Formaldehyde is not your bestie nor safe for your eyes. It's toxic.
Some relationships are just toxic.
In the words of Taylor Swift, I am writing a letter to formaldehyde.
We are never ever. Ever. Getting back together.
What's formaldehyde you ask? It's a chemical compound that is a colorless, flammable gas often used in cosmetics. It is used in cosmetics to prevent bacterial contamination during it's daily use and shelf life. It is officially classified by the U.S. FDA as a carcinogen and happens to be also used in the production of fertilizer, paper and wood products. *clears throat while typing*
In low concentrations, formaldehyde can cause eye and nasal irritation. I remember when I took Gross Anatomy at U.C. Berkeley, the smell of the cadaver would make my eyes, nose and throat weepy and congested. It was the formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is also difficult to detect on labels themselves. There are many different forms such as DMDM hydantoin, ureas, quaternium-15, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, formalin and methylene glycol, just to name a few. The FDA hasn't really classified at what percentage is toxic and what isn't (except for nail hardeners). I have changed all my nail polish to formaldehyde-free colors and have just avoided formaldehyde in general.
A good resource for rating toxicity is at www.ewg.org where you can insert an ingredient and the site will rate toxicity based on international studies, reports and research. I used this site when developing We Love Eyes products. The last thing I need is a formaldehyde / eye irritant in an eye cleansing product!
Love and healthy eyes,