Alcohols in Grooming Products

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I hope you found this post as interesting as I did when I first learned about Alcohols. We spend so much time reading ingredients on our dogs’ food to make sure we are doing the best we can for them.  Why are so many people not reading the ingredients on the products they are putting on their dog’s bodies?  Better yet, why would anyone use products that do not list their ingredients?  Food for thought! 
 Some of the benefits of using our sulfate -free SHOW Premium Pet Grooming ProductsTMare:
Why is there ALCOHOL in your pets’ shampoo and conditioner? -by Manny Comitini

If it’s the case where you’re using a product and it worked the first few times, you then need to STOP USING THEM once their job is complete. If products containing high amounts of fatty alcohols are over used, they can make coats feel and look greasy.

Products that are meant to be used to ‘Repair’ damaged hair are not meant to be used excessively. That is, they are essential and beneficial to damaged coats, but once the coat is repaired and back to a healthy stage, routine grooming should continue with products meant to hydrate and moisturize ‘lightly’ or ‘daily’ as those products will not build up or damage by leaving heavy fatty alcohols on the coat. After excessive product build up , the common next step is to use a ‘Clarifying’ shampoo, which, if not used correctly on a coat that actually needs it can be the WORST kind of product for your pet. Its best to use a product like CLARITY Shampoo which is a gentle clarifying product that utilizes gentle cleansing agents. 
On the bright side, there are certain kinds of alcohols that are good to have in products. Cetyl and Stearyl alcohol are hydrating alcohols. They attach to the hair shaft and act as lubricants. Cetyl and Stearyl alcohol are fatty alcohols (meaning they are created from fat). They are derived from NATURAL sources such as coconut and palm oil and can be found in conditioners (both rinse-out and leave-in types). Their purpose is to allow the products to spread easily over the coat and will leave the coat feeling soft and ‘conditioned’ as they help to lay the coat flat on the body. One of the most common questions I’m asked is what to do when products build up and stop working (and actually make coat textures look and feel incorrect for the breed). The answer is to check the ingredients in the products you’re using. We cannot depend on the name of the product and their claims because many times they are not created with ingredients that will do what they promise.
Isopropyl alcohol (commonly labeled simply as ‘Alcohol’ in ingredient lists) is a hazardous solvent in high concentrations. Isopropyl alcohol is a petroleum-derived substance that is said to be dangerous if inhaled or ingested and exposure can cause: headaches, flushing, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Ever have dog puke after licking the suds during their bath? If the products you’re using contain Isopropyl alcohol, that could be one of the reasons. Isopropyl along with Ethanol, SD Alcohol, SD Alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl Alcohol are known as ‘small alcohols’.  They are included in products to dissolve some of the other ingredients as they are mixed together.  They evaporate quickly and because of this nature, are used in products that help to decrease the amount of time it takes to dry the coat.  Taking that short cut with such products because you want to lessen the time grooming, in the end, works at ruining your dogs’ coat condition and drying out their skin. On drop coated breeds, these alcohols are responsible for creating grooming sessions ending with frizzy coats and static electricity. Dry coat and skin, plus static, and then frizzy hair leads to rubbing, scratching, matting and coat loss.  Isn’t that exactly what we DON’T want for our dogs’ coats? The wrong products can lead to hours of grooming our dogs with disappointing. These ingredients, along with others, are the cause.
Is it possible for products that claim to ‘moisturize’ or ‘hydrate’ your dogs’ coat to actually do so if they contain alcohol, an ingredient known to dry out hair and cause dry, flaky skin problems? Well, it depends on the kind of alcohol.

Christopher has been involved in the Pet Grooming Industry for over 40 years and I’ve been involved for the past 22 years.  We’ve used dozens

of pet related products and human grade products on our dogs. We know far too well both, the positives and negatives, as we’ve experienced it all first hand on our own dogs and our Clients’ dogs. The joke with shampoos and conditioners among grooming shop Owners, dog Breeders and Exhibitors is that we buy the products with high hopes but then the bottles and gallons sit around and collect dust, ½ filled still, because they’re just weren’t any good as they promised to be.  After only a short time, we just stop using them because they don’t work as well as promised or they didmore damage than good.  As Dog Breeders and Exhibitors, the health of our dogs is of utmost importance.  That is why we decided early on to make sure that any products we attach our names to had to be the BEST quality available; not only free of any sulfates, but also free of parabens, sodium chlorides and harsh alcohols.  


Studies on SLS have shown that:" (Judi Vance, Beauty To Die For, Promotion Publishing, 1998) ~ 'Shampoos with SLS could retard healing and keep children's eyes from developing properly. Children under six years old are especially vulnerable to improper eye development. (Summary of Report of Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. conference.'
Studies on SLS have shown that:" (Judi Vance, Beauty To Die For, Promotion Publishing, 1998) ~ 'Shampoos with SLS could retard healing and keep children's eyes from developing properly. Children under six years old are especially vulnerable to improper eye development. (Summary of Report of Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. conference.'- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate can cause cataracts in adults and delays the healing of wounds in the surface of the cornea.' - Sodium Lauryl Sulphate has a low molecular weight and so is easily absorbed by the body. It builds up in the heart, liver and brain and can cause major problems in these areas. - Sodium Lauryl Sulphate causes skin to flake and to separate and causes roughness on the skin. - Sodium Lauryl Sulphate causes dysfunction of the biological systems of the skin. - Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is such a caustic cleanser that it actually corrodes the hair follicle and impairs the ability to grow hair. - Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is routinely used in clinical studies deliberately to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested. 
(Study cited by the Wall St Journal, 1st November 1998)
Sulfates are a cheap ingredient used not only in dog shampoos, but it is also found in many cosmetic and personal care products.  Simply put, it is a foaming /lathering agent. Its in there to create a visual sense of ‘luxurious bubbles’ that are cleaning the coat. But have you ever got shampoo in your eyes? Im guessing it burned, right? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in the shampoo was likely the reason for the burning. Fun Fact: Sodium Lauryl Sulphate started its career as an industrial degreasant and garage floor cleaner. When applied to human skin it has the effect of stripping off the oil layer and then irritating and eroding the skin, leaving it rough and pitted. Sulfates are also used as a standard in Medical Trials / Testing by Dermatologists to purposely irritate the skin in order to measure healing.
Lets start this off with one specific chemical at a time and break each one down to see what it is, what its purpose is in the product, and what the problems are that are caused by it being in there. I'll start with Sulfates.  The most popular: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate What exactly are sulfates and why are they in the products we use to groom our pets?
Its 2014 and we are all reading about toxic chemicals in our pets’ dog food and grooming products that may actually cause cancer. Studies are being done throughout the United States where certain cancer causing chemicals are found within many popular brands of foods, treats, toys and grooming products. It’s a scary world indeed! Over and over we are reminded to ‘Read the labels’ on everything before we buy it. But did you know that it is not necessary for ingredients to be listed on animal grooming products such as shampoos and conditioners? Many brands purposely do not list ingredients on the container but people still use them. My question is this:  Would YOU use or eat anything that didn’t have the ingredients listed on the packaging? As a Breeder, would you purchase or breed a male to your female without first seeing a pedigree? I sure wouldn’t! Then why would anyone think it was OK to use it on their beloved pets?
Are you still washing your dogs with products that contain cancer-causing toxic chemicals?--by Manny Comitini
  •  Sodium Lauryl Sulphate can cause cataracts in adults and delays the healing of wounds in the surface of the cornea.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate has a low molecular weight and so is easily absorbed by the body. It builds up in the heart, liver and brain and can cause major problems in these areas. 
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate causes skin to flake and to separate and causes roughness on the skin.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate causes dysfunction of the biological systems of the skin.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is such a caustic cleanser that it actually corrodes the hair follicle and impairs the ability to grow hair.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is routinely used in clinical studies deliberately to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested. 
(Study cited by the Wall St Journal, 1st November 1998)
After checking the ingredients in the products you’ve been using on your pet, go and check the products you’ve been using on yourself.
You might be surprised to find that you’ve been adding some of these harmful chemicals to yourself daily.

Groom SMARTER with SHOW Premium Pet Grooming ProductsTM

  • An increase in the dogs’ natural oil retention
  • A better overall grooming experience where the time and effort ends with positive results 
  • Overall improvement of the condition of the coat and skin
  • A shinier,  more natural plush feel and look to the coat texture
  • An increase in the ability of the coat to retain moisture 
  •  A decrease in the chance of experiencing skin and scalp irritation
  •  Less itching and scratching which leads to longer coats

Sulfates

A study in 2004 suggested that parabens could be linked to human breast cancer. Since then, parabens have been considered controversial and many companies have opted out of using them as an ingredient. The theory is that even if a product contains an extremely small amount of any paraben, over time they could build up to toxic levels. This could be, arguably, due to how many products we all use daily that contain parabens, including methyl-, butyl-, ethyl-, and propyl-. 

A study done during the 1980s on paraben sensitivity in dogs suggested that its usage on females has the same effect on males as would a heat cycle.  

What are they and why are they in dog and human shampoos and conditioners?

-by Manny Comitini

Parabens

Parabens, like Sulfates, are a cheap additive that can be found in both human and dog grooming products. The purpose of parabens is to prolong the shelf life of the product. 

Sources:

§                       AOCS: The Preservative Wars

§                       Centers for Disease Control: Parabens

§                       JAMA Dermatology: Mounting Evidence of Paraben Sensitivity in Dogs

Many people take for granted the products they use. Take the time to check the ingredients in the products you’ve been using on yourself and your pet. And, for goodness sake, if the company doesn’t list the ingredients, is it worth risking yours or your dogs’ well being?