Most shampoos and conditioners are dyed with a synthetic color to make them look nice. These colors come from petroleum or coal-tar sources and some can contain heavy metal salts including lead, all of which come with harmful health effects. Many have links to various diseases – even cancer, and are already illegal abroad. Synthetic colors will normally go by FD&C or D&C combined with a number.

The toxins that artificial colors leave on your skin greatly increase your risk of sensitivity and irritation. They can also block your pores, which leads to a greater risk of acne. Using these products on your skin allows the chemicals to be absorbed into your body, where they can cause even greater damage.

Stay far, far away from artificial colors by paying close attention to labels. Manufacturers are required to list the dyes they use on their product packaging. While they won’t list out the individual chemicals they used to create the dye, they will list the dye as a whole. In most cases, the dye will be labeled with the letters FD&C or D&C. For example, you might see “FD&C Blue No.1” or “D&C Green 3.” You may also see just the color and number, such as “Yellow 6.”

Synthetic colorants may make a product look better, but they definitely don’t make them better for you. I never use them in my products, and I encourage you to choose alternatives that are far better for you and your family’s health.