This week, Mary decodes: Aluminum in dry shampoo
Most of us know that aluminum in antiperspirant is a huge risk because it works to blocks your pores, preventing you from sweating, which traps toxins inside your body. However, did you know that many conventional dry shampoos also contains aluminum? If “aluminum starch octenylsuccinate” is on the ingredient list in your dry shampoo, you might want to look for an alternative and I explain why what you put on your head is one of the most important considerations.
What is aluminum starch octenylsuccinate?
You’ll find that many conventional dry shampoos use aluminum starch octenylsuccinate in the formulation, as it is highly effective at absorbing excess oil and sweat. With its absorbent, thickening, and anti-caking agent in cosmetics such as foundations, eye shadows, face powders and sunscreens, it is also used in aerosol cans to prevent the dry shampoo formulation from blocking the nozzle. This ingredient is an aluminum salt of chemically modified starch. Based on scientific studies, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has indicated that aluminum starch octenylsuccinate is safe in cosmetic formulations, as long as established limitations imposed on heavy metal concentrations are not exceeded.
Why should we worry?
Although studies have not demonstrated that aluminum starch octenylsuccinate is harmful in cosmetics, the area in which this ingredient is applied on should be noted. With dry shampoo, the problem is that based on new pharmaceutical research for topical application of drugs, studies have found that our scalp is a weak spot on your body for protecting against chemical penetration. Therefore, this heavy metal-infused starch is sprayed directly onto your hair follicles aka the weakest spot on your body for protecting against chemical penetration. The scalp and the forehead show the highest absorption rate for drugs and chemicals (approximately 4x greater the absorption rate than your forearms). Follicular penetration allows drugs and chemicals to enter the body with much great ease.
Think carefully about the ingredients that you place on your scalp and forehead.