Beware Nasty Skin Irritating Chemicals In Popular Horse Shampoos

When it comes to caring for your horse, grooming is an essential part of maintaining their health and appearance. However, not all popular horse shampoos are created equal, and some common ingredients found in many horse shampoos can be downright nasty.

Below is a list of  the commonly found ingredients and why you should steer clear of them.


1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):

These foaming agents are often added to shampoos to create that satisfying lather. However, they can be harsh on your horse’s skin and coat.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) strips the skin of its natural oils that keep the coat healthy and glossy leading to dry skin, irritation and allergic skin reactions including itchy skin, eczema and dermatitis. Warm water makes the irritation worse.


2. Parabens:

Parabens are preservatives commonly used in cosmetics and grooming products. They can disrupt the endocrine system and have been associated with hormone imbalances. When you’re choosing a horse shampoo, look for “paraben-free” options to protect your  horse’s health.


3. Artificial Fragrances and Dyes:

Many horse shampoos contain artificial fragrances and dyes to make them more appealing to humans. However, these additives can cause skin sensitivities and allergic reactions in horses. A better choice is to look for unscented or naturally scented shampoos to avoid potential irritations.

Benzyl Benzoate is a volatile fragrance ingredient and solvent with documented skin irritancy.

Hexyl Cinnamal is a common fragrance ingredient and is naturally occurring and synthetic. It is associated with allergic reactions.

Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone is a synthetic fragrance compound and a type of ionone, which are compounds also found in essential oils such as rose oil. It has a floral-woody scent and is used in many perfumes and personal care products for its aromatic similarity to violet. It has the potential to cause skin irritations or itchy skin.


4. Phthalates:

Phthalates (dimethylphthalate (DMP) is a common one) are plasticizers and gelling agents used in some shampoos to increase flexibility and longevity and provide fragrance. They have been linked to various health issues, including hormonal disruptions. It’s wise to avoid shampoos that list phthalates in their ingredients.


5. Cocamide DEA and MEA:

These ingredients are used to thicken and stabilize shampoos. However, they may contain harmful impurities like nitrosamines, which are potential carcinogens. Always check the label for these components and choose products that don’t contain them.

Cocamide MEA can contain certain traces of cocamide DEA, which can be carcinogenic in high doses, and there are concerns to its ability to cause irritation. The state of California has listed Cocamide DEA as a carcinogen


6. Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Agents:

Some shampoos contain these chemicals as preservatives. They can be irritating to the skin and respiratory system. Look for shampoos that are free from formaldehyde and its derivatives.


7. Silicone-Based Ingredients:

While not necessarily harmful, silicone-based ingredients can create a false shine on your horse’s coat. Over time, they may build up, making the coat look dull and attracting dirt. Natural alternatives are a better choice for long-term coat health.


In conclusion, when shopping for horse shampoos, it’s crucial to read the labels! Avoiding shampoos with horrible ingredients like SLS, parabens, artificial fragrances, and more can help keep your horse’s skin and coat in tip top condition. Opt for products with natural, gentle, and horse-friendly ingredients to ensure your precious horse gets the care they deserve. Your horse’s well-being and radiance will be worth the extra effort in choosing the right shampoo.