By Olivia M. Davis, Associated Press A new study finds that the more time you spend in your kitchen, the more you use up natural hair products that would otherwise be washed away.
The results are published in the journal Science.
Researchers at the University of Texas, San Antonio and the University at Buffalo in New York analyzed the makeup of more than 3,000 shampoo and conditioner bottles, shampoo and scalp cleansers and facial care products sold at Wal-Mart and other retailers.
The study focused on the most popular natural hair-care products in the U.S. The researchers collected the ingredients in each product and then tested it on people to determine how much natural ingredients were present.
Their analysis found that shampoo and body lotion and conditioners contain less than one percent of the amount of synthetic chemicals found in products made with animal ingredients, such as horse tranquilizers.
The amount of ingredients in shampoo and other conditioners is about 2 percent of what is found in horse tranquilizer.
The findings contradict a common belief that synthetic ingredients are harmful to the environment.
“The amount of natural ingredients in these products, especially in the shampoo and conditioning products, is so small that it would not be possible to test whether they were safe or not,” said Dr. Anastasia Yannuzzi, a dermatologist at the university who was not involved in the study.
“So we have to look at how the ingredients are used.”
The findings may help deter people who buy natural hair care products.
A 2010 study by the American Academy of Dermatology found that using a shampoo containing synthetic chemicals reduced skin sensitivity, and that using shampoo containing natural ingredients reduced inflammation.
In addition, the study showed that the use of a shampoo that was made with a synthetic ingredient reduced the amount and type of skin damage.
A 2013 study by scientists at New York University found that the amount natural ingredients are found in shampoo increased over time, from about 3.5 percent in the 1990s to about 5 percent in 2015.
The new study looked at the amount found in about half of the shampoo products tested.
“We are just finding more and more studies that show these are the ingredients that are the most effective for the people who use these products,” said Yannazzi.
“But it’s also showing that people who do not use these kinds of products are using more chemicals.”
The results of the study were based on products tested at Walgreens, Rite Aid, Wal-Marts and other major chains.
The average ingredient in shampoo was about 1.3 percent.
The ingredients in conditioners and shampoo were about 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
The products were also tested on volunteers.
Yannazizi said it was unclear how much of a difference the amount in ingredients had on the people.
The people who used the products were older and had lower incomes, she said.
She said that people might be better able to understand why natural ingredients may be better for them.
“You’re not going to be able to tell people what it’s made from, but if you have a few ingredients that come from a certain kind of animal, like a horse, they might know what it is, and you might be able tell them that, but it’s not going the other way around,” she said, adding that the results might also be different for people who were not pregnant or lactating at the time of testing.
Yellows, oranges, peaches and apples were among the ingredients tested, along with rosehips, lemon, orange juice, grapes, apples and even strawberries.
“There’s a lot of variability in the ingredients we’re seeing,” said Zainab Rahman, an associate professor at the School of Pharmacy at the New York Medical College and the lead author of the new study.
The chemicals were not added by Wal-mart or other chains.
She did not know if other stores had similar results.
She also said that she and other scientists have seen similar results in studies in the past.
But she said that Walgows and other chains were not included because it’s hard to compare ingredients, particularly if you don’t have access to the samples.
“I think it’s really important to keep in mind that the people we’re looking at in these studies were not using these products in their homes.
They were using them for cosmetic purposes, as an anti-aging product, to protect their skin,” Rahman said.