Happy Holidays! During this holiday season, I have found some extra special information that I decided I didn't just want to share, but I wanted to add as much information to it as I could, as simply and cleanly as I could. I find that with as much information that there is out there, there still seem to be large gaps where people don't grasp why they react to this, but not that. I hope that the more information that I post, the more gaps get filled in. I am trying to make the very difficult chemistry as simple as I can. Please ask questions if I lose you!
Component Function Sample Ingredients
Solvent Dye vehicle Water, Propylene glycol, Ethanol, Glycerin
Surfactant Foaming, thickening Sodium lauryl sulfate, Ceteareth- Cocoamide MEA, Oleth-5
Alkali Swell hair, bleaching Ammonia, Monoethanolamine
Buffer Stabilize, reproducible Disodium phosphate, Citric acid
Dye precursors Impart color P-Aminophenol,1-Naphtol,P-Phenylenediamine,
Fatty alcohols Emollients Glycerol stearate, Cetearyl alcohol
Quaternary compounds Conditioning Polyquaternium, Cetrimonium chloride
Peroxide Oxidant, bleaching Hydrogen peroxide
Propylene Glycol - Propylene glycol (PG) is a clear, colorless liquid with the consistency of syrup. It is practically odorless and tasteless. It is hygroscopic (attracts water), has low toxicity and outstanding stability, as well as high flash and boiling points, low vapor pressure and broad solvency. In addition, propylene glycol is an excellent solvent for many organic compounds and is completely water-soluble. These properties make PG ideal for a wide array of applications, such as, Antifreezes, Coolants and Aircraft Deicing Fluids, Chemical Intermediates, Cosmetics and Personal Care Products, Flavors and Fragrances, Food, Heat Transfer Fluids, Hydraulic Fluids, Pharmaceuticals, Plasticizers, Solvents and Thermoset Plastic Formulation. Propylene glycol (PG) is manufactured from propylene oxide, a petroleum-based raw material. As the leading global producer of PG, Dow manufactures approximately 1.2 billion pounds annually.
PG is the main ingredient in the oil dispersant Corexit, and was used in great quantities during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill . Corexit has come under scrutiny for probable adverse effects on marine life and humans that are exposed to it. Propylene glycol has also come under scrutiny, as it is the chemical that disperses Corexit and the oil to subsurface depths.
Ethanol - alcohol also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid.
Glycerin - Glycerol (or glycerine, glycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides. Glycerol is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity.
Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is a detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent. SLES, SLS, ALS and sodium pareth sulfate are surfactants that are used in many cosmetic products for their cleansing and emulsifying properties. They behave similarly to soap -also a known irritant.
Ceteareth 25 - Ceteareths are the polyethylene glycol esters of Cetearyl Alcohol. The properties of Ceteareths are dependent on the degree of polymerization of the polyethylene glycol segment. In cosmetics and personal care products, they are used as surfactants. Ceteareth-2 to -18 are used asemulsifying agents; Ceteareth-20 to -40 are used as solubilizing and cleansing agents; Ceteareth-22 is used as an emulsifying agent and a viscosity decreasing agent; and Ceteareth-50 to -100 are used as cleansing agents.
Cocamide MEA is derived from the fatty acids from coconut oil and monoethanolamine (MEA). In cosmetics and personal care products, Cocamide MEA is used in the formulation of bath soaps and shampoo.
CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel considered data from previous safety assessments of Coconut Oil and its derivatives, Monoethanolamine (MEA), Cocamide DEA (Diethanolamine), Stearamide DEA and MEA, Isostearamide DEA and MEA, and Myristamide DEA and MEA in the evaluation of Cocamide MEA. These data suggested little acute, short-term, or chronic toxicity associated with dermal application. The CIR Expert Panel noted that MEA vapor was highly toxic but did not consider this significant since there was no vapor that arises from Cocamide MEA. The CIR Expert Panel noted that, unlike DEA, MEA has not been found to form a stable nitrosamine. However, MEA can react with an aldehyde to form DEA, which then can be nitrosated. Dermal application of Cocamide MEA at concentrations of 50% was nonirritating to only mildly irritating tests. Cocamide MEA was negative for mutagenicity in bacteria. In clinical tests, Cocamide MEA at a concentration of 50% was not irritating in a single-insult patch test.
OLETH-5: Oleth-5 is a polyethylene glycol ether of Oleyl Alcohol (q.v.). Function(s): Fragrance Ingredient; Surfactant - Emulsifying Agent Synoym(s): PEG-5 OLEYL ETHER; POLYOXYETHYLENE (5) OLEYL ETHER, mineral oil.
Monoethanolomine - used in the following applications: Cement – to enhance strength, reduce drying time and protect against the effects of freezing and thawing , Gas treating – for a variety of natural gas, petrochemical, and oil treatments , Metalworking fluids – to neutralize acid components in lubricants, prevent corrosion and rusting, and for proprietary corrosion inhibitors and biocides, Personal-care products – to make ethanolamine-based soaps for use in hand lotions, cosmetic creams, cleansing creams, shaving creams, and shampoos; also for dry-cleaning solvents and heavy-duty liquid laundry detergents, Pharmaceuticals – as raw materials in the production of certain pharmaceuticals, Printing inks – to control pH in the formulation of packaging and printing inks, Textiles and textile additives – as aids to clean and scour textiles, facilitate wetting, and improve lather and ease of soap removal, Wood treating – for wood-preservative alternatives (arsenic is one chemical that was once used)
Disodium phosphate - Disodium hydrogen phosphate, (Na2HPO4) is sodium salt of phosphoric acid. It is a white powder that is highly hygroscopic and water soluble.  It is therefore used commercially as an anti-caking additive in powdered products. It is also known as disodium hydrogen orthophosphate, sodium hydrogen phosphate or sodium phosphate dibasic. It is commercially available in both the hydrated and anhydrous forms. PH of disodium hydrogen phosphate water solution is between 8.0 and 11.0.
4-Aminophenol is the organic compound with the formula H2NC6H4OH. Typically available as a white powder, it is commonly used as a developer in black-and-white film, marketed under the name Rodinal. Raw materials required: SULFURIC ACID Nitrophenol 4-NITROCATECHOL N-Phenylhydroxylamine Sodium 4-nitrophenoxide Hydrochloric acid 4-Nitrophenol Iron Sulfuric acid Sodium metabisulfite. Used in the production of sulfer, and AZO dyes.
1-Naphthol, or α-naphthol, is an organic compound with the formula C10H7OH. It is a white solid. It is an isomer of 2-naphthol differing by the location of the hydroxyl group on the naphthalene ring. Used in dyes, pesticides, and rubber production.
p-Phenylenediamine is an organic compound with the formula C6H42. This derivative of aniline is a white solid, but samples can darken due to air oxidation. It is mainly used as a component of dying hair and furs, but is also used as a vulcanization accelerator in rubber.
4-Amino-2-hydroxytoluene – Synonyms: 5-Amino-o-cresol, 3-Hydroxy-4-methylaniline 4-Amino-2-Hydroxytoluene is a substituted aromatic compound used in the formulation of permanent hair dyes, colors and tints. (From the European Commission) Based on the information provided, the Scientific Community for Consumer Products (SCCP) is of the opinion that the use of 4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene itself as an oxidative hair dye substance at a maximum concentration of 1.5% in the finished cosmetic product (after mixing with hydrogen peroxide) does not pose a risk to the health of the consumer, apart from its sensitizing potential.
Polyquaternium is the International calling card for Conditioner. (or, if you want to understand it) It is the nomenclature for the Cosmetic Ingredients designation for several polycationic polymers that are used in the personal care industry. Polyquaternium is a “name” used to emphasize the presence of quaternary ammonium centers in the polymer. INCI has approved at least 37 different polymers under the polyquaternium designation. Different polymers are distinguished by the numerical value that follows the word "polyquaternium". Polyquaternium-5, polyquaternium-7, and polyquaternium-47 are three examples, each a chemically different type of polymer. The numbers are assigned in the order in which they are registered rather than because of their chemical structure. Polyquaterniums find particular application in conditioners, shampoo, hair mousse, hair spray, hair dye, and contact lens solutions. Because they are positively charged, they neutralize the negative charges of most shampoos and hair proteins and help hair lie flat. Their positive charges also ionically bond them to hair and skin. Some have antimicrobial properties. It should be said that numerous companies supply a variety of these polyquaternium products and hence there are many more trade names that could be listed under the trade names column.
Cetrimonium chloride is a topical antiseptic. It is also commonly used in hair conditioners and shampoos, as a conditioning agent EWG rates it as a 6. Cetrimonium Chloride is a cationic quaternary ammonium salt that is used as a light hair conditioning agent. Its use in conditioners and cream rinses improves both wet and dry combing and reduces static electricity. As it is cationic, it is used primarily in conditioning products rather than in shampoos.