The fact that there might be some harmful ingredients in your beauty products is nothing new. But what about formaldehyde?
We are now more conscious of what we choose to apply to our skin, we check on the ingredients, go for cruelty-free, sustainable brands and stay away from dangerous ingredients. There has been some controversy over formaldehyde, and, frankly, no wonder why.
What is formaldehyde
You might not know that formaldehyde isn’t really a chemical, it is in fact, an organic material produced by living organisms, including humans, it is just part of the cells process. It is a gas that is not accumulated in the body, it is ultimately converted to carbon dioxide and exhaled. Surprisingly, it is actually present in fruits and vegetables.
It has been classified as a carcinogen –but mind you, it’s only when its fumes are inhaled.
Beauty products containing formaldehyde
In the beauty, industry formaldehyde is used as a preservative to make products last more and prevent bacteria. As it is gas, cosmetic companies use formaldehyde releasers and they are listed as DMDM hydantoin, methylene glycol, quaternium 15, and 3 dioxane, among others. These are not usually risky unless you are allergic to them, if you notice anything strange test the product on a patch of skin first.
As they are included as releasers, the risk of being harmed by formaldehyde present in beauty products is fairly low. That being said, you have to stay away from hair straightening formulas containing formaldehyde, when the solution is heated the formaldehyde is released as a gas and inhaled by professionals and clients alike.
The most notable side effect of formaldehyde fumes is redness, itching, swelling, inflammation, and blisters.
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