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DMDM Hydantoin

Today's Chemical:

DMDM Hydantoin

EWG Risk Score:


Why it's a risk:

The biggest concern that DMDM Hydantoin carries is that it can release or be contaminated with the carcinogen formaldehyde. It actually works as a preservative by releasing formaldehyde. It is also a strong skin, eye, and lung irritant. It has also been known to trigger an immune response that can include burning, itching, blistering, or scaling of skin.

Types of products it's in:

Shampoo, bodywash, sunscreen, hand lotion, facial moisturizers, baby wipes

Brands that use this chemical:

These are the brands we are currently aware of as of the date of this post. If you see a correction is needed or if you have other companies you would like to mention using this ingredient please post it in the "comments" at the bottom of this Chemical of the Day.


DDF Organic


Bumble & Bumble (Not Bubble & Bee!)


Desert Essence


Irish Spring



Steph's Opinion: Isn't it interesting that these brands have built a reputation for being gentle and safe but they'll use a preservative like DMDM Hydantion?! Think of this the next time you see their commercial...yes, Dove may not leave soap scum, but it'll outgas formaldehyde! And in baby wipes! It's just sad when there are other safer preservatives that don't leave traces of carcinogens.





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    Chemical of the Day - *Today's Chemical - DMDM Hydantoin
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Reader Comments (47)

Yes, i am encorage to me to be ANTI-TOXIC but it is so hard. One product have this and another that.. so. I was so happy when i found PURe LIfe, brand, because they use bottles BPA free, and they said "our product is biodegradable" But when i was reading the ingredients i saw hydantoin... so, what preservatives are safe?

Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisset

Someone had posted a comment about Mary Kay... Mary Kay says they make women beautiful and healthy. How can you be healthy if you're carrying around parabens and formaldehyde? They also put acrylates into their skincare to make you feel like your skin is soft and healthy when it actually just has a layer of plastic in it. Wow, what a scam.

Mon, March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMakaila

I just bought Make Up Remover to wash all my Make Up off. I bought MERIDA cleansing wipes and found out that it not only contained DMDM Hydantoin but it also contained CHLORIDE. I decided to read what all the ingredients were in these FACIAL WIPES. The list was unbeleiveable. Talk about putting garbage on your face. I just bought this product and I am throwing it in the garbage as soon as I send this Email.

Could you please email me back and let me know what a good product that I can buy to take my make up off with?

I have very SENSITIVE SKIN so I can't just use anything. Could you please recommend a SAFE and GOOD FACIAL CLEANSER. I want to be able to remove my make up with WIPES but I don't know what to buy.


I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sun, June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterP.S. Carrier

Its listed in Nivea for men "High Performance" shaving gel. Just fyi.

Thu, July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

DMDM Hydantoin is also found in Sunsilk Shampoo.
However I don't find it in Huggies fragrance free baby wipes.

Thu, August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ J

As Jazz has mentioned, Fruit of the Earth 100% Pure Aloe Vera Gel contains DMDM Hydantoin. But listed right after it on the label is diazolidinyl urea, which, according to EWG, is a formaldehyde releaser. What a one-two punch! I guess I should stop using FOTE Aloe Vera Gel on my dry, scaly (wintertime) hands.

Thu, April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMG

Its also in a hair brand called Africa's BEST. I found it in their Kids organics shea butter detangling moisturizing hair lotion.

Fri, May 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlovely1

I purchased from a beautician in the business for 50 years, a hair product called "Cousin's Hair Regrowth" by Joyce Williams. This product caused my scalp to itch and burn. Worse, instead of growing, my hair came out rapidly. The last of several ingredients listed was DMDM. I called HS-S, the beautician who sold the product ($35) to me and recommended it highly. When I told of my experience from the use of the product, her reply was that it was my nerves. I t has been six months and my scalp is not back to normal and I have had to cover my severely damaged hair and scalp with a wig. The company tried to sell me 2 jars at $25 ea and a 3rd one for free. That was when I called to inquire about DMDM and was told that the chemist would have to get back to me. Finally, I got the answer, "It's a preservative." I would not recommend this product to anyone at all!

Tue, June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

I found this ingredient listed on the label of Liquid Softsoap.

Sat, June 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Childs

It's also now being added to Pond's Cold Cream.

Tue, June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

It is also used in Suave products, keep a look out

Wed, August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterD E Belletete

I just checked my lotion, from "sister sky" a company in Spokane WA, claims 98 % natural origin.. made .. native American, for a great cause, but this DMDM hydantoin is the last ingredient.. now I am sad..

Fri, August 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterc marie

Also in EoS' Nourish lotion...*sigh... Back to plain old evco (extra virgin coconut oil..cold pressed)

Fri, September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessi J

I note that this site states the EWG for DMDM Hydantoin to be 7-9. EWG rates it as 5. It is disappointing that sites such as this don't even get basic facts correct let alone provide the full picture about the materials used in what we eat and what we use. Educating the uneducatable is never going to happen though.

Sun, September 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrory

@Rory--I apologize for the discrepancy--EWG changes their scores all the time without notice. At the time the article was written, it was a 7-9. If you have more information about DMDM Hydantoin, I'd be happy to consider it in an update about this ingredient.

Mon, September 23, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

Found this DMDM Hydantion in SkinMilk shower Gel.

Wed, October 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRos

I just bought a tube of RISE Shave Gel (trusted since the 50's) where there is DMDM Hydantoin (and "fragrance"). A pity because the rest of the elements (Aloes Vera, Vitamin E) looked good and I did not pay enough attention when I bought it because I had not enough time and needed an aftershave... Another one for the garbish can ...

Sat, November 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean-Michel Gelmetti

I lost hair by using a product called "Cousins" by Joyce Williams which was sold to me by a well known and seasoned beautician. When I used "Cousins" my scalp had a tingling sensation and I thought surely it was stimulating hair growth. After several applications, I realized my scalp felt itchy and burning and my hair was coming out. The chemist of the Joyce Williams Company and the beautician claimed that they had no problems with it and claimed others who used it experienced hair growth and were very satisfied. I questioned the company about the ingredient DMDM and was told it is a preservative; I went on line to check out this preservative DMDM and learned that it releases formydehyde. I had paid the beautician nearly twice the amount listed on the website. I lost hair and wasted time and money. Moral of my testimony: Check the ingredients in the products, even of the so called, reputable BRANDS!

Fri, December 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbdt in Baltimore

A lot of Suave products now contain dmdm hydantoin along with hand wash soaps. Even hydrocortisone cream. I have started using baking soda as a shampoo ingredient and have started making my own shampoo along with using castile soaps.

Sun, March 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCole

I was useing some Aloe Vera Gel on my bad sun burn, and it started stinging my face....not due to the sun burn but on the new skin, so i decided to look up what other ingredients were in 100% Aloe Vera Gel. DMDM HYDATION is one of them!!!!!!!!!!! Made by Tropic sun

Wed, March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

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