CJ3…I love the Shea Moisture line, and the Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. The other day as I was shampooing my hair, I decided to look at the back of the bottle at the ingredients and I noticed a few things were missing. I could care less if there are silicones and parabens in my hair products, my main concern is do they work. But I do prefer that a company be honest about what’s in their products. The shampoo is thick with a pearlized sheen and a strong floral fragrance. But when I look at the ingredients, I don’t see a thickener/Pearlizer, fragrance, or a preservative. Is it possible to have a shampoo be thickened by Shea Butter only? Is it possible for a shampoo to have a pearl sheen and floral scent from extracts? Is Vitamin E enough of a preservative for a shampoo? I heard Vitamin E was an antioxidant and not a preservative at all. I’ve had the shampoo for almost a year now and it hasn’t gone bad yet (or at least I don’t think it has… the scent is so strong, it could be masking any rancid smell).
The Right Brain responds:
Here are the ingredients from the back of the bottle, as provided by CJ3:
Shea Moisture shampoo ingredients
Deionized Water , Decyl Glucoside (Sugar Beets), African Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Argan Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Rosemary Extract, Sea Kelp Extract, Vitamin E, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract (Honeysuckle), Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Japanese Honeysuckle)
I loved CJ3′s analysis of these ingredients and I agree that it seems like some items are missing. I checked a few websites (like Target and Walgreens) to see if I could find a more complete listing but I could only find the the same ingredients that you mentioned.
The missing pieces?
Based on our formulation knowledge here’s what we think could be missing from this ingredient list:
Scent: The floral fragrance could be coming from the flower extracts. Technically it should still list “fragrance” as an ingredient, but we’ll give them a pass on this one.
What should be listed: “Fragrance.”
Thickener: Decyl glucoside is a mild detergent but by itself it doesn’t build viscosity very well. To create a thick product it needs to be combined with another salt -responsive surfactant or a polymeric thickener of some sort.
What should be listed: Cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium chloride (or something similar)
Appearance: As you pointed out the product has a rich pearl. It also has a golden color. While a high enough concentration of shea butter could theoretically provide the color, it would not provide a pearlescent effect.
What should be listed: Glycol distearate, FDC yellow
Safety: Surprisingly, and most disturbingly, there is no preservative cited and I don’t see anything in these ingredients that could prevent microbial growth.
What you should be listed: DMDM hydantoin, parabens, etc.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
We’d like to give companies the benefit of the doubt, but it’s tough in this case because the missing ingredients seem so obvious. If the fine folks at Shea would like to contact us with additional information, we’d be glad to update this post.
image credit: hotelmarketingstrategies.com
Does it bug you when companies don’t list all their ingredients for you? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.