What is DMDM?
DMDM hydantoin is a substance that works as an antimicrobial agent and preservative in personal care products.
Why is DMDM hydantoin in personal care products?
DMDM hydantoin is effective in preventing the growth of bacteria and mold in personal care products, such as shampoos. DMDM hydantoin can help prevent you from getting sick because of microbes that are living in your products.
How do I know if my product contains DMDM hydantoin?
It will be listed as an ingredient in the ingredients section of your product.
Is DMDM hydantoin safe?
DMDM hydantoin has been evaluated by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. After analyzing scientific data, it was concluded that the chemical was safe to be used in cosmetics at present practices. However, it was noted that DMDM hydantoin is a "formaldehyde donor." This means that a product containing DMDM hydantoin releases small amounts of formaldehyde throughout its shelf life. Although formaldehyde is a carcinogen, the greatest side effect of using products with DMDM hydantoin is skin irritation.
According to cosmeticsinfo.org, "The CIR Expert Panel has reviewed the safety of formaldehyde in cosmetics and personal care products and concluded that it was safe to a great majority of consumers but has limited the concentration to 0.2% free formaldehyde due to the skin sensitivity of some individuals to this agent. The amount of DMDM Hydantoin required to preserve a product (less than 1%) does not expose the consumer to concentrations of formaldehyde above the 0.2% limit for formaldehyde recommended by the CIR Expert Panel."
Why is everyone talking about DMDM hydantoin right now?
There is currently a class-action lawsuit against TRESemmé as two women are claiming that the company failed to warn them about "what they say is a dangerous chemical." The women claim the shampoo has resulted in hair loss and scalp burns.
Should I be worried about DMDM hydantoin?
Your greatest concern at this time is skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin or you are using a product that contains DMDM hydantoin and have noticed irritation, it will be best to use a product without the chemical. Luckily, there are many product options that don't contain DMDM hydantoin, such as Beauty Counter, Acure, Derma E, Herbal Essences Bio, Garnier Fructis Pure Clean, Avalon Organics and more.