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Dmdm Hydantoin

What-it-does: preservative


A controversial preservative that has formaldehyde-releasing properties. It works great against bacteria and also has mild fungicide abilities. 

Cosmetic chemist, Colin wrote a great article about formaldehyde and DMDM Hydantoin.  He writes that formaldehyde is the perfect example of "the dose makes the poison" principle. It's a natural stuff that can also be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, and eating it in tiny amounts is totally ok. However, in larger amounts (according to Wikipedia 30 mL of a solution containing 37% formaldehyde) it's deadly. 

The amount of formaldehyde used in cosmetics either neat or through formaldehyde-releasing preservatives is tiny. Probably that is why the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Broad concluded both in 1988 and in 2008 that DMDM Hydantoin is "safe as used in cosmetics".

However, Colins argues that in the case of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, formaldehyde is released slowly and the skin has probably not evolved to deal with that. The lingering formaldehyde might be toxic to the Langerhans Cells that are important for the skin's defense system. Another potential issue is that formaldehyde-releasers might also release other things while reacting with amino acids in the skin that is probably the explanation why some people are not allergic to formaldehyde but are allergic to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. These are all theories, far from proven facts, but we feel that there are some justified reasons why formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and Dmdm Hydantoin count as controversial. 

All in all, it's up to you to decide if you wanna avoid this preservative group or not. If so, there are other, less risky and more skin-friendly options out there.

Show me some proof

  • Kireche, Mustapha, Elena Gimenez‐Arnau, and Jean‐Pierre Lepoittevin. "Preservatives in cosmetics: reactivity of allergenic formaldehyde‐releasers towards amino acids through breakdown products other than formaldehyde." Contact Dermatitis 63.4 (2010): 192-202.

Products with Dmdm Hydantoin

Stridex Maximum Strength Medicated Pads Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Stridex Daily Care Acne Pads With Aloe For Sensitive Skin UNT Cosmetics Aqua Nettoyant Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo Neutrogena Shampoo, Anti-Residue Formula Suave Ocean Breeze Shampoo Simple Cleansing Micellar Water James Read Gradual Tan H2O Tan Mist Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser Pond's Gel Acne Clear Anti-Acne Leave-On Expert Clearing Withthymo-T Essence Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion For Sensitive Skin Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser Pond's Nourishing Moisturizing Cream Olay Foaming Cleanser Anthony Logistics Glycolic Facial Cleanser Environ Retinol Serum 3 Dermedic Hydrain 3 Hialuro Cream Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Spf 50 Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream TRESemmé Heat Defence Styling Spray Vitacreme B12 Regenerative Cream iS Clinical Cleansing Complex Beyond Belief Skin Vitality Lift And Firm Clay Mask Gigi Solar Energy Mask Cleanser Atopiclair Non Steroidal Cream Bottega Verde Natural Lift Day Cream Eucerin Q10 Active Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream Top Care Night Time Firming Cream Core Care America Scar Zone Advanced Olay Complete Daily Defense All Day Moisturizer With Sunscreen Spf 30 For Sensitive Skin Ziaja Goat'S Milk Moisturising Day Cream Olaz Serum Total Effects Olay Anti-Wrinkle Firm & Lift 2In1 Cream + Serum Sun Bum Spf 50 Clear Zinc Oxide Ziaja Sensitive Face Cream Environ Retinol Serum 1 Palmer's Eventone Dark Spot Corrector Polynia Pomelo Deep Moisturizing Lotion Wish Formula C200 Bubble Peeling Pad C.O. Bigelow Oily Skin Foaming Facial Wash Olay Regenerist 3-Point Super Serum Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner (Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex Version) Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Defining Shampoo Ziaja Manuka Tree Day Cream Mary Kay Timewise Night Solution Olay Olay Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment