This Surprising Toxic Chemical is in Your Shampoo and Body Wash

Not to be a complete downer, but I think you should know… There is a surprising toxic chemical lurking in many shampoos and body washes available on the market today.


Many consumers assume that just because a product is on the shelves that it’s safe. Why would the federal government allow dangerous toxins to be disguised and purchased without warning?


Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening. (More info on that here.)


As we’re entering a New Year, I think it’s important to let people know valuable information that impacts their health. Make it your New Year’s Resolution to make smarter choices with your personal care products.


And here’s a good place to start.


What is the surprising chemical lurking in your shampoos, body washes, nail polish, hair products, and eyelash glue?




Yep. You heard that right. Formaldehyde. Ya know….the stuff they use to ELBALM DEAD PEOPLE. No biggie or anything.


And here’s the kicker — you won’t actually see the word “formaldehyde” listed in a list of product ingredients…except perhaps in a few remaining brands of nail polish. The cosmetics and personal care industry is tricky. They disguise that word in the list of ingredients because they know you probably won’t buy something if you know what’s really in it.


[ctt template=”3″ link=”lAV3h” via=”no” ]Formaldehyde is lurking in many of our personal-care products. via @heymollyb[/ctt]


So let me de-mystify this for you.


Formaldehyde hides behind the following ingredient names. If you see these on any labels, put the product down.
  • quaternium-15
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • imidazolidinyl urea
  • diazolidinyl urea
  • sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
  • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol)
  • glyoxal
  • oxaldehyde


These ingredients are commonly found in shampoos, body washes, hair styling products, nail polishes, and Brazilian Blowout treatments.


Why is it such a big deal?


Formaldehyde is recognized by the EPA as a carcinogen.


It’s linked to lung cancers, Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia, and myeloid leukemia.


It permeates through inhalation and can also cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; reproductive and developmental toxicity; asthma; neurologic and behavioral toxicity; and immunological toxicity.


And get this. It’s banned for use in cosmetics in Sweden and Japan.


So the key takeaway is to read product labels.


Here is a resource that you can print out and put in your wallet for easy reference when you’re shopping for personal care products. It lists  the top ingredients to stay away from, and what they’re commonly found in. Print off this PDF document, put it in your wallet and take it with you when you go shopping. 


toxin free cosmetic guide

love, molly

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