What is it? 
DMDM Hydantoin is a preservative which kills fungi, yeast & bacteria. Preservatives are a way to ensure that our cosmetics and personal care products are safe. Without preservatives, products can spoil or become contaminated with bacteria.

DMDM hydantoin is found primarily in cosmetic products.

How can I avoid it? 
Skin contact with DMDM Hydantoin is required for it to cause a rash.  Discontinuation of exposure to products containing DMDM Hydantoin should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. The most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis from DMDM Hydantoin is cosmetics preserved with this chemical. By law, all products made in the US for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of ingredients in your cosmetics. At work, request a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.
Some individuals who are allergic to formaldehyde are also sensitive to DMDM Hydantoin, since DMDM Hydantoin releases small amounts of formaldehyde.  DMDM Hydantoin sensitive individuals may need to avoid preserved with formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing agents, such as:

  • Diazolidinyl Urea 
  • Imidazolidinyl urea (Germall) 
  • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,30diol (Bronopol) 
  • Quaternium-15 
  • Tris nitromethane (Tris Nitro) - Tris Nitro is an industrial biocide and is not usually found in skin, hair or cosmetic product 
Here is a partial list of products known to have contained DMDM Hydantoin in the past. 
  • Adhesives 
  • Antiarrhythmic and anticonvulsive agents 
  • Color photography / Copying paper 
  • Cutting oils 
  • Floor waxes 
  • Herbicides 
  • Inks 
  • Latex paints 
  • Polymers and plastics 
  • Skin Care Products / Cosmetics
    • Hair care products
    • Hair Colorants / “Permanents-Relaxers”
    • Soaps / Cleansers/ Household detergents
    • Shampoos / Conditioners
    • Moisturizers / lotions
    • Make-ups
    • Powders / Sprays
    • Shaving products
    • Sunscreens
  • Medications, topical, prescription and over the counter such as:
    • Anesthetics
    • Antiseptics
    • Creams, Ointments, Solutions
    • Foot and other powders
    • Nasal decongestants
    • Traditional Chinese Medications
    • Wound dressings
  • Textile sizing agents 
Other names for DMDM Hydantoin
  • Glydant® 
  • Glydant Plus® (95:5 mixture of DMDM and iodo propynyl) 
  • Dimethyloldimethyl hydantoin 
  • 1,3 dimethylol-5,5-dimethyl hydantoin 
  • Dantoin DMDMH 
  • DMDMH 
  • Mackstat DM 
  • Nipaguard DMDMH 
  • 1,3-Bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl-4-imidazolidine-2,4-dione(+) 
  • 2,4-imidazolidinedione, 1,3-bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl- 
  • 1,3-Bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl-2,4-imidazolidinedione 
  • 1,3-Di(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethylhydantoin 
  • Glycoserve-DMDMH 
  • Hydantoin,1,3-bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl

Potential cross-reacting/co-reacting substances
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Quaternium-15 
  • Imidazolidinyl urea 
  • Diazolidinyl Urea 
  • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (Bronopol) 
  • Dimethylol dihydroxyethyleneurea

How safe is it?

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