Friday, 9 November 2012

American Crew... Getting the right hair for the job

This product, I actually received as a gift for being in the audience of a talk show.  Though I am not a guy and I don't really wear pomade in my hair, I was pretty excited.  When I started this project, I was shocked to see the name American Crew come up on so many sites for being a really bad product.  Not just the pomade but almost all of their products came up on sites for lists of bad chemicals/products and so forth.  Upon my own research, I know now why that is the case. Out of the 28 ingredients, 18 of those are considered to be harmful toxins, mutagens or carcinogens.  That is more than half of the ingredients.  I would not be wasting my money on this product.      
American Crew Pomade
American Crew Pomade


Water (Aqua, Eau)
PEG-25 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Diisopropyl Dimer Dlinoleate
Hydroxypropyl Bisstearyldimonium Chloride
Panax Ginseng Root Extract
Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract
Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract 
Propylene Glycol
Parfum (Fragrance)
Benzyl Salicylate
Butylphenyl Methylpropional 
Hexyl Cinnamal
Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde
Diazolidinyl Urea
Benzoic Acid


Water:  H2O, the stuff we drink.

PEG-25 Hydrogenated Castor Oil: is the polyethylene glycol ether of either propylene glycol.  It is used in personal care products as surfactants, skin conditioning agents, emollients, and solvents.  It is generally considered to be non toxic.  However they are known to contain such contaminates as ethylene oxide, 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, as well as heavy metals-lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic.  All known toxins. 

Oleth-10:  is the polyethylene glycol ether's of oleyl alcohol.  They are used as emulsifying agents in shampoos to help rinse away dirt.  This ingredient appears to be linked to forms of breast cancer.  It is also considered to be a moderate skin irritant and may also penetrate the skin barrier allowing other ingredients to do the same.  Due to the process of ethoxylation, they may  also be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane.

Lanolin:  also called wool wax or wool grease, is a yellow waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands most commonly by the domesticated sheep.  The extraction can be performed by squeezing the sheep's harvested wool between rollers.  It is considered to be non toxic and safe for the environment.  However there have been cases of people being poisoned by Lanolin.  It generally occurs when someone consumers a large amount of non-medicinal grade lanolin.  

Oleth-20: is the polyethylene glycol ether's of oleyl alcohol. Due to the process of creating this ingredient, they are known to be contaminated with toxic ingredients specifically 1,4 dioxane.  It is used in products as surfactants used as emulsifying, cleansing, and solubilizing agents in cosmetics.  there is strong e vidence of cancer; developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; damage to DNA.

Diisopropyl Dimer Dlinoleate: It is produced from the reaction of isopropyl alcohol and dilinoleic acid, and essential fatty acid derived from vegetable oil.  It is not considered to be carcinogenic or mutagenic.  It is generally considered to be safe and non-toxic due to the fact that it does not seem able to penetrate past the skin barrier.

Glycerin: is pretty benign and of low toxicity.  It is used in products mainly because it is affective at improving the smoothness of the product and is a good lubricant.  Glycerin is a byproduct of bio-diesel.  However, all you vegans take note.  This form is very expensive, therefore it is more often derived from animal fats such as beef and vegetable oils such as coconut or soy beans.  Therefore some products that list glycerin in their ingredients may not be vegan.

Hydroxypropyl Bisstearyldimonium Chloride:  From my research, I was able to glean very little information about this ingredient.  There seems to be large gaps of information surrounding this chemical.  From what I could find, it is used as an antistatic and  hair conditioning agent.  I could not find any information regarding toxicity,  I will keep looking into this ingredient.

Panax Ginseng Root Extract:  Here is an  interesting fact, Ginseng may be taken orally for diverse supposed benefits, such as for aphrodisiac, stimulants, type 2 diabetes or for sexual dysfunction in men.  Though it may be found in cosmetic preparations as well, but has not been shown to be clinically effective.  Companies, thus may add this ingredient for the simple use of green washing their product and attempting to convince, by stating on the  label that their product must be healthy because it contains Ginseng.  If one looks on the label of this particular item ginseng is the 4th last ingredient in the product.  Which means that the actual amount could be minuscule to begin with. 

Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract:  also known as is garden or common sage. It is a perennial, evergreen with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is used as an anti sweating agent, antibiotic, anti fungal, and astringent agent.  It is generally considered to be safe and non-toxic.  

Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract:  Is also known as soap bark tree, it belongs in the family Quillajaceae. It is native to warm temperate central Chile. There appears to be little concern of toxicity to humans or the environment.

PVP:  is also called povidone or polyvinylpyrrolidone, and is a polymer.  Yes, it can be found in more than just a pair of pants.  It is used as a binding agent in products.  It is considered to be safe to use, and of fairly low toxicity.  It does not appear to be a contact toxin, developmental toxin or a genotoxin. 

Propylene glycol: is an organic double alcohol.  It is used as a skin conditioning agent, a fragrance, and humectant.  It is classified as a skin irritant, and can cause conjunctivitis of the eye.  It is also considered to be a mutagen, a broad systemic toxin, and an immune system toxin.

Parfum (Fragrance):  Used to make the product smell nice.  Though it is not considered to be harmful or a toxin, it does cause some individuals to develop headaches if it is labelled that it is derived from natural sources.  However, the fragrance industry uses up to 3000 ingredients, most of which are synthetic, some 900 of which were identified as toxic. However, the industry is not required to disclose ingredients of fragrances and perfumes on their labels due to trade secrecy considerations. So you don't know what mix of chemicals you are receiving.  Some of them are headaches causing, immunosystem toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic.

Benzyl Salicylate:  is a salicylic acid benzyl ester. It occurs naturally in a variety of plants and plant extracts and is used in blends of fragrance materials.  |there is evidence suggesting that there is a link to breast cancer due to the oestogenic activity of Benzyl Salicylate, as well as evidence of other toxic effects.

Butylphenyl Methylpropional: Is a synthetic fragrance.  It is considered to be a skin irritant, its use is restricted in both leave-on and wash-off products because of its powerful sensitisation potential.  There have been studies suggesting that it can cause sperm damage and negative central nervous system effects. 

Citronellol:  Citronellol is used in perfumes and insect repellents.  It is produced by hydrogenation of geraniol. This ingredient is subject to restrictions on use in fragrances under standards issued by the international Fragrance Association. They are also known to be powerful allergens and sensitisers.

Geraniol: is a lipid and an alcohol.  It is derived from citronella oil, rose oil and palmarosa oil.  It is used in cosmetics and personal care products as a fragrance ingredient.  It is a known human immune system toxicant and is one of the EU's Banned and Restricted Fragrances.  Now as I write this I want to make it clear that the information surrounding this seems pretty limited.  The most information I have found against this ingredient is that it is an allergen for those who suffer from perfumes.  I am not sure who it was that funded the banned list and why citronella was on it.  However I will keep looking.  As far as my research has lead, it appears to be a fairly good ingredient, unlike a lot of the chemical ones that appear on most labels.  If anyone has any other thoughts, enlightenment or information on this ingredient, please leave a comment.

Hydroxycitronellal:  Is a perfume ingredient providing a floral scent.  It is considered to be a skin irritant and toxin causing dermatitis.  It is also considered to be an organ toxin.

Hexyl Cinnamal:  Is a natural fragrance additive.  It is a known allergen and irritant.   It can also cause central nervous system disruption as well as skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation.   It can also trigger asthma attacks.

Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde: also known as Lyral. It is a fragrance ingredient, and a known allergen. Another concern is that it is able to break through the skin barrier, possibly making it possible for other ingredients to break through as well. 

Limonene: is a colourless liquid hydrocarbon (compound consisting of hydrogen and carbon) and is  classified as a cyclic terpene.  It takes its name from the lemon or lemon rind, which contains considerable amounts of this compound, which contributes to their odour of citrus or oranges.  Thus it is used as a fragrance ingredient.  It is considered to be a skin irritant as well as a respiratory irritant.  There have been studies showing it causes tumours in small rodents but it appears that scientists are interested in its anti-cancer fighting properties.

Linalool:  Is a naturally occurring terpene alcohol found in a number of spice plants and flowers.  It is used as a masking agent and perfume.  It is also used as an insecticide.

Linalool gradually breaks down when in contact with oxygen, forming an oxidized by-product that may cause allergic reactions such as eczema in some individuals.  It is also considered to be a broad systemic toxin, a mutagen, and a human immune system toxin.

Methylparaben: is found in such foods as blueberries.  It acts as an antimicrobial agent.  In cosmetics it is used as an anti-fungal agent.  Parabens have had much controversy surrounding them in recent years, and for good reason.  There is strong evidence of methylparaben being a human skin toxin, human endocrine disruptor, mutagenic, and a broad systemic toxin.  A good reason to stay away from parabens.

Propylparaben: used as a preservative. Parabens in general are known to cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis and contact allergies. Propylparabens also mimic oestrogen, which is linked to breast cancer, ovary, uterus and testicles cancer.  It is also considered to be a developmental toxin.

Diazolidinyl Urea: is an antimicrobial preservative. It acts as a formaldehyde releaser. It is a known carcinogen, causes allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, headaches, irritates mucous membranes, causes depression, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and immune dysfunction.

Benzoic Acid: occurs naturally free and bound as benzoic acid esters in many plant and animal species. It is a known contact allergen and skin irritant, as well as a known liver and kidney toxin. It is also a respiratory toxin and nervous system toxin. Prolonged exposure can also cause target organ damage. 


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