Chemical of the Week: Imidazolidinyl urea (im-ma-daz-ol-lid-en-nol / your-re-a)
Imidazolidinyl urea (im-ma-daz-ol-lid-en-nol / your-re-a)
What is it? Imidazolidinyl Urea is a synthetic odorless white powder used to kill microorganisms, preventing or inhibiting their growth and reproduction. Due to its high water solubility, it can be used in mostly all products and is the most frequently widely used preservative and moisturizer used in an array of popular brand skin and hair care products. Is it used in majorly "Hypoallergenic" products and is also approved by the FDA.
How harmful is this chemical? Imidazolidinyl urea is a formaldehyde releaser, which we all know formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Urea is a natural waste compound produced by the body after proteins metabolize. The liver breaks down proteins and urea is excreted by the kidneys and into the urine or sweat.
Urea in cosmetics however, is man-made, laboratory style, using ammonia and carbon dioxide. Nothing I'd want to put on my skin. But manufactures love it because it slows moisture loss from a product and keeps shelf life longer. It also alters the skin's natural structure paving the way for other chemicals to penetrate the skin on a deeper level possibly wreaking havoc in the body's systems all the while, leaving your skin feeling soft and supple. And it's cheap.
What products can it be found in? Imidazolidinyl Urea is found in many of our daily use products. Facial moisturizers, facial cleansers, anti-aging creams, body lotions, eye creams, foundations, shampoos, conditioners, styling mousses and foams, acne treatments, after shave, lip balm/treatments, mascara, sunless tanning products, antiperspirants/deodorants, cuticle treatments, nail polishes, body powders, mke up removers, prescription topical medicines and more.
Imidazolidinyl urea is also known by several other names which includes:
N,N-methylenebis (N'-)1-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl urea, Urea, N,N-methylenebis [N'-[3-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl], 1,1'-Methylenebis[3-[3-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl]urea], Germall 115, Imidurea NF, Biopure 100, Imidurea, Sept 115, Tristat 1U, Unicide U-13. Have you raised an eye brow yet?
What's the concern?
Other than this chemical releasing formaldehyde and inviting other chemicals to the party without asking. This chemical can cause eye and skin irritation, contact dermatitis (great for all you eczema and psoriasis suffers), longer term exposure can cause reproductive effects, hormonal effects and can cause allergic reactions.
There are natural ways to soften skin and leave supple such as Shea Butter, coconut oil, aloe and more.