SCA endorses products with the Toxic-Free Tick, that do not contain peroxide or ammonia (see below). Peroxide or ammonia can be harmful to your hair, according to ScienceMadeSimple.co.uk “Ammonia can cause the hair to lose moisture, and the hair colour to fade. However, there are alternatives that don't use ammonia. Hydrogen peroxide itself is a harmful chemical, but it is diluted before being used on the hair so only a small amount goes on your head. Ammonia can cause the hair to lose moisture, and the hair colour to fade. As many people associate hydrogen peroxide with damage to the hair, some companies are looking to use alternatives. Bleaching the hair just isn’t possible without an oxidising agent such as hydrogen peroxide, so these alternatives work in the same way as hydrogen peroxide, just have a different name and use a different chemical!”
BENZYL CAS No: 94-36-0. ACTEYL CAS No: 110-22-5. LAUROYL CAS No: 105-74-8. HYDROGEN CAS No: 7722-84-1. BLEACHING AGENT; Benzoyl Peroxide; "Synonym(s): DIBENZOYL PEROXIDE; PEROXIDE, DIBENZOYL; ACNEGEL; AZTEC BPO; BENZOPEROXIDE; BENZOYL PEROXIDE (ACGIH:OSHA) ; BENZOYL SUPEROXIDE; BENZOYLPEROXID (GERMAN) ; BENZOYLPEROXYDE (DUTCH) ; BZF-60; CADAT BPO" - EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
According to MyHairdressers.com: "Permanent hair colour is mixed with 10 vol (3%), 20 vol (6%), 30 vol (9%) or 40 vol (12%) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), known as an oxidant. The choice of oxidant is key for achieving the correct target shade and depth. The average tube of permanent colour is made up of 10% alkali, 20% H202 and 70% colour molecules." Chemical bleaching agents that are used to remove colour and whiten products. In cosmetics it is often used in medical products to acne treat blemishes. Commonly found in hair colours to lighten hair including hair dye, lash tint, brow tint and shampoo. "Inhalation of household strength hydrogen peroxide (3%) can cause respiratory irritation." - ATSDR
RESEARCH - WHAT EXPERTS SAY
European Union; banned in all over the counter skin care products as well as food; (only for products for use around the mouth; products for use on the lips; products that may be aerosolized (airborne)).
Australia NICNAS: not restricted for use. Human health Tier II, July 2016. Refer to TGA Poisons Standard (SUSMP)
Canada; Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics (only for products for use on the lips) EWG
WHAT IS PEROXIDE?
A known skin sensitiser, irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs. In cosmetics, it is believed that this compound works by destroying the bacteria associated with acne. It works by continuous daily treatment, but when you stop using it the acne comes back.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "says products containing the ingredients benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can cause rare but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation."
World Health Organisation "Common side effects (benzoyl peroxide) are skin irritation, dryness, or peeling"
Human exposure studies "a reaction occurred in 70% of subjects after use of occlusive patches containing a 5% or 10% concentration." - TOXNET