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The Big No-Nos in our Cosmetics – Part 2

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Thank you for joining us for Part 2 of the harmful ingredients found in our cosmetics. Another one of the big no-nos in our cosmetic is Formaldehyde


Formaldehyde is a colourless, strong-smelling gas used in a wide range of industries and products including building materials, walls, cabinets furniture and personal care products. Formaldehyde or Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are chemicals used In personal care products to prevent microbes from growing in water-based products by decomposing slowly over time to form molecules of formaldehyde which maintains a constant level of preservatives making this a popular preservative choice. According to the FDA, nearly 1 in 5 cosmetic products contain a substance that generates formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen. While exposure to low levels of formaldehyde is not considered dangerous, high exposure to the chemical is a safety concern.

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High levels of exposure to formaldehyde, particularly in cosmetic products, can cause:

  • sensory irritation
  • skin sensitisation
  • breathing difficulties
  • asthma
  • cancer, in circumstances where there is chronic high exposure. The National Toxicology Program’s June report classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen under conditions with high or prolonged exposure

Products that contain low levels of formaldehyde include:

  • cosmetics
  • shampoos and conditioners
  • shower gels
  • liquid hand soap
  • cream cleansers
  • skin moisturisers
  • toothpaste
  • nail hardeners
  • eyelash glue
  • hair straightening solutions.

Identifying on the label is difficult but can include the following:  Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.

Always choose products with fewer ingredients when possible or choose natural products. That way you can make sure that you’re being exposed to fewer chemicals overall. Protect yourself and your family from all the harmful chemicals in our everyday products. Until next time

2 thoughts on “The Big No-Nos in our Cosmetics – Part 2

  1. Scary!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. It certainly is. Thank you for joining us

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