Ingredient Breakdown #3 – Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo & conditioner, The Delicate Soother

Hi everyone!

So it’s been quite a while since my last post in this ‘Ingredient Breakdown’ series (roughly 2 months in fact). However, I decided I’d get the ball rolling again today with this lovely shampoo and conditioner combo from Garnier.
If you don’t know what this series is all about, it’s basically a post going through all the ingredients in popular hair products to see if these things are really something we should be using on our hair. If you’d like to see the other posts in this series you can do so below.
– Ingredient breakdown #1 – Herbal Essences daily detox shampoo & conditioner (Golden raspberry & mint)
– Ingredient Breakdown #2 – John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating shampoo & conditioner

Ultimate Blends

First of all, I have been LOVING using the shampoo and conditioner from today’s post. They are fast becoming some of my all time favourite products to use on my hair. They feel so gentle yet deeply cleansing and leave my hair super silky and soft. The rice cream and oat milk truly are ‘delicate soother’ ingredients which leave my scalp feeling calm and not itchy a day after washing – which can happen for me with some other shampoos and conditioners.
The bottle claims no parabens which is a total bonus for me as I like to stay away from these POTENTIAL cancer causing ingredients. Nothing has been proven, but for me, where I can stay away I definitely choose too.

* The higher the ingredient in the list, the more there is within the product


Shampoo Ingredients UB

Aqua – Water
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – 
This is a surfactant found in many personal care products and produces the lather in the shampoo, (because it breaks down the molecules to allow better interaction between the hair and shampoo). Although this is deemed as safe to use by many organisations, it is a known irritant to skin and eyes  (maybe a little weird since this shampoo is meant to be gentle..).  It has a very similar name to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), however Laureth (SLES) is a gentler surfactant. Some people try to stay away with the two SLS ingredients as they believe it causes dry and brittle hair.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine – Another surfactant which causes lather in the shampoo and it comes from coconut oil. It is also a thickening agent to the consistency of the shampoo.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – As I’ve just mentioned, SLS is a more harsher surfactant than SLES but it is found in an awful lot of shampoo’s and other personal care products. Again, it causes lather in the shampoo. There are conflicting reports on SLS and many people try to stay away from it due to a few reports suggesting a link between this chemical and cancer. However, there is no evidence that SLS causes Cancer.
Glycerin – This binds water which is mainly derived from vegetable oil. It isn’t usually in shampoo’s and is more commonly found in conditioner’s. It is known to prevent breakage in hair and leaves hair feeling soft.
Glycol Distearate – This produces the pearlescent effect in shampoo. It also creates a lot of foam. It is considered safe, but not natural.
Sodium Chloride – This is basically salt and is totally safe to use. It is used to thicken shampoo.
Amodimethicone –  Dimethicones are a type of silicone. Silicones are said to weigh hair down and will eventually make hair dull, limp and lifeless, despite the initial illusion of shine. Can prevent moisture from penetrating hair shaft, therefore hair can become dry and brittle and start to break.
Guar Hyrdoxypropyltrimonium Chloride – This prevents hair from becoming static and is also a conditioning agent and is generally considered safe.
Sodium Benzoate – This ingredient is found naturally in cranberries, cinnamon and other foods. It is used is shampoo as a preservative.
Sodium Hydroxide – Controls the PH in personal care products. It is considered safe but can be an irritant.
Oat Kernel Extract – A natural, gentle, conditioning ingredient.
PPG-5-Ceteth-20 – A surfactant which can reduce the greasy effect of oils. Safe.
Trideceth-6 – Derived from vegetable oil but can be an irritant to some people. Canada’s domestic substance list considers this a toxic ingredient.
Salicylic Acid – Can be obtained from willow trees. It is an anti-dandruff agent and conditioning agent.
Limonene – Fragrance from citrus fruit. An irritant and toxic to wildlife and possibly humans. Has restrictions in cosmetics but in small amounts is allowed.
Fumaric Acid – A buffering agent which is safe for use.
Benzyl Salicylate – A fragrant ingredient which is a known allergen and human immune system toxicant. There are some restrictions in use. Some people avoid this.
Benzyl Alcohol – A natural, non volatile alcohol used as a preservative. However, in products, we often find a synthetic version rather than the natural version. It is safe in the quantity that it is found in hair care products.
Linalool – Used in floral fragrances. Occurs naturally in essential oils.
Xanthan Gum – Used as a binder, a conditioning agent and a surfactant.
Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone – Fragrance which is generally safe in the amounts in it found in personal care products.
Carbomer – Stops emulsions from separating into their oil and liquid components.
Cetrimonium Chloride – Helps to cleanse and form emulsions. Safe for use in rinse off products.
Citric Acid – This can cause irritation however, since there isn’t too much of it in the shampoo it is safe to use. It’s found in citrus fruit.
Potassium Sorbate – Fragrant and preservative. Evidence suggests this is a skin toxicant and allergen.
Coumarin – Fragrance. A known immune system irritant and allergen.
Hexyl Cinnamal –  A natural ingredient used as a fragrance additive to make floral scents stronger.
Rice Starch – Binder, bulking agent and conditioning agent.
Parfum – Fragrance.

* Anything without a definition is already listed above.
Conditioner ingredience UB

Cetyl Alcohol –
 Emulsifier which stops the oils and liquids in the conditioner separating. Also a surfactant. Suspected to be an environmental toxin.
PEG-180 – This is a binder which also slows the loss of moisture from a product.
Palm Oil – Contains high volumes on vitamin E which protect the hair. Boosts moisture.
Hydroxyethylcellulose – Naturally found in the cell wall of plants. Emulsifier. Safe in cosmetic products.
Dodecene – A fragrance and thickening agent.
Sodium Hydroxide
Sodium Benzoate
Stearyl Alcohol – a fatty alcohol used to form emulsions and stop them from separating into its oils and liquid components. A conditioning agent that coats the hair. Deemed as safe but can be a human irritant.
Oat Kernel Extract
Poloxamer 407 –
A surfactant. Generally considered safe however it is a supposed environmental toxin.
Benzoic Acid – 
A preservative and fragrance. Restricted in Japan. There is some limited evidence of organ toxicity but it is gerenally classified as safe. However, there is limited data on the safety of this ingredient so some people choose to stay away. May be dervived from animals according to PETA.
Benzyl Salicylate
Benzyl Alcohol
Xanthan Gum
Isopropyl Myristate  –
Used to reduce the greasiness in products. Can cause allergic reactions and aggravate acne.
Isostearyl Alcohol – Emulsifier.
Myristyl Alcohol – Very similar to Isostearyl Alcohol.
Cetrimonium Chloride
Cetyl Esters –
Helps to moisturise the hair.
BHT – Antioxidant and fragrance which is expected to be a toxic and harmful. Some suspected links with cancer (limited evidence).
Citric Acid
Potassium Sorbate
PPG-18 –
Enhance the appearance and feel on the hair. Can be an irritant.
Hexyl Cinnamal
Rice Starch


There are a number of potentially harmful products in this shampoo and conditioner combo. I noticed there are quite a few ingredients which can be an irritant. I found this strange for a product called ‘the delicate soother’. Perhaps if you often find hair products irritating you should stay away from these.
For me, I will continue to use these products as I have loved the effect they have had on my hair – however, my search for the perfect shampoo and conditioner combo will continue!

Jazmin xx

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