Monday, February 28, 2011

PHYTO Phytolisse Finishing Serum: Preliminary Results

phyto usa phot


I got a small sample of this product from a salesperson somewhere and finally used it this afternoon after my shower. It felt and smelled good; I could actually see my hair relax and the scent definitively relaxed me. But I didn't even get a chance to see how well it delivered on the promise of soft, silky, flyaway- free beautiful hair. Almost immediately after finishing my toilette my nose and eyes were running and my ears and head were pounding... and that strange cloud of confusion was settling around my brain that meant I'd be good for nothing for the most of the day.

I'm NOT saying it was this product. As always those symptoms I get can have NOTHING to do with the product, maybe be the product in combination with other irritants, or who knows how many other variables are (or are not) part of the response. 


Someday I'd love to run a true scientific study. A hypothesis, a control and all. But right now I just want my hair to look good with as little time, effort and product as possible. And in that "effort" part is included not having strange reactions that make me miserable.

In researching this product I've learned that as a serum, this product is mostly silicone. And that often serums contain alcohol- a drying agent.  Serums are reported to add shine and they deliver it in part because they seal over the cuticle. Their main ingredient, silicone, can build up and give hair that "I'm wearing lots of product" look. Adding insult to injury you've got to wash your hair with a very drying and bad-for-your-curls sulfate- containing shampoo to get the silicone out...Sounds like a vicious cycle to me...

So armed with these bits and pieces of information I headed to Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website. Here it is in case you'd like to do your own research:  Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep   


There already were some PHYTO products in the database, but not Phytolisse Finishing Serum.  So I entered all the information I had on it's ingredients, directions, and uses into the database. What follows after the disclaimer is the report I got back: 


...If you don't want to read the whole report here's the spoiler... there are enough potential problems listed in the results for me to decide de-tox is indicated... I pitched it.


Okay- here's the disclaimer and the report...very interesting reading:


Phyto Phytolisse Finishing Serum      brand: PHYTO


PRELIMINARY REPORT: The information on this page was entered by a Skin Deep user and has not been verified by EWG.
Given the incomplete information made available by companies and the government, EWG provides additional information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature. The chart below indicates that research studies have found that exposure to one or more ingredients in this product -- not the product itself -- caused the indicated health effect(s) in the studies reviewed by Skin Deep researchers. Actual health risks, if any, will vary based on the level of exposure to the ingredient and individual susceptibility -- information not available in Skin Deep.

Ingredients in this product are linked to:

Developmental/reproductive toxicity


Use restrictions


Other concerns for ingredients used in this product:
Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Miscellaneous, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption, Occupational hazards 

Friday, February 25, 2011

M Moroccanoil- Original

Moroccan Oil photo
About a year ago I visited a stylist who I was told used only non toxic, "healthy" products.

After wrestling with all my frizzy salt and pepper hair for a few minutes she brought out a product in a beautiful amber colored glass bottle with a bright teal label marked, M "Moroccanoil". It smelled divine and when she worked it through my hair it tamed the wild and smoothed the frizz beautifully. A magic elixir! So naturally I bought the big bottle. Mmmmmm....good and good for me...

I've been using this product sporadically ever since. A little goes a long way- even with all my frizzy hair, so I'm still on the same bottle I bought a year ago. It still works great, but I've noticed that when I apply it I can't get it too near my scalp or my hair will lay flat against my scalp- not a good look for me.

So- the reason I'm talking about it now... I've noticed I experience allergy-like symptoms: pounding head, pressure behind my eyes and tearing up a lot. My ears feel full, and they "pop" occasionally. Then there's the sinus headache, I feel a bit woozy and have trouble concentrating. Please understand- I'm NOT saying the product is causing these symptoms- only that when I use it, I also notice these symptoms. They could have nothing to do with this product, be a combination of this product and other irritants or be none of the above...

Skin Deep photo
I went to my most favorite source: Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website: Skin Deep , but the product wasn't in their database. I checked the bottle's label for the ingredients so I could plug them into the Skin Deep database, but the only thing I could find was the "argan oil" from Morocco. The ingredients must have been on the box which I had pitched long ago.

So a few weeks ago I stumbled onto Essential Day Spa's Forums (EDS) : and found a resourceful reader had the same questions as me and had found the ingredients. You can follow the above link for yourself, or just read on.  Here's what s/he typed in as the ingredients: