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Fruity Kids Shampoo – What’s in it?

October 24, 2010

As you guys know I also do some consulting work for the perfumers – Risdon International and as such have developed a tendency to review and choose products based on their smell.  Now judging from the antics in the toiletries aisle of many a supermarket, that’s what most of you are doing too!  Anyway,  after going on the hunt for some fruity smelling shampoo products I found this little selection and wanted to share some of the magic with you. However, this time I won’t just be talking about the aroma’s I will be looking at the recipe (or formulation) used to find out whether being fruity is naturally better for kids. I’ll be looking at the adult formulations later!

Getting fruity in the shower.

Method Kid Squeaky green 3-in-1 shampoo.

Before I get all sciency and grown up I will confess to buying this one just because of the cute little green guy shaped packaging……. Anyway, Method are a USA based company set up by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry with the hope of cleaning the world in a non-toxic, out and proud kind of way.   This brand believes in the power of green and has implemented ways of measuring their product and companies impact from the cradle to the grave.  Their company website outlines all of the measures that these guys take to ensure that you get the cleanest, greenest and yummiest products ever – they thought of everything!

Ingredients List: Water, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco/Sunfloweramidopropyl Betaine, Coco Glucoside, glyceryl Oleate, Glycol Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Oryza Satina Germ Oil, Oryza Sativa Bran Extract, Althaea Officinalis Extract, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea fruit Oil, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance.

Ingredients of interest:

 Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate – This is one of a family of new generation of alkyl popyglucoside surfactants that is all-plant based and preserved with sorbic acid.  It is mild, foamy and an excellent cleaner, perfect for sensitive souls with an environmental conscience.

Coco/Sunfloweramidopropyl Betaine  – This takes the traditional petrochemical (and sometimes veg) derived  cocamidopropyl betaine and gives it a sunflower seed oil backbone. This functions as a secondary surfactant to boost the cleansing ability of the first ingredient.

The Coco Glucoside  makes up the final cleansing surfactant in the mix – most shampoos use a blend of three surfactants to get mildness, foaming and cleaning power spot on.

The next few ingredients (the ones in pink) serve to give the formulation some structure as they thicken it and hold the fragrance and natural oils in an emulsion.

The greenish coloured ingredients are the formulation’s natural actives that add cleansing, mildness and a little bit of luxuary to the formulation.

The guys in purple are your preservatives that help to keep the product in tip-top condition. 

And then there is the fragrance which in this product is green apple.

Overall this formulation looks good and should do what it says on the tub.  The only think that some of you may like to see is less in the way of ‘chemical’ preservatives while retaining the shelf life and product safety.  Pretty neat really and lots of new surfactant technology to enjoy with a green conscious. So far, so good and your kids will LOVE the funky packaging.

Johnsons KIDS 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo.

This product has been around for a while and has been a favourite in our house since the kids could reach the shelves. Now this product isn’t sold as being green but it is made specifically for children so it would be good to take a look at what is in it.

Ingredients: Water, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, PEG-150 Distearate, Glycerin, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-10, Lauryl Betaine, Benzophenone-4, Citric Acid, Cl 42053, CL 16035, CL 60730, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazoline.

Hmmmmm well, this formulation will not pass muster for many ‘greenies’ as it contains a few ethoxylated ingredients that are most certainly petroleum derived. Polysorbate 20 is a good example, this is a food-grade surfactant with a fatty acid backbone (derived from either petroleum or plant based feedstock such as palm, coconut or sunflower). The fatty acid is then reacted with ethylene oxide (almost ALWAYS petroleum derived) until you  get the desired specifications.  As I mentioned before, this family of surfactants are mild and are approved for food and pharmaceutical use but the environmental credentials would put some consumers off. 

After that we have a blend of traditional, widely used surfactants to provide the cleansing power. These are probably in at a lower dose than for an adult shampoo so as to make the formulation milder although again, some wish to avoid Sodium Laureth Sulfate for fears it will irritate (among other concerns) although this is unlikely to be the case in a base like this.

PEG-150 Distearate is used to thicken the formulation – this is another ethoxylated ingredient but it is very effective.  Polyquaternium 10 is a conditioning polymer that is derived from starch and is therefore natural-ish and the other ingredients are there for preservation, to give the product colour or smell.

Performance wise this product does do a great job and has never caused my kids any irritations. It smells great and is able to clean and condition in the one step. However, the presence of so many ethoxylated and petroleum-based ingredients plus the choice of preservative (Methylisothiazolinone blend) may also be one that you want to avoid due to its un-naturalness. Nice but not natural.

So which one is the best?   I have to say that I prefer the cleansing ability and appearance (thickness etc) of the Johnson’s product but much prefer the eco story of and branding of  the Method Kids product.  Therefore I would be inclined to go with Method kids, especially if they started making it here in Australia.

Well that was fun!  What’s next……..

4 Comments leave one →
  1. cathie permalink
    October 24, 2010 4:57 pm

    Good article as usual…coming from a background of “some” science, i do understand some of the technical ingredients, but its good to know what most of the ingredients are there for, their origins in “every-day” language

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:13 pm

      Thanks Cathie, I eat, sleep and breathe chemicals so whatever questions you have just ask and I’ll get my geek detectors out.


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