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Diazolidinyl Urea

Veterinarian Reviewed on January 9, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Diazolidinyl Urea


Diazolidinyl urea is typically found in the form of a fine white powder that is used for its preservative properties largely in cosmetic products. It is a protection against yeast, bacteria, and molds that cause spoilage. It also acts as a formaldehyde releaser.
Diazolidinyl urea is produced by a chemical reaction to the process of heating and the addition of sodium hydroxide solution into allantoin and formaldehyde. The resulting reaction mixture is then neutralized with hydrochloric acid and then evaporated.
The commercialized diazolidinyl urea is a blending of various formaldehyde addition products, which include polymers.

History and Origin

Urea, the previously known compound that some chemists related to Diazolidinyl urea in terms of processes was first discovered by Hermann Boerhaave in the early part of the 18th century from evaporates of urine. Hilaire Rouelle in 1773 was able to obtain crystals containing urea from the urine of a dog through evaporating and treatment with alcohol in successive filtrations. When Antoine Francois, comte de Fourcroy and Louis Nicolas Vauquelin in 1799 discovered that the nitrated crystals were exactly the same to Rouelle’s substances, they named the substance as urea.

Procedures in coming out with the purest substance evolved throughout the years until different combinations were obtained that had urea as the base ingredient for the process. Similarly, Diazolidnyl urea was also discovered through the process of chemical reactions from heating, evaporation and the with the addition to or combination of certain substances.

Although urea itself has had many uses for many decades, Diazolidnyl urea is mostly used as a preservative for personal care products and in beauty care products.

Ancient Uses

Since the process for producing Diazolidnyl urea was only discovered in the early 20th century, there was no known record that the actual substance was used by ancient people. However, there have always been a few myths that urine was used for medicinal purposes and as a fertilizer for some varieties of plants. Otherwise, there is not any specific evidence that Diazolidnyl urea was widely used by the ancient world.

Modern Uses

Diazolidinyl urea today is used primarily as a preservative in several applications such as in cosmetics and personal care products. Some of these products are: liquid soaps, cleansers, pet shampoos, lotions, creams, make-up removers, sunscreens, moisturizers, bubble baths, detergents, dishwashing liquids, cleaning agents, cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners, hair care products, as well as most skin care products.

Aside from being a good preservative in cosmetics, Diazolidnyl urea is also a very effective antimicrobial preservative. It is widely known as a formaldehyde releaser, but it is determined to be safe with certain amounts and in moderation.

Side Effects

It is possible that some people may develop a contact allergy to Diazolidinyl urea. The reaction may appear several days after the contact with symptoms that include swelling, redness, fluid-filled blisters, and itching. The scare about this product was brought about by its characteristic as a formaldehyde releaser, which is considered to be a possible carcinogen. However, numerous experiments and tests have proved that it is safe.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data of Diazolidinyl urea and it was decided that Diazolidinyl urea was safe as a cosmetic ingredient up to a maximum consistency of 0.5%. Today, numerous beauty and personal care products are using Diazolidinyl urea.

Suggested Products

Kalo Hair Growth Inhibitors and Skin Conditioning Package

Kalo Hair Inhibitor Combo

Kalo Post Epilating Lotion

Read also: Vegetable Glycerine

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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