Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Shamproblem?

    Do you have a sulfate, paraben, phosphate free shampoo? This is the question many consumers are asking these days. The buzz is that all of these ingredients are carcinogenic, BUT this is just a big misunderstanding. I’ve been in the beauty industry sixteen years and these ingredients were never a concern until about ten years ago. I want to inform people and tell them what these ingredients are, and what they actually do.
    First I will start with sulfates and the misunderstanding of that ingredient. Sulfates are a detergent that give your shampoo, face wash, dish soap, etc, that soapy lathering effect. Sulfates are cleaning agents that CAN be a little harsh on the hair and scalp, so if you have a sensitive scalp you might pass on sulfates. It can be a little drying on thicker, coarser hair, and if you have color-treated hair, it may strip the color a bit, BUT it is NOT carcinogenic.
    The next ingredient is merely a preservative; it’s called a paraben. This ingredient has had such a bad reputation over the last decade because of a professor named Dr. Philippa Darbre at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Darbre conducted a study on breast cancer tumors in 2004 and found traces of parabens in the tumors. The controversy is that she never actually stated that parabens cause cancer, but many people assumed because parabens were found in the tumor they must have been the cause of cancer; this started the paranoia about parabens. 
    Lastly: phosphates. This hasn’t been as big of a deal as the last two, but it has certainly been talked about. Phosphate is basically salt. In hair care products, this can be drying as well but isn’t harmful at all; in other products such as cleaning agents, it has been known to create build up in our drains and pollute our fresh water lakes and rivers by creating more algae build up and at times, making the water dirty, smelly, and harder to filter. Phosphates might be one to avoid for environmental reasons, but all in all these ingredients are not cancerous.

    Angelica Pancheco is a Tower staff writer. Email her at apachecobeauty(a)yahoo.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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