community, but maybe you can see how that could contribute to the snowballing paranoia happening?

    I think blog posts like the one on Paula’s Choice and ones that Perry and others have written to combat “chemical hysteria” are great. The issue I see is that when I visit, say EWG’s site, they will point readers to those handful of studies that are causing concern, while the FDA and blog posts like the one above seem to say “Trust us, we’re scientists.” Obviously not everyone will develop the working knowledge to be able to parce through the decades of research on the actual safety of these “baddies”, but what can it hurt to make it easier for consumers to access that information? Maybe part of the solution are more bloggers on this side of the issue striving to make it simpler for consumers to inform themselves. Paula’s Choice has a really great database aimed at their customers and readers to explain cosmetic ingredients…maybe take that a step further and provide links to toxicology reports, etc where consumers can find out more about the safety of those ingredients for themselves if they choose. 

    Just my two cents as a novice here (o: Of course as I learn more about about these things I plan to blog about them myself!

    Edited to say I was just directed to CIR for the first time, this is kind of what I’m talking about…those PDFs could be linked into the PC data base or the article about the dirty dozen.

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