In Recent years there has been a lot of controversy around the use of Formaldehyde here at Elim Spa Products and I thought it was a good time, not to defend this ingredient but rather to inform you the reader on exactly what to look out for.
Did you know that Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Resin are two different things. Let’s start at the beginning.
The term Formaldehyde often gets used incorrectly on ingredients lists, so to clear things up, Formaldehyde is a gas. It cannot be used in any nail varnish or hardener in this form.
When you mix this gas with water you get Formalin, remember the liquid in science class with the 100 year old snake in the bottle? That was Formalin.
When mixing the gas with water it makes a totally new compound. Formalin is also often referred to as Methylene Glycol. This is actually what is used in nail hardeners.
So where does the warning of Formaldehyde come from? The real dangerous compound is the Formaldehyde gas. Ever read that Formaldehyde is a poison that causes cancer? The gas is what is actually referred to here.
The good news however is that it has been proven that for it to be poisonous you will have to inhale large doses for an extended period of time. The type of exposure when you work in a formaldehyde gas factory, definitely not the formalin used in nail hardeners.
But there is more: What about Formaldehyde Resin or sometimes called TSFR. This is also sometimes used in varnish to give you flexibility on the nail plate. Formaldehyde gas is used in the production of Formaldehyde Resin. But remember the concentration levels of formaldehyde gas found in some of our foods is much higher.
It might even be in your organic banana smoothie. And it is even produced by our bodies!
New research has revealed that some of the formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment, it is a by-product of an essential reaction inside our own cells.
So does this means we are making Formaldehyde daily….?
Dr Ketan Patel, senior author on the paper from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said: "We've known for a while that we must produce formaldehyde in our bodies, but we didn't know where it comes from. We've discovered that some of it comes from an unexpected source, a key pathway - called the one carbon cycle - that's used to make the building blocks of life, such as DNA and certain amino acids. The one-carbon cycle is a fundamental process which is present in all forms of life, right down to bacteria."
Interesting: The Centre for Food safety has recently released a statement saying “As a product of normal metabolism, formaldehyde has been documented to be naturally present in many common food items, including fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, crustacea and dried mushrooms etc., at a wide range of levels”
I think bottom line here is use your own common sense, inform yourself and don’t follow cheap marketing tricks to sell you a new product. Formaldehyde has been used for decades to assist us in hardening the nail, and it should stay our number one go to ingredient when formulating nail hardeners.
CEO and formulator of the Elim Spa Product range for hands and feet.