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Read the Label—Herbal Essences 'Honey I'm Strong' Strengthening Shampoo

Contact Author Susan Raffy, Susan Raffy Consulting
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Herbal Essences Honey Im Strong Shampoo

Just the thought of golden, sweet honey brings a smile to most people’s faces. Honey is a prevalent ingredient in the natural product marketplace due to its moisturizing and nourishing properties. Clairol brings that consumer recognition to the mass market with the introduction of its Herbal Essences brand’s, “Honey, I’m Strong” Strengthening Shampoo, which aims to protect and repair damaged hair. This column will review the ingredient listing for functionality and claims substantiation.

The primary surfactants are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. This is surprising due to the fact that sulfates have fallen out of favor with both prestige and mass-market consumers based on the belief that they are harsh and drying. However, a mild shampoo based on sulfates can be formulated by including other ingredients that counteract the stripping effect. The secondary surfactants are the mild amphoteric cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide MEA and hydrotrope sodium xylene sulfonate. Glycol distearate is the pearling agent. The conditioning agents are dimethicone, honey, apricot fruit extract and polyquaternium-6, which support the repair and protective claims.

The preservative system is sodium benzoate and a blend of methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, which are effective against bacteria, yeast and mold at low percentages. Chelating agent tetrasodium EDTA helps to boost the preservative system and performance in hard water. Citric acid is the pH adjuster and sodium citrate is a pH buffering agent. Sodium chloride is used to thicken the surfactant system, and the colorants are Blue 1, Yellow 5 and Red 33.

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Ingredient Label: Herbal Essences 'Honey I'm Strong' Shampoo

Ingredient label for Herbal Essences

This column will review the ingredient listing for functionality and claims substantiation.

Biography: Susan Raffy, Susan Raffy Consulting

Susan Raffy

Susan Raffy, president of Susan Raffy Consulting, has more than 25 years of experience in the personal care industry, including a number of positions in personal care R&D. Her first position after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, in 1982, was developing pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements for American McGaw. She also briefly worked as a research assistant in pulmonary medicine at the University of Texas’s Health Science Center/Veterans Administration Hospital before making her foray into cosmetic formulation as associate scientist in the Allercreme Cosmetics division of Alcon Laboratories Inc. in 1985. After a few years at Alcon, Raffy continued formulating at Physicians Formula Cosmetic Inc., where she was a scientist responsible for new product development using innovative raw materials and advanced technology for hypoallergenic skin treatment. In 1990, she joined Aware Products Inc. as director of research and development/quality assurance. Her experience then transitioned to business, with positions as VP of business development/technical sales for GAR Laboratories Inc. and technical sales representative and industry specialist for Lipscomb Chemical Company Inc. Raffy went back to formulating as the director of product development for the beauty division of Guthy-Renker Corp. At the same time, she began teaching at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she was named Outstanding Instructor of the Year. Following, she was president of CTF Concepts Inc. and senior sales manager and technical director for Randall International LP before beginning her consulting business in 2008. Raffy is an active member Society of Cosmetic Chemists, where she has served as chair, summer event coordinator and newsletter editor for the California chapter. She is also an active member of the American Chemical Society and Beauty Industry West.

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