Toxic Timeout Ingredient Focus: Formaldehyde

WHAT IS IT? Formaldehyde is an organic compound with the formula CH2O, which is produced in small amounts by most living organisms as part of normal metabolic processes. Formaldehyde is a colorless liquid or gas with a characteristic pungent odor. It has found its way into many of our skin care products as a cheap preservative (just like parabens)  and is commonly used in nail care, cosmetics, hair treatments and baby wipes!

HEALTH RISK: Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen which causes allergic, irritant and contact dermatitis as well as headaches, coughing, wheezing, nausea, skin irritation and chronic fatigue. The vapour is extremely irritating to the eyes, nose and throat (in fact, any mucous membranes). It can cause skin blistering and cracking, so make sure this is not in any of your products!

Safe Alternatives: For the nails, check out up-and-coming natural brands like the ones reviewed on The Chalkboard in the past: Zoya, Butter and RGB are all great picks. And for baby wipes, it doesn’t get any cuter than the all-natural products from Honest Company!

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