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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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Reader Comments (47)

It's in the Equate (Wal-Mart) version of Vaseline Aloe body lotion

Tue, May 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRL

There's a haircare product by Organix called
renewing- argan oil of morocco
Intense Moisturizing Treatment
This product has DMDM Hydentoin listed as
the last ingredient.

Thu, July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterK Fortson

Canna Wipes has it too. Should be called Canna Hypes! Or better yet Cancer Wipes.
Some greedy people think it's cool to mislead people putting "Canna" in the product name of chemical crap!

Sun, September 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCannabis Resin Removing Poison

Four times in the past week I've used Suave Professionals Shampoo and Conditioner. After the third use, my friend noticed that my hair was thinning. After the fourth use of shampoo, my forehead skin and scalp became itchy, red, burned, and hair melt away along hairline. Referencing your website and others I found that the aforementioned Shampoo has Tetrasodium EDTA and DMDM Hydantoin, as well as, Sodium chloride and Methylchloroisothiazolinone. I stopped using the shampoo, but the red skin irritation has continued. Is this possibly a permanent problem I might expect from using this product?

Mon, May 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterD. Whobrey

Pantene also uses DMDM Hydantoin in their products, for example shampoos. I avoid their products.

Sun, February 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeira

I was a Dermatology nurse for 10 yrs. I was also highly allergic to DMDM Hydantoin and still am today. I must read carefully EVERY skin and hair care product. Everyone would be surprised if they knew how few people take the time to research the additives put in products we assume to be safe. Do not ever assume that any one company or our gov't. will advocate for you. It is always the responsibility of the consumer to learn about and to protect oneself from Big Pharma, cosmetic and even so-called "natural products" producers. A Dermatologist may help you track down allergens and irritants that cause you trouble and treat you for their effects, but ultimately it is the user who must educate him/her self to avoid KNOWN problem causers. The lesson here is, " It's not what we know in this lifetime that gets us; it's what we don't know that does us in!"

Mon, July 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusanne Wege, RN, BSN (ret.)

NOXZEMA skin cream has many ingredients that I now realize, are not good for my skin! I couldn't figure out the burning, redness, and small red bumps on my cheeks...the list is bad...DMDM, camphor,'s sad, because I absolutely love the smell and price. Some generic versions do not contain DMDM, but still have questionable ingredients.

Sun, January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStacie

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