Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Formaldehyde

Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Formaldehyde Even In 2024 | Interesting Facts About This Preservative

Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Formaldehyde

Whenever we buy any shampoos we always need to look into the ingredient list because there are times the shampoos contain harsh chemicals like parabens, phthalates, sulfates etc,., that can be very damaging to the hair. Well, these are just some of the commonly used chemicals in shampoos, or so we think!

But there are many other such harsh ingredients like formaldehyde, benzene, DMDM Hydantoin and many more that can have side-effects on the hair.

Thus, it is very essential to know what kind of ingredients to look for and identify whether the shampoo you’re purchasing has them or not.

L’Oreal is a very famous and popular shampoo brand that many people use around the world. But does this brand formulate their shampoos using formaldehyde and other such harsh ingredients?

Well, no, L’Oreal shampoos do not contain formaldehyde, but do contain formaldehyde-releasers. Want to know more? You can find out more below!

Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Formaldehyde

Why Is Formaldehyde Bad for Your Hair?

Before I tell why formaldehyde is bad for your hair, let me tell you what formaldehyde actually is and why some shampoo brands use this ingredient.

Formaldehyde is mainly used as a preservative ingredient in shampoos to be able to prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria. Thus, it can help extend the shelf-life of the product. Basically, it is an antimicrobial ingredient added into shampoos.

But for lay people, how do you know if your product contains formaldehyde you may wonder. Well, look out for ingredient names like formalin, methylene glycol, methanediol, methanol, formaldehyde monohydrate, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, etc.

Coming to why formaldehyde is bad for your hair, is because it can irritate your scalp as it could be a potential allergen.  It could also be a cause for hair loss. It could also cause burning sensation in the eyes, skin irritation etc.

But the formaldehyde used in shampoos are most often in a very small quantity and aren’t likely to cause any major reactions. Nevertheless, it is better to avoid shampoos that contain this ingredient.

Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Sulfates?

Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Sulfates?

Sulfates are those ingredients that create the foam in shampoos when it touches water and are used for the purpose of cleansing.

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They are often questioned about ingredients because they are known to cause hair damage and skin irritation.

Some of L’Oreal Shampoos do contain sulfates and L’Oreal clearly mentions the use of sulfates in some of their products in their product labels. They can be found as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) or ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS).

L’Oreal states that most often SLS and SLES are those sulfates they use in some of their shampoos. SLES is known to be comparatively the least harsh of all types of sulfates.

They claim to use sulfates only in their rinse-off products and therefore they say that people needn’t have to worry about any major side effects.

L’Oreal also states that they have products created specifically sulfate-free, for those consumers who are very particular to use sulfate-free products.

 Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Parabens?

 Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Parabens?

Parabens are those ingredients that are used as preservatives in shampoos to help prevent the growth of bacteria, microbes and mold (which can otherwise cause contamination to the whole product, in this case, shampoo). These parabens are known to cause scalp irritation, fade hair color in color-treated hair and may even cause hair loss.

L’Oreal claims that they do use parabens in the form of short-chain parabens, which are known to be safe preservatives for consumers and even for the environment. Short-chain parabens are known to be biodegradable and are those that do not pose any threat to the environment.

These parabens are often known to be gentle and safe, while they also work as very effective preservatives. They can be identified in their product labels as ingredients starting with methyl- and ethyl-, like ethylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben etc.

There are also long-chain parabens, which L’Oreal does not use in any of their products because these types of parabens may cause side effects in the long run.

Does L’Oreal Shampoo Contain Benzene?

Benzene is an ingredient which is sometimes used in dry shampoos. Benzene is nothing but a colorless liquid which is highly flammable in nature.

Does L'Oreal Shampoo Contain Benzene?

But technically speaking, it isn’t a potential ingredient to be added into a dry shampoo. This is because benzene is a carcinogen and can cause side effects to the body including scalp irritation (if used in high levels) and cancer.

While Benzene may not be an ingredient specifically added into a dry shampoo, sometimes, it can find its way into the aerosol can of dry shampoo, because it’s a chemical that adheres to butane (which is a common propellant used in aerosol cans), at a very molecular level.

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So, does L’Oreal shampoo contain benzene? Well, as per research from the official website of L’Oreal, they include benzene in their ‘Ingredients We Do Not Use in Our Products’ list, which means they do not use benzene in their shampoos.

But that being said, below the list (which we will be discussing soon), L’Oreal does make a mention that even though they do not use benzene in their products, there could however be traces of benzene in their products which are unavoidable.

Nevertheless, L’Oreal confirms that these traces, if any, are in safe levels and comply with regulatory requirements and are thus, by no means harmful to the user.

Does L’Oreal Elvive Shampoo Have DMDM Hydantoin?

Well, L’Oreal Elvive Shampoos do contain DMDM hydantoin. It is an ingredient used to preserve the product and prevent it from bacterial and microbe formation.

DMDM hydantoin is often considered as a “formaldehyde-donor” and this means that it releases little amounts of formaldehyde over time in order to help products remain fresh and away from any contamination.

This ingredient is known to cause hair loss, skin irritation and contact dermatitis and allergies if used in large quantities.

DMDM hydantoin can be identified as methylene glycol, formalin, quaternium 15, 3 dioxane, formic aldehyde etc. Therefore, it is essential to check your ingredient list on the product label before buying any product.

Is Formaldehyde and DMDM Hydantoin the same thing in shampoos?

Well, there is a difference between formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives that are often present in shampoos. They are chemicals that help prevent microbial and bacterial formation in the product when it comes in contact with water. They are known to be linked with side-effects like dry skin, allergies, cancer etc.

Formaldehyde can be directly added into your products; in this case, your shampoo or it can be added in the form of ingredients that release formaldehyde. Here, DMDM Hydantoin is one such formaldehyde-releasing ingredient.

These formaldehyde-releasing ingredients once added into the product are preservatives that release little amounts of formaldehyde over a period of time, thereby increasing and extending the shelf-life of the products.

Thus, we can say that formaldehyde and DMDM Hydantoin are similar in their uses, effects and purpose, but cannot be considered as the same thing because formaldehyde is an ingredient (which is a preservative) by itself, whereas, DMDM Hydantoin is just a formaldehyde-releasing ingredient.

You can identify these preservatives in your products as quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, formalin, formaldehyde etc., as found on the product labels in the ingredient list section.

What Are the Ingredients Not Found In L’Oreal?

L’Oreal has an “Ingredients We Do Not Use in Our Products” list on their official website stating the list of ingredients that they do not use in their products.

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Here is the list of ingredients that L’Oreal does not use in their products:

1. Triclosan

2. Acetaldehyde

3. Triclocarban

4. Alkylphenols

5. Acetonitrile

6. Hydroquinone

7. Buytylated hydroxyanisole

8. Methylene chloride

9. Butoxyethanol

In addition to these ingredients, there are some other ingredients that are completely prohibited by regulation and you will not find those ingredients in L’Oreal products, here is the list below.

1. Bisphenol A

2. Plastic microbeads

Lastly, there are some ingredients that L’Oreal doesn’t use in their products, but there could be a few traces of these ingredients which are due to unavoidable reasons. But nevertheless, L’Oreal confirms that these trace ingredients are completely safe to the user and do comply with regulatory requirements.

Here are those ingredients:

1. Formaldehyde

2. Toluene

3. Heavy metals

4. 1,4 – Dioxane

5. Phthalates

6. Diethanolamine (DEA)

7. Benzene

8. Acrylamide

Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.


As we conclude this article, it is clear that L’Oreal, even though it is a trusted and reputed brand of hair care products, do use some amounts of permissible chemicals in their shampoos.

Some of the chemical ingredients that they do use in their shampoos are sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, benzene and DMDM hydantoin (present in L’Oreal Elvive shampoos).

But that being said, L’Oreal does confirm that whatever chemical ingredients are used in their products are all in very minimal quantities and are formulated in a way that will not cause the user of their products any major or potential side effects.

They also clearly list their ingredients on their official website, as well as on each of their product bottle labels so that the user can choose whether or not to buy their products.

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