Here’s what you need to know.
Dry shampoo can be a great option for reviving hair after working out or if you’ve skipped a few wash days. However, you may want to check your medicine cabinets for old canisters. Aerosol dry shampoos made by a handful of popular brands before October 2021 were recently recalled due to “potentially high levels of benzene,” according to an announcement from the Unilever company shared by the Food and Drug Administration.
Affected products are from Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head) and TRESemmé. If you are concerned that you own an affected product, see the full list of recalled products in Unilever’s press release.
ICYDK, Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen that humans can inhale, absorb through the skin, or be exposed orally. It has been linked to cancer and other serious medical conditions. That said, it’s important to note that everyone is exposed to benzene in everyday life (it’s found in gas station air, vehicle exhaust, and tobacco smoke, for example).
This is not the first time a company has issued a beauty product recall due to benzene. In 2021, Procter & Gamble (P&G) recalled certain aerosol dry shampoos and dry conditioner sprays from brands such as Pantene and Herbal Essences due to benzene contamination. Around the same time, P&G also recalled certain spray antiperspirants and deodorants for the same reason. Before that, a report found benzene in 78 popular sunscreens, leading Johnson & Johnson to issue a voluntary recall of five sunscreens from Neutrogena and Aveeno. Most recently, Banana Boat recalled spray sunscreen due to benzene in August 2022.
The good news is that daily exposure to benzene in recently recalled dry shampoos is not expected to cause health concerns, according to an independent assessment, according to Unilever’s announcement. So far, Unilever has not received any adverse health event reports related to the recall. It issued the voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution,” the company said.
Additionally, an internal investigation found that the propellant in aerosol dry shampoo products was the source of the high benzene levels, and Unilever addressed the issue with its suppliers.
If you find an affected product in your home, stop using it immediately. You can also visit Unilever’s recall site for instructions on how to receive a refund.