Monday, October 20, 2014

Thursday, December 31, 2009 Ysanne, Community Member, asks

Q: what are some safe products to use for allergies to formaldehyde and cocamidopropyl betaine?

I have been diagnosed with allergies to formaldehyde and cocamidopropyl betaine and am struggling to find safe products to use for shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, lotion, make up etc. I can seem to find some without one or the other but not both. My patch test at the dermatologist confirmed my allergy but I have not had much relief as my dermatologist has yet to provide me with a list of safe alternatives and it has been 3 months! I am desperate for help. I have never had allergies until now and am 34yrs old getting it for the first time after having my first baby 10 mths ago. Please help. Thanks!


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Answers (5)
itch, Community Member
1/ 7/10 11:04am

Check Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar, also Olivella Bar for cocamidopropyl betaine free. I was told formaldehyde is a fabric product...wear only 100% soft wrinkly cotton, 100% cotton denim (Levi Strauss 501) 100% wrinkly linen, 100% silk: wash clothing and lines several times before using.  Do not use permanent press or wrinkle resistant fabrics.  Also, GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Liz Claiborne, Eddie Bauer, Cuddl Duds, VErmont Country Store, Avantal U.S. and Levis Strauss adhere to strict standards of formaldehyde.  This information has just been given to me by a dermatologist as I too recently have been diagnosed with allergies.  Good luck!

Ysanne, Community Member
1/ 8/10 7:50pm

Thanks for the info! I have heard of Kiss My face but not Olivella, where do you buy that? I guess I need to go shopping as I didn't know about the clothing! What kind of shampoo do you use?


itch, Community Member
1/ 8/10 8:42pm

Your welcome!!  I searched both products online.  You can order through their websites.  I am in Mass and found them at a grocery store that is more upscale than the big chains and has a section of finer body products, away from your typical soaps.  My doctor recommended I use Cetaphil skin cleanser on my hair.  It was gross on my hair.  It was like smearing pudding in it.  I felt dirtier after showering than I did before. Since I have gotten the Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Fragrant Free Bar I have been using that.  ??  At least I feel clean!  Basically I was told there is no "shampoo" for me to use.  I have several allergies along with the two we have spoken of I also am allergic to fragrance so I can't use any shampoos.  Olivella has a shampoo on their website that didn't really list the ingredients and I was not able to find it in the store so I am still going to explore that option. In the meantime I can live with the Kiss My Face as body and hair. 


Check out a website called "" I found it today and it has fabulous information. They list all Contact Allergens and then you can click on the specific ones to get the detailed info on it.  I was shocked to see how many products have Formaldehyde.  My doctors information noted as I mentioned in my prior reply.  I was a bit confused when you said shampoos.  This website says, cigarette smoke, dental plastics, mouthwash, plywood, paper, goes on and on. The website also gives "hints on avoiding" the specific allergen...Formaldehyde it talks of clothing for avoidance!?  It also points out if your spouce or significant other uses topical skincare that contains this chemical, skin to skin transfer may occur...yikes!


Sorry this is so winded...This is all new to me, I still have the sores from the patch test last I am really motivated to get myself on the right track.  Keep in touch. 



Ysanne, Community Member
1/ 8/10 9:02pm

Hi Thanks for the reply!

I know this stuff is so confusing! I had no skin problems until 9 mths ago! My hands started to break out in clear itchy blisters that later crack open and leave me with scaly rough skin! I didn't know about the significant other factor as my husbands products contain things I am allergic to. I found this site today (I am from canada) that helps provide a start in looking into products. I am using Cliniderm shampoo/bodywash and conditioner right now. It is ok but wanted to know if there are any other options as it is so boring, I used to be a product junkie loving to try all kinds of personal care products and now have hardly anything :( You can order it online if you type it in google you will get the link canderm and under there you can find cliniderm products. drugstores and pharmacies also carry it. Good luck.

I have been contacting lots of companies to inquire about any formaldehyde in their products so that may be something you might find helpful as well


itch, Community Member
1/10/10 6:42pm



Thanks for the information...I will check out the site and Cliniderm products. Thank you!

BritishBecky, Community Member
1/17/10 7:27pm

Hi, I just read your correspondence ref allergies - I can so relate!  I completed my patch tests last Friday - I'm allergic to: Cocamidopropyl betaine, Methylchloroiso thiazolinone, Dodecyl gallate, Cobalt Chloride, Nickel and Formaldehyde - grrrrrrr!


I too never had eczema until 2 1/2 years ago (34!) when my second son was born, started on my hands horrifically - still have it and control it with high steroid creams and anti-biotic creams.  It has got progressivly worse and now regularly my whole face goes lumpy and bright red - hideous!  I also had patch tests done 2 years ago and only nickel and Methychloroiso thiazolinone were positive so things have got a lot worse!


I am searching for shampoo's, conditioners, eye-make up remover, make-up etc that are free of these chemicals - it is appearing to be impossible!  If they haven't got Coca... in they have Methy... boring boring boring!


I sympathise with your comment about being a product queen - me too! 


Best of luck with your search for a half decent products!


Ysanne, Community Member
1/19/10 1:06pm


Too weird that your allergies were also after having a baby?? What is up with that? I had perfect skin before mine. Anyway, from one product junkie to another, I am using Marcelle cosmetics, I wrote to them with my allergies and they sent a list back of products that did not have my allergens. It is sold at Shoppers Drug Mart, not sure where you live. I went months and months without makeup and am so happy to finally wear some again. Now to find some decent hair products. What have you found to be good for you so far?


Heidi66717, Community Member
1/21/10 8:43am

If you can afford it there are some wonderful products that I have used in the past called Melaleuca, they are there own company online and the stuff is great. Soon as my finances get better I am going to go back to buying their stuff. It lasts a long time too and some of it you can concentrate. I have really bad allergies and this is some great stuff and a lot of it smells very nice too! Also like with laundry soap I can only use All Free or Cheer, some fragrances irritate me really bad and make me break out in hives. When I use Bounce dryer sheets I have to get the Bounce Free. Hope this helps! Take Care, Heidi Laughing

inga, Community Member
2/25/10 2:38pm

found free and clear shampoo and conditioner by,they have hairsray ectra ! sephora stores in nre york city  have lavanila ,parfum and deodorants ,free off petrochemicals dyes ectra ,wonderfull! then i found there also make up from a company by the name of korres! i only have now problems to find a great detergent ,i even tryed bakingsoada ,any help?/ what can i use/ so sensitive also  will try these stores to find clothes !  i'm bonde and had high lights and low lights placed by foil with low amonia haircolors ,if you need a hairedresser and live in ny be happy to share it1 also got a great allergist he placed me on  xyzal histime its helps alot with allergys in public ,like carpets ,seats on buses  it went better in 3 month and only have now problems with clothes ,juicing vegetables daily helped! inga

LAH, Community Member
12/10/10 7:35pm

Thank you so much for posting. I have order the Vanicream and even got some Sophoria on the way.  After my first child 6 years ago I to broke out.  My doctor gave me some aquafor and sent me out the door.  Then after 6 months I got sent to a dermatologist who told me not to put my hands in water. Eczema is what they classified it as and I kept having to go back after major out breaks and then also to refill perscriptions of steriod creams and lotions.  Until recently after throwing little shy of a hissy fit did they send me to a stateside derm doctor who actually said yep there is something wrong there.  Hand dermatitis and then it was siriosis.  And now thankfully we know what to avoid.  Oh thank goodness.  To have an answer and be able to find a solution.  I to have the formaldehyde & anything slightly related (quaternium 15 & Kathon CG), cobalt (blues 106&124w/yellow3), and benzocaine.  Thank you so much for posting.  I will come back if it works for me. 

alydan, Community Member
10/18/11 12:55am

Thanks for sharing..I too was diagnosed with hand eczema after haviving my first child (2 now). I have been given multiple steroid creams, all which have failed me. I just had a allergy patch test last week and found out I am allerrgic to nickel, and formaldehyde. I was just curious about your final diagnosis. How is it different from eczema, and what final conclusions did your doctor come to? Are your new treatments working? Just thinking maybe I have been misdiagnosed too. I got upset today at the dermatologist and was given a short dosage of prednisone.

Super frustrating :(

Thank you!!

KLEE, Community Member
3/ 2/12 5:12pm

Hello everyone,

Not sure if you all will see thid, late laster was diagnosed with Eczema by a family physician. Was given oral anitbiotic because I had dermatitis(skin infection) and steroid cream, but has recently reoccurred several times this year. So I decided to see a dermatologist. For now, I have been diagnosed with dyshidrotic eczema. Basically it's eczema, small blister like then cluster of blister and peeling with red dots. Please google for more info. Anyway, the reason I am replying to this is because I see alot of you and possibly me as a well are allergic to nickel. Which could be the reason for my reoccurring break outs for eczema. My dermatologist says nickel is in may foods.. So if you are having reoccuring breaks out, it could be the foods you eat. And trust me, evidentally there are alot of foods with high potency of nickel. I am readjusting my diet to see if this works. Hope this is insightful and Good Luck to all.


Shree, Community Member
10/27/12 1:23pm
About 5 months back I also went through a chemical patch test and I'm allergic to the following 6 ingedients. Glyceryl Thioglycolate, Gold, laurel Glucoside, formaldehyde, nickel sulfate and cocoa IDE DEA. I was given a safe list by my dermatologist which you can probably find it at I guess non of us were really allergic to any of this in the past but we are today and have to deal with it! Reply
Stan, Community Member
12/10/12 1:46pm
Go to google and type "what products do NOT contain formaldehyde?" Take out the quotations and possibly get more choices. Good luck! Reply
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By Ysanne, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/19/14, First Published: 12/31/09