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Last updated on March 29th, 2019
The search for the safest shampoo is at full speed. One of the popular requests for my Shampoo Rating List was Evolvh brand. Therefore, today we will take a closer look at the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo. We will see how transparent its ingredients are to determine whether I could include it in my Shampoo Rating List.
From my previous post on shampoo ingredients to avoid, you might remember that there are two quick ways to assess the safety of cosmetic ingredients. One of them is to read the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel reports (CIR reports). The other is to use the Skin Deep database powered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which you can read more about here. It is important to point out that both CIR and EWG Skin Deep database use the names for the ingredients as they appear in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (source). The names of ingredients as used by INCI are known as “INCI names”. They are an attempt to standardize the names in order to facilitate transparency in the cosmetics industry.
How is this information applicable to the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo? Well, to answer this question, let us look at the shampoo ingredients.
Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture shampoo ingredients
Shampoos tend to have long lists of ingredients because they include various substances. Some of them are cleansing agents, carrying agents, emulsifiers, and so on. To find out more on how to read shampoo labels, click here. For now, we will focus on the ingredients of the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo that stand out among others. Check out the following list and see if any of those look suspicious to you.
Water, pHytoBlend (proprietary concentrate blend of 20 herbs in an aqueous base), Decyl Glucose, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucose, Coco Polyglucose, Seaweed Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia, Mango, Lecithin, Sunflower Oil, Soya, Safflower Oil, Soy Amino Acids, Vitamin C, Wild Pansy, Sweet Clover, Apricot, Nasturtium, Nectarine, Passion Flower, SmartScent™, Citrus Seed Extract.
I am sure your trained eye has spotted the odd ones promptly! All right, let’s start from the very beginning.
What is wrong with the ingredients of the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo?
First of all, I can’t pass by pHytoBlend (proprietary concentrate blend of 20 herbs in an aqueous base). Wouldn’t you like to know what kind of herbs exactly this blend consists of? Each herb needs to be disclosed separately because all of them have their own properties and effects. Unfortunately, Evolvh does not do so.
Moving on, we see three similar ingredients in the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo: Decyl Glucose, Lauryl Glucose, and Coco Polyglucose. They sound innocent, don’t they? My concern is that you will not find them among the INCI Name ingredients because they are either misspelled or intentionally altered. The names that you will find in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients include Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, and Coco-Glucoside. Is that what the manufacturer meant, or should we keep guessing?
Now, a treat for the ear: Citrus Aurantifolia, Mango, Soya, Wild Pansy, Sweet Clover, Apricot, Nasturtium, Nectarine, Passion Flower! I just see myself bathing in these … wait, I’m not sure what they are … Are they extracts, essential oils or fragrance oils? After all, I would like to know what I expose my body to. Wouldn’t you?
My biggest pet peeve about the ingredients of the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo is the mysterious SmartScent™. It is a trade name for a blend of undisclosed components and a clever way to cut out the word ‘fragrance’ from the list of ingredients. For your information, SmartScent™ is used in Yankee candles, whose primary function is to fill the space with their aroma. Imagine how strong it is!
There is a reason I am so concerned about fragrance as a cosmetic ingredient. The fact of the matter is that it is not just one ingredient but rather a mix of undisclosed ingredients. Under US law, there is no requirement for fragrance ingredients to be disclosed. According to the International Fragrance Association, fragrance mixes may be formed out of as many as 3,999 components. It would be great news for creative minds and sensitive noses if only many of these components were not chemicals associated with allergic reactions, endocrine disruption, and cancer. The Skin Deep Database rates fragrance as 8, only two points away from 10 which stands for the most toxic. To learn more about natural and artificial fragrances click here.
Finally, what troubles me about the list of ingredients for the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo is the lack of clarity as far as the preservative used in its formula. Again, I can only guess that it is Citrus Seed Extract whose official INCI name is Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract.
From my Superpower Cheat Sheet, you can learn that Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract is rated 4 in the Skin Deep Database because it is often contaminated with benzalkonium chloride, triclosan, or methylparaben, that act as preservatives (sources here and here). While grapefruit itself has some preserving properties, studies show that it is not powerful enough to act as a preservative without the help of other preservatives in the formulation (source). The company that makes WaterWipes has now started disclosing that the wipes contain benzalkonium chloride in addition to Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract. (You can learn more here.)
Conclusion about the Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture sulfate-free color-safe shampoo
As popular as the Evolvh brand is among my subscribers, unfortunately, it cannot make it in my Shampoo Rating List. The main reason is the ambiguity of the ingredients, which doesn’t help build my trust either in the product or in the manufacturer. As my faithful reader, you know that I will go miles to dig up the truth in order to aid you to make informed decisions and healthy choices. To be fair to the Evolvh shampoo manufacturer, I contacted their customer service representative first to get a response to all the issues stated above. They emailed me back after my follow up email saying that they had forwarded my request to their formulation and compliance department and would respond to me as quickly as possible. I have not heard from them yet.
By the way, the company has three lines of shampoos and conditioners. This same problem applies to two of them. In the third, it uses proper INCI names and properly discloses the preservatives, so the company appears to know how to properly disclose ingredients, but has, for some reason, chosen not to do so for two lines of shampoo and conditioners, which does not inspire confidence. In the meantime, let us all be more aware of what we purchase because our wise decisions affect the market making it a safer place to shop.
Your Superpower To Read Ingredients
Imagine looking at the ingredients of any shampoo, conditioner, lotion, or cream and in a matter of seconds being able to decide if it is safe to use!
With this easy unprecendented method, you will be able to spot potentially harmful personal care or skincare products that may cause irritation, an allergic reaction, or increase the risk of endocrine disruption or cancer.