Do you know what type of ingredients are in your cosmetics? Pick up your cup and get cozy because it’s tea time!
DMDM Hydantoin is a preservative that was and still is in many cosmetic products, specifically hair care products. It is used to keep these products from spoiling. DMDM is also an antimicrobial (formaldehyde donor) aka it helps prevent fungi, harmful bacteria and yeast from growing in the product that can cause rashes or sickness (WebMD, 2021).
You might be wondering, “If it prevents harmful bacteria that can make me sick, don’t I want it in my cosmetic brands?” Let’s dive into it!
DMDM Hydantoin allegedly causes hair loss. Although there are studies that suggest that the small amount of formaldehyde in these products are not harmful, other studies suggest something a little bit different. There is no way to know which individual will have a reaction to these formaldehyde- releasers. Some can be more sensitive than others. When it is said to “cause hair loss,” this is referring to allergic contact dermatitis. Said to be rare, dermatitis looks like red, itchy, flaky skin, and can lead to interrupting healthy and functioning hair follicles and shedding. According to an article in Healthline, Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, says that long-term damage is unlikely. However not all doctors agree. Dr. Sharima Rasanayagam, Science Director of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, states that “when it comes to a known carcinogen, irritant, and allergen like formaldehyde, any exposure is worse than none” (Healthline, 2021).
There are products on the market that avoid this preservative altogether. With a quick Google search and a little bit of research, you are able to evaluate which brands and products are appropriate.
A great app on the App Store for years has been “Think Dirty.” With a quick scan of the barcode, you will be able to read the breakdown of what is in your product. The app scores it from 1-10 of how clean it is. The descriptions will explain ingredients and how many there are. The app also color codes each category of chemicals and ingredients from green, yellow, and red. Green being clean and red being dirty. If you are someone who is ingredient conscious, then this app could be for you!