Does Pantene Have DMDM Hydantoin?

does pantene contain dmdm hydantoin
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Are you aware of what chemicals you are putting on your head?

Most of us choose hair products that claim to give us silky, smooth and long hair. a nice bottle, big name and nice scent – and we are sold! We don’t pay attention to the ingredients written on the back and realize it after the damage has been done, unfortunately.

It is equally important to know about the ingredients of the product you are going to put in your hair in your quest for shiny, smooth, and silky hair. you must have come across the name DMDM hydantoin in recent times if you are even a little taken with wellness and aware of the harm these chemicals can do to our hair.

What is DMDM hydantoin?

White, crystal-like material, DMDM hydantoin is famous for its use as a preservative in a myriad of skin and hair care products. DMDM hydantoin is also a well-known antimicrobial agent.

This chemical is added to almost all the conditioners, shampoos, moisturizers, makeup products, and facial cleansers to extend the shelf life of the product. It not only preserves the product for a long time but also protects it from fungal, bacterial or yeast contamination.

How does it work?

DMDM hydantoin works by acting as a donor of a molecule known as formaldehyde. Any shampoo containing DMDM hydantoin releases a fair amount of this chemical in order to prolong its shelf-life and to function as an antimicrobial ingredient.

What are the DMDM hydantoin side effects?

The side effects of DMDM hydantoin are mainly linked to the chemical formaldehyde present in the products. Formaldehyde is not very biocompatible and overtime exposure to this chemical can cause some serious adverse effects.

As it can be absorbed through skin contact and inhalation, when applied, the products containing DMDM hydantoin, through the release of formaldehyde, have the potential to cause harm to the individual. These DMDM hydantoin side effects possibly include:

  • Hair loss

This is the main reason many shampoo companies like TRESEMME and P&G are being sued. These lawsuits claim that these shampoos containing DMDM hydantoin are causing their clients to lose clumps of hair. Which is an emotionally as well as physically draining matter.

  • Allergic contact dermatitis

Several types of research done on the effects of formaldehyde found that the products that release formaldehyde can cause allergic contact dermatitis among users who are already allergic to formaldehyde. FDA has also listed DMDM hydantoin as an allergen in skin and hair care products.

  • Cancer

Although this concern pertains to exposure to large quantities of formaldehyde it being a  potential carcinogen is a matter of great concern.

  • Irritation

In certain cases, coming in contact with formaldehyde can cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and nose.

What are experts’ opinions about shampoos containing DMDM hydantoin?

Although formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring molecule and is considered relatively safe when used in a certain trace amount, it is advised to still avoid using shampoos containing DMDM hydantoin. It is better to be safe than sorry as there are so many hydantoin free options we can use instead.

So should we start using shampoos that are DMDM Hydantoin free? It will take years after any straight answer can be given, that too, after a lot of comprehensive research to understand how safe or dangerous it is to incorporate this chemical into our hair care routine.

So now you must be wondering whether this chemical is present in your favorite shampoo brand. Or the question we are here to ask-

Does PANTENE contain DMDM hydantoin?

We did thorough research using various cosmetic databases to investigate whether Pantene contains this chemical in its ingredients. And our investigation brought us to the conclusion that shockingly, the world’s largest cosmetic companies – including Procter & Gamble contain not only DMDM hydantoin but other chemical substances that can be potential carcinogens and irritants.

Although Procter & Gamble advertises its products like Pantene with a pink ribbon, the products have the chemical DMDM hydantoin in them as a preservative. This essentially makes Pantene a shampoo that releases formaldehyde and causes the above-mentioned side effects.

To check your shampoo brand, check out our list of 2022 List of Shampoo with DMDM Hydantoin.


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  2. Annual review of cosmetic ingredient safety assessments: 2005/2006. (2008)
  3. Boyer IJ, et al. (2013). Amended safety assessment of formaldehyde and methylene glycol as used in
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  6. Final report on the safety assessment of DMDM hydantoin. (1988)
  7. Formaldehyde. (2014)
  8. Formaldehyde and cancer risk (2011)
  9. Formaldehyde confirmed as known human carcinogen. (2014)