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Top 5 Allergens in Moisturizers


Going about your daily skin care routine, you probably wouldn't even think twice about preservatives in your skin moisturizing products. It's common for facial and body lotions and creams to contain preservatives that reduce the risk of bacterial contamination [source: Mayo Clinic]. But would you believe that formaldehyde -- the same stuff that keeps dissection-ready frogs and embalmed corpses from rotting -- is used in a number of cosmetics, including moisturizers?

Formaldehyde is added to things you may encounter every day, ranging from industrial products like floor wax to mascara and blush. It's even found in hygiene products like shampoos and moisturizers. You probably won't have to rummage through your medicine cabinet for very long to find a beauty potion that contains quaternium-15, a preservative that releases formaldehyde. You may also want to look out for similar substances that release formaldehyde, such as:

  • bromonitropropane diol
  • diazolidinyl urea
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • hydroxymethyl nitromethane
  • imidazolidinyl urea

Some moisturizers contain not just one preservative, but combinations of them. If you're looking for a moisturizer that won't irritate or trigger a reaction, then you'll probably want to stay away from those made with any of the preservatives we learned about here. But before you hit the beauty aisle, keep reading. You'll find more skin moisturizing tips in the next section.