Carcinogenic Formaldehyde Uncovered in Popular Beauty Products

Chemical Free Life

Formaldehyde* has recently been uncovered in numerous beauty products in the U.S. In fact, the Washington State Department of Ecology found 26 of 40 different beauty product samples tested contained formaldehyde in amounts that can be harmful to humans. Formaldehyde is present in nail polishes, hair-smoothing products, body wash, and various makeup products. According to researchers, formaldehyde is included in beauty products to prevent bacterial growth. In most cases, cosmetic manufacturers add ‘methylene glycol’ or another chemical to release formaldehyde.


The Washington State Department of Ecology tested 40 different cosmetics for formaldehyde, the products tested did not list formaldehyde as an ingredient in the product on the label. Products were purchased from Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, and Fred Meyer.

Key findings:

  1. Formaldehyde was found in seven out of 10 skin lotions, nine out of 10 leave-in conditioners, and all 10 hair styling gels.
  2. Hair styling gels and…

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