Have you heard of DMDM Hydantoin? If you search its wildly popular hashtag on TikTok, you may find some scary information. But is it actually harmful? And what does it do exactly? Here’s everything you need to know about DMDM Hydantoin.
What is DMDM?
DMDM hydantoin is a preservative found in a wide range of cosmetics, skincare, and hair care products. Some examples include makeup, shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, exfoliants, and more.
This chemical is considered a “formaldehyde donor.” It releases a small amount of formaldehyde over time to prevent the growth of things like yeast, fungi, and bacteria in your products. Now, we know what you’re thinking…”Formaldehyde? Like the stuff you use to embalm people? And a known carcinogen?!” But it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical that can be found in food and even our own bodies. While exposure to high amounts of formaldehyde can lead to serious health issues, it is normal to encounter small amounts of formaldehyde throughout your life.
Consumer products that contain DMDM hydantoin contain amounts far below what would be considered dangerous. For example, when you shampoo your hair, the level of formaldehyde that’s released is around the same amount found in a medium-sized pear or apple.
Should You Avoid It?
In the U.S., around 20% of cosmetics and personal care products contain a formaldehyde-releaser like DMDM hydantoin. So you’ve likely encountered it before. Some people have reported hair loss as a result, but there are no studies that link DMDM hydantoin exposure to hair loss.
Some studies have found that formaldehyde-releasing ingredients could cause allergic dermatitis or eczema in people who are allergic to formaldehyde. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer watchdog group, states that DMDM is a known and common allergen in personal care products. So if you know you’re allergic to formaldehyde or have sensitive skin, we’d recommend avoiding DMDM hydantoin if you can.
While there’s not yet enough scientific evidence to prove that this preservative is harmful, we’re all for limiting exposure to chemicals! Here at Plaine Products, we believe in creating vegan, cruelty-free, and chemical-free products. You won’t find DMDM hydantoin in any of our products. So you can shower peacefully knowing your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and more are safe for you and your family!