Leave it to the professionals! … Statement on FDA Investigation of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners

The FDA is investigating reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash reported to be associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products. While the FDA continues its investigation, consumers should be aware of reactions reported in association with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products. Consumers who experience a reaction after using WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products should stop using the product and consult with their dermatologist or other health care provider. The agency also urges consumers to report to FDA any reactions they may have experienced when using these products.

FDA previously announced that it is conducting an investigation of adverse event reports for WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products, including reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching and rash. FDA has received and continues to receive reports of adverse events, as the investigation is still ongoing. In the course of its investigations, the FDA is looking at all sources of information, in order to better understand the consumer reports of adverse events. There are many potential causes of hair loss, including, for example, certain illnesses, medications, hormonal changes, rapid weight loss or gain, anemia, and high-stress life events, and these factors are being taken into account as the FDA continues to investigate these reports. If you experience hair loss, you should contact your healthcare provider. As with any cosmetic product, if you experience an adverse event that you think may be related to use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner, you should also cease using the product and report the event to the FDA.

The FDA has not yet determined a possible cause for the adverse events that have been reported, and today has called on the company to “provide any data that might help us to better understand the reports of hair loss associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products.” The FDA also has reached out to physicians and other health care providers asking them to notify their patients of hair loss and other complaints associated with the use of these products and to report adverse events to the agency.

Terms You Should Know In The Beauty Industry.

 

  • Free From~ This statement has become the mantra for large commercial brands, with the smaller brands following suit as a way to convey that their product is somehow safer than their competitors.
    • Danger of Claim: It can reinforce the idea that if something is “free from” a certain ingredient, that the missing ingredient is somehow “dangerous.”  And what was once part of the formula has since been removed, when it may have never been in the product in the first place.  This is marketing to the consumer that has been led to believe natural is better and everything else will kill them. Example: Parabens, sulfates, etc. get a bad rap, when there is actually scientific data that shows these are perfectly safe for personal care use in the recommended dosages within the cosmetic formula.  Or if it is a leave on or rinse off product will also determine ratios.  Any chemical in its full strength has the potential for causing harm, yet these are not offered to the end user, ever.
  • Chemical Free~ Another claim that bears no reality in truth or common sense.  Nothing formulated can be without chemicals as all things are chemical…natural or synthetic, makes no difference, it is just the manner in which they are derived or created.  Again, shamelessly used for SCARE tactic marketing.
    • Danger of Claim: This connotes the idea, all things chemical are hazardous to our health…..think of water, essential oils, olive oil, etc…..these appear to be benign now don’t they? However, from the point of view of the overstated 60% absorption claim, these are all potential penetration enhancers.  This claim also overlooks the fact of what the product is packaged in.  There is no getting around the chemical processes that goes into creating the packaging, such as a jar or tube, technically.
  • Hypoallergenic or Noncomedogenic~ These terms are not even recognized by the FDA and there actually isn’t any proven data in clinical trials, and has yet to be tested by the US Food and Drug Administration as to the validity of such terms.
    • Danger of Claim: Any ingredient could cause a problem for any individual and this connotes that it won’t cause a problem….sorry, but trial and error only, unfortunately.  Up to 10% of the population can and will have a reaction to something the majority of the population won’t have.  This includes a developed allergy after using an ingredient for years.  Our bodies are ever changing.  Those with acne may have a similar reaction. What won’t cause acne on one individual may be horribly occlusive to another.
  • Dermatologist / Clinically Tested~ This is a claim that can be made based on a single doctor trying it out on themselves or a patient.  Based on this perception it is theorized by the end user, it must be a proven product. A clinical study performed by the manufacturer on a small number of people will not constitute nationally, what can occur if millions use the product.
    • Danger of Claim: Gives the perception that it must be safe and work because a doctor or a clinical study said so, but is not necessarily the reality. Safety and efficacy data will change as high volume of users join the pool, and this is PURE marketing! 
  • Anti-aging Formula~ This ties into penetration enhancers being utilized within a skin cream and are designed to assist beneficial ingredients in penetrating into the otherwise impermeable surface layers of the skin to restore soft, supple skin with more elasticity.
    • Danger of Claim: EWG and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics have underscored this message as a penetration enhancer being the carrier of chemicals to the blood stream.  When in reality, penetration enhancers for the purpose of cosmetics are only skin deep and are not geared toward penetration through the dermis layer into the blood brain barrier as would be the desired effect with a topical drug.  Permanent change does not occur with any cosmetic, and only maintains the skin as long as the product is being used.
  • Non Toxic / Harmful Chemicals~ What does this even mean?  Who and what entity is deciding what is toxic or not?  This is yet to be determined and will continue to be debatable since EWG and CFSC think anything, other than naturally derived, is toxic to our bodies.  The majority of scientific research does not support the validity of this marketing claim.  Plus, too much of anything natural or synthetic can cause issues for some.
    • Danger of Claim: This statement plays into the fears of the consumer and reinforces the CFSC’s campaign rhetoric against beauty industry leaders and their products.  Such as lead being added to lipstick which is categorically FALSE and is considered a contaminant, which is found also in drinking water and the foods we eat that are grown in the ground.
  • 100% Pure / Natural / Organic~ This connotes that only natural chemicals are safe for the body and that synthetic chemicals are the bane of our existence and will give us cancer or worse. There is no human scientific data to support this claim.  And animal studies do not extrapolate to humans despite how hard watchdog groups try to convince us.
    • Danger of Claim: Beauty products labeled as natural are less tested and scrutinized than are synthetic products and pharmaceuticals. In fact, most compounds as they exist in their natural state cannot be formulated into skin care products. They first must be chemically altered before they can be incorporated into cosmetics, thereby negating the claim of being pure and natural.
  • FDA Approved ~ This marketing claim gives the unwitting consumer the idea the product is endorsed by the FDA, and the product must have been tested by the FDA to show proof of the companies claim of safety and / or efficacy.
    • Danger of Claim: This is outright FALSE and is actually in violation of FDA regulation.  FDA does not approve any finished product for the end user in the cosmetic and beauty industry.  Only prescription and OTC drugs and medical devices are FDA approved for their intended purpose.
  • Does Not Contain Fillers~ This marketing claim is designed to intimate that their product is formulated with nothing but pure and essential ingredients only, and that no fillers are used to create a less than desirable product, supposedly.
    • Danger of Claim: This insinuates that somehow a filler ingredient is cheap and makes another product substandard.  Unfortunately, this bears no weight in actual truth.  Those that claim their ingredients are the ultimate and then claim fillers as bad, are also ingredients that are used as filler.  Mica for instance is not only an essential ingredient to the formulation of the majority of mineral makeup, but it is also a FILLER ingredient.  By definition a filler ingredient is used for finish of product, bulking agent, or any ingredient utilized for the desired effect for smooth application.  There is no actual separation of the two.  Water can be considered a filler ingredient, since it is not typically essential but makes up the bulk of many skin care products.
  • Non Irritating~ This gives the end user of a product the assurance that their otherwise sensitive skin, will not have any problem with the product.  This expands on item 3.
    • Danger of Claim: The problem with this claim is everyone’s skin is different.  There are ingredients that have a long standing history of safety and efficacy, yet there will be the small percentile that will have irritation when using it.  Mineral makeup for instance works well for the majority of women, Bismuth Oxychloride excluded, but for a small number, no matter how much they hope, they will always have an irritant reaction and can never wear minerals, no matter its’ popularity.  We disclose this fact, by using only ingredients with known lower irritant risk factors, but still, only the end user will determine what is right for their skin or how they’ll react through testing it on themselves. It may not be a single ingredient, but when used in combination with another or its presumed ratio, is where the problem lies.  So by not purchasing something because one may see a certain ingredient of concern, they may be missing out on what otherwise could be fantastic for their skin.   Always TEST…TEST…TEST the product for absolute certainty.