What if you were told you were allergic to shampoo?
If you’ve been told that shampoo and conditioner are all you need, the news may come as a shock.
But, according to the Mayo Clinic, shampoo and shower gel are actually the same thing.
The Mayo Clinic tells us: “Shampoo contains the essential fatty acids ascorbic acid and arachidonic acid, which are necessary to support the synthesis of hair follicles, and lauric acid, which are essential for the hair’s structure and hair health.”
As a result, the Mayo Center says, shampoo and shower gels should not be confused with each other.
“The main difference between shampoo and gels is that shampoo contains a synthetic fatty acid called palmitic acid that is extracted from olive oil.
This fatty acid is not found in soap,” the Mayo Institute says.
Shampoo is also made up of glycerin, which is the main ingredient in shampoo.
As far as what is in shampoo, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tells us that shampoos containing at least 2% glycerine are safe to use.
According to the FDA, “Most shampoo contains 0.3% glycolic acid (natural surfactant) and 0.7% glyceryl stearate.
However, many shampoos contain as much as 20% glycyrrhizin, an ingredient commonly used in fragrances, which may have a similar effect to the fragrance ingredient in shampos.”
According a 2011 study in the journal Science, a person’s skin sensitivity is not the only factor that can affect their ability to react to shampoo.
The study found that the skin’s ability to recognize the scent of shampoo was a significant predictor of whether a person would experience irritation.
“In other words, the more sensitive the skin, the greater the likelihood that a person will experience a reaction,” Dr. David P. Gershoff, director of the Center for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of California San Francisco, told Scientific American.
“For instance, people with oily skin are more sensitive to shampoo than are people with normal skin,” Gershill added.
“If you are allergic to the natural surfactants in shampoo and/or shower gel, you may also experience irritation, but that response is not necessarily due to the scent.
You might have a reaction to something else.”
The Mayo Center also notes that shampoo does not create a reaction.
“This is because, while a lot of people do experience a mild irritation when they shower, that reaction is actually due to a very different phenomenon that is not present in shampoo,” the center says.
“In shampoo, you are not creating an allergy to a product, but you are reacting to a different product.
And the reaction to the product that you are responding to is a product that has been extracted from oil and is a natural surfacter.
So, it is not actually a reaction of the shampoo, but a product which has been processed.”
Shampoo does have an anti-inflammatory effect, though, the center notes.
And the Mayo Foundation says that a good shampoo can actually help reduce skin allergies.
“It can also help reduce the severity of a skin condition called eczema,” the foundation tells us.
“The topical application of an oil-based shampoo may also help with reducing the severity and frequency of eczemas, which can lead to a reduction in flare-ups.
In a study of eczonas in children, researchers found that children who had used shampoo reported fewer eczias, fewer facial redness and fewer facial swelling and itching, compared with children who used a different shampoo.”
So, there you have it: shampoo and shampooing may not cause you to react, but shampoo can make your skin more sensitive.
You can read more about shampoo and the Mayo clinic here.