Ingredient Watch List: Formaldehyde

formaldehyde in shampoo

This week, I want to use my Ingredient Watch List to increase awareness of Formaldehyde. This toxin is used in many everyday products, and puts us at a significant risk for many major health issues. These risks are certainly something we should be on the lookout for.

Formaldehyde in Hair Care

Formaldehyde is found in shampoos and conditioners- even baby shampoo. Often used in hair products in order to prevent other ingredients from creating carcinogens, formaldehyde is itself a carcinogen. It can be absorbed through the skin very easily, and puts those who use it at great risk for many severe health conditions.

Health Risks of Formaldehyde

The use of Formaldehyde puts us at risk for many health issues. Common health risks include cancers (especially those of the nose and throat) rashes and labored breathing. Exposure to Formaldehyde also puts our bodies at risk for developing heightened sensitivity to other chemicals. With increased sensitivity, we are more likely to experience illness or symptoms from those ingredients.

Types of Formaldehyde

Not every formaldehyde will be labeled as such. Often times, you'll see other names on labels, such as Diazolidinyl urea, 3-diol Imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Quaternium-15, Nitorpropane-1, Formalin, Methanal, Methyl Aldehyde, Methylene Oxide. Don't be misled- these ingredients are forms of formaldehyde and carry the same risks as commonly-labeled formaldehyde.

The best way to avoid coming in to contact with these dangerous chemicals is to carefully read the labels. Even if you buy things that are labeled “organic” you may be surprised what is still inside, as there is little to no regulation on “organic” items. My favorite rule to use when shopping is to make sure I know what every ingredient is. If I cannot pronounce an ingredient, or don't know exactly what it is, I don't buy it. With the advent of smart phones, we can easily google what something is, or we can even look it up when we get home to verify what it is.

By taking ownership of the health and beauty products that you use, you'll minimize your risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals. Here's to a happy, healthy you!

Much Love,

Annmarie Gianni

“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”

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