02 June 2013

킴씨머리 (Kimshi Meoli) | Caprylyl Glycol vs. DMDM Hydantoin: What's in Your Bottle of TRESemme Naturals?

Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner Aloe Vera and Avocado

If you have been in the natural world for longer than a day, you have likely heard of or experimented with the TRESemme brand of conditioners. A self-described "affordable yet professional" line, TRESemme carries a wide range of products - shampoos, conditioners, serums, hairsprays, dry shampoos, mousses, gels, heat protectants, deep conditioners, etc. It was one of the first product lines I used during my transition and ongoing natural odyssey; for 2.5 years I have used a various assortment of their shampoos, conditioners and deep conditioners with great success. Though the majority of the TRESemme lines offered were not free of sulphates or silicones, they still had Tightly Curly (TC) friendly ingredients most of the time, and their low fragrance (and comparatively low price) appealed to me.

Since going fully CG over the past few months, I transitioned from using the regular TRESemme conditioners and shampoos to the highly acclaimed conditioner sitting in many naturalistas' shower caddies: TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. Though it came in a smaller 25 oz. bottle and was silicone free, it still had the same great slip and moisture available in the regular conditioners from TRESemme's regular lines. I have used it for deep conditioning, detangling and conditioning, and even as a leave in on occasion. For the price (about $3.50-$5.99 in most Targets, Wal-Marts and drugstores), it has relatively good ingredients. The fragrance does not bother me much and it is free of dyes and many other potential irritants. It sounds almost perfect, right? That's what many curlies and coilies thought, as well. But apparently the chemists at TRESemme felt that something was left to be desired in the 2011 reformulation of the product. Yup...they've changed it again, folks. The second one in less than 5 years (it was reformulated back in 2011; the isopropyl alcohol [drying, short chain] was removed, and more avocado oil and aloe vera were added to the formula).

Anytime I'm in a store with a hair care aisle, I stop by and see what they have. Last week, I was in Wal-Mart with one of my friends, and as I glanced over the TRESemme section, I noticed that the bottle design for TRESemme Naturals was different. With dread, I picked it up, flipped it over, and felt my heart sink to my toes as I saw the new list of ingredients:

The new ingredients list for the TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Dipropylene Glycol, Potassium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG-150 Distearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lauroyl Lysine, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.
Here's the previous ingredients list for comparison: 
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Aspartic Acid, Lauroyl Lysine, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Citric Acid.

In the new list, the ingredients highlighted in blue were in the previous formulation, but their proportions have been changed (the AVJ and water are about the only things that stayed the same lol). The ingredients in red are new additions. In the list of ingredients just above this paragraph, the bolded ingredients are the ones that remained in the newest formulation. I did a bit of research on these ingredients, and here's some info I found on TightlyCurly.com about the newest additions to the formula:

Cetearyl Alcohol
Used as an emollient, emulsifier, conditioner, and thickener. Not the same as SD alcohol or ethanol. This is actually a mixture of Cetyl Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol [Hunting (Conditioning) pg 142].

Behentrimonium Chloride
Used for detangling and as an anti-static ingredient and emulsifier [Begoun pg 75, Winter pg 100].

Dipropylene Glycol
Similar in function to propylene glycol. Humectant. Pg 211, 428. (Propylene glycol: Humectant. This is a clear, colorless, thick liquid. Can penetrate the skin better than glycerin, but is less expensive. Second in moisture-carrying abilities only to water. Can also be used to dissolve ingredients (in the way that water can dissolve them). Winter pg 428. Rumors have circulated that it is bad, but there is no research validating this. For more information, check out Propylene Glycol Begoun pg 1326.)

Potassium Chloride
 Used in products as a cheap thickener. Considered to make the product a bit more stable than using Sodium Chloride as a thickener instead. Potassium Chloride is a salt. Comes in colorless crystals that are salty in taste. Used in food as well as in cosmetics [Winter (7th ed) pg 426; Hunting (Conditioning) pg 339].

Lactic Acid                 
Lactic acid is used in hair care products mainly to adjust the pH, but may also be used as a humectant. Lactic acid occurs in sour milk through fermenting lactose, but it's also prepared commercially. Since it is considered safe (in small doses), it is often used to adjust the pH in products. Since it also somewhat increases the moisture content in hair in small amounts, this is an added benefit to including it. In high enough concentrations, it can harm your hair, but in the small concentrations usually used in hair products (it usually appears at the bottom of the ingredients list, meaning there isn't much of it in there), it's fine [Hunting (Conditioning) pg 258].

Disodium EDTA
 Chelating ingredient that attracts the minerals away from the hair shaft and helps them rinse away. Good to use after swimming [Begoun]. Aso used as a preservative. Considered harmless in cosmetics at low levels. Sold as a water soluble white powder that is slightly acidic [Hunting (Conditioning) pg 185].

 DMDM Hydantoin
Preservative. (Preservative:  Used to keep microbes such as bacteria, mold and fungus from growing in your products. Though many are controversial, it's believed to be much better to use products with them than without. For more informaiton, see Paula Begoun’s Problems With Preservatives?.)

PEG-150 Distearate

Most research that's been done on these two preservatives have been done on how Methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) Methylisothiazolinone work together. These preservatives are known to be corrosive to skin, irritating to eyes, and toxic to fish. However, in the low doses of it used in cosmetics, they haven't been found to be irritating so long as it isn't used in concentrations above 0.12 percent. The reason these two ingredients are so often found together is because when they are combined, the kill off nearly all microbes, and not much of them are needed to do so. They also work over a wide range of product pHs. When these two ingredients are sold as a ready-made mixture, Magnesium nitrate (as well as a little Magnesium chloride) is often added to them (though it's not usually listed in ingredient lists as being there) [Hunting (Conditioning) pgs 276-277].

 From all appearances, it seems like TRESemme's chemists were trying to thicken up the formula. Some of the changes make sense to me. The switch from stearyl and cetyl alcohols to simply cetearyl alcohol, for example. And moving the avocado oil from spot #5 (after water) to the number 4 slot. Even adding more stearamidopropyl dimethylamine (the main slip ingredient in much-loved Aussie Moist) seems like a positive change to me. Others, however, I'm not so sure about. All of the preservative switch-ups, as a prime example. The several preservatives grouped together at the end of the old formula were traded for less gentle ones, and even one that has the potential to be formaldehyde-releasing - DMDM Hydantoin. I'm also not thrilled about the potassium chloride. My hair is particularly sensitive to short-chain alcohols and drying salts, so I may not be able to use this as my staple rinse out conditioner any longer.

As disappointed as I am that it looks like TRESemme fixed something that wasn't broken, only time will tell how this newest formulation pans out in the textured hair world.

A shot of the TRESemme products section in the Target near my house. The newly reformulated conditioners have a black background against white letters, as seen in several of the bottles above. As you can see, the Naturals line isn't the only one that received a makeover. I checked the back of all of the shampoos and conditioners, and TRESemme added harsher cleansers to the shampoos like TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate, and potassium chloride, mineral oil and/or isopropyl alcohol to almost all of the conditioners. It just looks like a downgrade in product quality, which is saddening.
Do you or any of your family members use TRESemme or TRESemme Naturals? Have you tried the reformulated conditioner? Does it work the same on your hair? If you haven't tried the newest formula, do you think that you will purchase it and try it, or will you look for another product? Let me know in the comments below, bellas!