Mar 27th, 2013

Posted by in ingredients to avoid | 3 Comments

Formaldehyde and FRPs | Learn Why Your Beauty Products Need to be Formaldehyde Free

So you know the stuff they use to preserve those big jars of snakes and eyeballs in science class, or glue together pressed wood (like particle board and MDF board) – urea formaldehyde?  Well some personal care and beauty product manufacturers feel like formaldehyde is an ideal option for use as a preservative in their products too.


Why do I say Blech?  Well, first off formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and is considered as such by the US Department of Health and Human Services. It’s also been known to cause issues including allergic reactions and contact dermatitis, headaches, irritation mucous to membranes, damaging to eyes,  joint and chest pain, depression, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and immune system dysfunction.

This risk to people, animals, and the planet has been addressed in some products, like pressed wood, where there is a risk of inhaling the chemical (On July 7, 2010, President Obama signed the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act into law.).  As a result, there are formaldehyde free options for these types of products here in the United States.  But, this is as of yet untrue for personal care and beauty products; which you inhale and apply to your skin – the largest organ on your body – which absorbs upwards of 60% of what’s put on it almost immediately!!!!  And yes, formaldehyde has been shown to be absorbed through the skin.

For these reasons, The European Union and Canada regulate the concentration that can be present in personal care and beauty products, and formaldehyde has been banned for use in toiletries and cosmetics in Japan and Sweden….

But not in the US.

In the US it’s up to product formulators to choose not to put ingredients like formaldehyde in their products.  As you might guess, Formaldehyde is one of the myriad of toxic chemicals used by many other skin care companies that you’ll NEVER find in Sevani.

But what about the other products in your bathroom cabinet?

To check and see if your favorite personal care products use formaldehyde as a preservative in their formulas you’ve got to educate yourself.  Sadly, it’s not as easy as just looking for the word “formaldehyde” on the label.  While formaldehyde itself can be added to the formulation, more often than not, companies choose to use Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives.

FRPs, as they’re commonly referred to, are designed to release formaldehyde consistently over time.  While this allows for lower levels of formaldehyde to be used in the product, it’s a slow, constant release of the chemical which many feel has the potential to cause even more problems.  Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives can be found on beauty product labels under the terms:

Quaternium-15 (the most sensitizing)
Dimethyl-Dimethyl (DMDM) Hydantoin
Imidazolidinyl Urea
Diazolidinyl Urea
Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol (Bronopol)


If you find any of these, start looking for a new, Formaldehyde Free brand, like Sevani, that chooses to put your safety first and avoids the use of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde!  There’s no reason to risk your health and that of your family as well as the rest of the planet for any product.  Make the change to formaldehyde free beauty products today and enjoy a safer tomorrow!


  1. Sad, I’ve seen Imidazolidinyl and Diazolidinyl ureas listed on so-called “natural” products.

  2. Hi, I see you use all natural preservatives in your range. I am aware that Aloe Vera JUICE must be preserved. Can you tell me what it is preserved with as it is your first ingredient.

    • Hi There Heather, thanks for your question!

      We actually preserve not just the aloe vera juice but our entire formula by using a proprietary blend of all natural ingredients. Hope that helps.

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