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California Bans 24 Beauty Ingredients–Here’s What This Means for Your Hair Products

On September 30, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 2762, otherwise known as the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. Effectively, this means California bans toxic beauty ingredients.

Europe has previously banned a number of harmful ingredients in personal care items, though the states did not. Now, California becomes the first state to follow in the footsteps of the EU and set in place such a ban.

Wondering what this means for your favorite haircare products? We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about AB 2762 and more. Scroll below for all the info on this act!

What is the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act?

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act would effectively ban 24 harmful beauty ingredients. Though the bill was passed in September of this year, it wouldn’t take effect until January 2025.

The bill’s overall goal is to protect public health by placing stricter regulations on the manufacturing of beauty products. Text from the bill states:

“This bill would, commencing January 1, 2025, prohibit a person or entity from manufacturing, selling, delivering, holding, or offering for sale, in commerce any cosmetic product that contains any of several specified intentionally added ingredients, except under specified circumstances.”

AB 2762

Many of the ingredients banned by the bill have long been debated about how harmful they really are. Now, stricter measures are in place to ensure these ingredients are kept out of beauty, skincare, and haircare products.

Even though this bill will ensure toxic chemicals are no longer used in personal care products, companies have been self-regulating for some time. When a brand knows people won’t buy something with a particular ingredient, they won’t manufacture or sell it.

What ingredients are banned?

Again, this bill will ban 24 various ingredients. Previously, it was meant to ban 12 ingredients. Now, it bans even more highly toxic ingredients from being used in personal care products.

Those ingredients include dibutyl phthalate, diethylhexyl phthalate, formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, methylene glycol, quaternium-15, mercury, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, m-phenylenediamine and its salts, o-phenylenediamine and its salts, and a slew of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their salts.

As we noted, a lot of these ingredients aren’t used in the manufacturing of various beauty products. A few are used in other products, though not in any personal care items.

“Dibutyl phthalate, for example, is used to make plastics soft and flexible, such as shower curtains, raincoats, food wraps, bowls, and many other consumer products,” Perfect Image Skincare founder David Petrillo told Allure. “They historically were used in nail polishes as a plasticizer to reduce cracking and make them less brittle, but most cosmetics and personal care manufacturers have already discontinued using them in manufacturing.”

That being said, many ingredients are rather harmful. There are a handful that have been linked to dermatitis, hormonal disruption, and even cancer.

What does this mean for haircare products?

Things won’t drastically change when it comes to haircare products. In fact, you may not even notice much of a shift. This will be especially true to those of you who are already using clean beauty products.

One haircare ingredient does stick out, however. Formaldehyde, used in hair-smoothing and hair-straightening products, has been known to cause breast cancer. Brazilian blowouts and keratin treatments tend to release formaldehyde during the process.

Of the products that do contain formaldehyde, they’re most often used by women of color. It will be interesting to see what products replace those containing the ingredient in the years to come.

If you’re looking to add more toxic-free products into your life, check out THESE 10 indie clean beauty brands!

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