Your Dry Shampoo May Have a Carcinogen in It

Proctor and Gamble has recalled 32 dry shampoo and conditioner products due to the presence of benzene — here's what you need to know, including safer formulas to buy instead.

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32 Procter & Gamble Dry Shampoos and Conditioners Have Been Recalled
Photo: Amazon/InStyle

While dry shampoo has saved us from many bad hair days, it may be time to say goodbye to your go-to pick. On Friday, Procter & Gamble issued a voluntary recall of 32 aerosol products from Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences, and Waterl

Benzene is a known human carcinogen and was the focus of a widespread sunscreen recall over the summer. As a reminder, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) define benzene as a carcinogen via inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, and skin and/or eye contact.

In a press release on P&G's website, the company says that people around the world have daily exposures to benzene indoors and outdoors from multiple sources, and that this voluntary product recall was issued out of an abundance of caution. "To date, The Procter & Gamble Company has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall," it continues.

"Based on exposure modeling and the cancer risk assessments published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IRIS database), daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences," it continues. "Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment."

As board-certified dermatologist Heather Rogers told InStyle.com in the summer, benzene exposure can have a cumulative effect, so minimizing exposure to it, and any cancer-causing ingredients, is a good idea. Since dry shampoos and conditioners come in direct contact with the scalp, and they can be inhaled in small amounts during normal styling use, it'd be best to opt for ones that are benzene-free.

If you own one of the products on the recall list, P&G will offer you a full refund. Those affected can fill out an online form or call the Consumer Care team at 1-888-674-36319 Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm ET.

Navigating the beauty aisles can be scary— but it doesn't have to be. Here, find an updated list of our favorite picks for safer dry shampoos.

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