Chemicals to avoid - Formaldehydes
Formaldehyde releasing ingredients
Primary Function – Used as a preservative, generally in shampoos, conditioners, bubble baths and even in baby products, nail polish, hair styling productsSome chemicals are included in products to react with water and release formaldehyde. By reacting with water or moisture in the product, they will prevent the growth of bacteria or mold that might otherwise start to invade the product in the presence of moisture. While the intent is truly honourable (we don’t want moldy or bacteria infested skincare products), chemicals that release formaldehyde are a poor choice in execution. Formaldehyde is a known allergen. Even a small amount of formaldehyde can result in itchy eyes, eczema and trouble breathing. Moreover, it is known to induce DNA damage and reduce our body’s ability to repair UV related skin damage. The National Cancer Institute has classified Formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Formaldehyde has been linked to cases of leukemia. A product safety bulletin issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission explains additional impacts of exposure to formaldehyde. Exposure to formaldehyde can also cause contact dermatitis, marked by rashes on skin and itchy skin. A 2010 study claims that one in five cosmetic products contain formaldehyde donors.
As formaldehyde has such a bad reputation, it is often buried under the trade names of chemicals that are formaldehyde donors. This is a long list that includes DMDM and MDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl and Diazolidinyl urea, bronopol etc. Many examples of formaldehyde donors are listed below. Look carefully in the ingredient list to ensure that formaldehyde donors are not in your skincare or hair care product, and especially not in your baby’s products!