Eco Styling Gel Rumor, FACT or FICTION

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Does Eco Styling Gel cause cancer?

Today, I received a number of inquiries about the rumor regarding Eco Styling Gel. 

“Hey Charlie Renee, Can you provide any information about the ingredient in Eco Gel?  I am concerned because I use it daily on my hair and my daughter’s hair.  Please offer some clarity”

Let's get in to it…..

Disclaimer:  Please read this article responsibly.  I am not a doctor or a scientist.  I am information enthusiasts sharing information I discover along the way.  The content listed below was obtained via published internet and paper article.


Eco Styling Gel contains ingredients that could cause cancer. ALLEDGLY

A popular radio station recently reported on this information and cited a YouTube video as their source.  The YouTuber was speaking on possible carcinogens present in E-co Styling Gel.   The YouTuber mentions Tetrasodium EDTA as the carcinogenic culprit.

What do I know?

This information has been floating around the Natural world for some time now. I believe I heard of this in 2016.

Let's first address what are carcinogens. Carcinogens are substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue.  Researchers have identified carcinogens in our commercial hair products, moisturizers and foods that could be linked to cancerous and benign tumors. 

Hazard Level:                                  Low to Moderate

Cancer Level:                                  None

Allergies & Immunotoxicity:           None (EWG, n.d.)

What is Tetrasodium EDTA?

Tetrasodium EDTA is a chelating agent, used to sequester and decrease the reactivity of metal ions that may be present in a product. Tetrasodium ETDA is made from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde—a known carcinogen according to the National Cancer Institute—and sodium cyanide (which is made from the toxic gas hydrogen cyanide).

Tetrasodium EDTA is not only found in Eco Styling Gel but its listed in a majority of your shampoos, conditioners, styles and even food. 

To see a list of items and their exposure click the link Product List

According to EWG, (TetraSodium EDTA, n.d.)There is no direct link to cancer nor does it present as a carcinogen.  However, Tetrasodium EDTA is also known to be a penetration enhancer.   What does that mean?  A penetration enhancer increases an elements ability to absorb into the skin, thus increasing its absorption rate. An absorption rate indicates the degree in which your skin grabs an element pulling it into your system.  Though the toxicity level of Tetrasodium EDTA is low to moderate, the elevated absorption rates increases the exposure and danger to your internal organs. (EWG, n.d.)

Considering the frequency of use, method of application (fingers) and the area in the styling gel is applied – the product increases your exposure to the harmful chemicals.

What are the other ingredients of Eco Styling Gel?

Water (Aqua), Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Glycerin, Amino-2-Methyl-1-Propanol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Olive Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), CI 19140 Yellow 5 - Love and Pride


Aminoethyl Propanol is pH adjuster with a low to moderate toxicity level.  Its presents as an irritant to the skin.   If used at a use of less that 2%, the Cosmetic Ingredients Review Expert Panel concludes safe to use in cosmetics. (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, n.d.)

Aminoethyl Propanol

Aminoethyl Propanol

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

Aminoethyl Propanol is pH adjuster with a low to moderate toxicity level.  Its presents as an irritant to the skin.   If used at a use of less that 2%, the Cosmetic Ingredients Review Expert Panel concludes safe to use in cosmetics. (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, n.d.)




Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER) is an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. 

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Let's Dig Deeper

In my efforts to be thorough, I went to the ECO website.  I discovered a different listing of ingredients from the stocked product in stores.

Standard Water, Carbopol 940, Glycerin 99%, Dissolvine Na-X, Glycosperse L-20, Fragrance (Parfum), Suttocide A, TEA 99%, PVP K-90 20%, Aquapro II WP, Olive Oil, FD&C Yellow #5

I researched all the ingredients above.  A few of the ingredients, Dissolvine Na-X, Glycosperse L-20, and Aquapro II WP were not listed under the known cosmetic ingredient review sites.  I couldn not locate sufficient information regarding toxicity or carcinogen levels. 

But I did see a familiar ingredient.  TEA 99% which is Triethanolamine.



Triethanolamine is a strongly alkaline substance used as surfactant and pH adjusting chemical.  It’s a combination of chemicals that can cause skin, scalp and eye inflammation.  The CIR recommends that is product is intended for “discontinued use” meaning the item should be washed off shortly after application. However, small dosages, used over short and long term, of a toxic product could present significant health issues.

Triethanolamine can be carcinogenic when combined with nitro sating agents. (CIR, n.d.)

Triethanolamine and Tetrasodium can be found in an alarming number of beauty items currently on the market. These include perfumes and other fragrances, hair products, hair dyes, shower gel, shaving creams and gels, skin creams and lotions, eye serums, skin cleansers and makeup such as foundations, blushes, mascara, eye shadows and eye liners.

Final Word

Items that are absorbed by the skin should always be used with caution.  It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid, enhancing product, that require minimal usages for safety reasons. 


Now the decision is up to you.  Be Well