Formaldehyde donors

We use preservatives to keep home and personal care products in good condition: without them, they could be spoiled by bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We choose our preservative ingredients carefully, making sure they are safe and effective for people who use our products.

Your questions answered

What is a formaldehyde donor?

Lady washing hair in shower

Formaldehyde donors are widely used in personal care products as safe and efficient preservatives. They deliver a small amount of formaldehyde throughout a product’s shelf-life. This slow and limited release keeps products fresh while ensuring that levels of formaldehyde remain very low. Typical formaldehyde donors used in our products are DMDM hydantoin (DMDMH), imadazolidinyl urea, diazlidinyl urea, sodium hydroxyl and methyl glycinate. All healthy human, animal and plant cells produce and use formaldehyde.

Are formaldehyde donors safe?

Regulators and scientists around the world agree that formaldehyde donors are safe at the levels used in home and personal care products. The independent US Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel and Europe’s Scientific Community on Consumer Safety have both confirmed that formaldehyde donors are safe as used in cosmetic products. As with all the ingredients we use in home and personal care products, we always monitor emerging scientific research and regulatory developments. If any new information becomes available we assess it. If this information changes our previous risk assessment, we always take action.

Some consumers may be allergic to DMDMH, and thus we ensure we use only minimal levels, and when we do, we inform consumers through the ingredient list on pack and on our website, as well as on SmartLabel.

Are formaldehyde donors safe for children?

As with adults, international regulators and leading scientists agree that formaldehyde donors are safe for children at the levels used in home and personal care products. We continually monitor new scientific research and regulatory developments, to ensure that we remain abreast of the latest thinking and knowledge. Although they would be safe to use we do not use formaldehyde donors in our baby care.

“Formaldehyde releasers may continue to be safely used in cosmetics at the levels established in their individual Cosmetic Ingredient Review safety assessments.”

International Journal of Toxicology

Did you know?

All healthy human, animal and plant cells produce and use formaldehyde at levels similar to those released by preservatives.

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