Ingredient of the Day: Quaternium-15


What is Quaternium-15?
Quaternium-15  is a quaternary ammonium salt. Quaternium-15 can be found under a variety of names, including: Dowicil 75; Dowicil 100; Dowco 184; Dowicide Q; 1-(3-Chloroallyl)-3,5,7-triaza-1-azoniaadamantane chloride; N-(3-chloroallyl) hexaminium chloride; hexamethylenetetramine chloroallyl chloride; 3,5,7-triaza-1-azoniaadamantane; 1-(3-chloroallyl)-chloride.

What is Quaternium-15 Used In?
Quaternium-15 is used in many cosmetics and industrial substances including foundations and powders, blush, mascaras, eye shadows, eyeliners and pencils, durable press (wrinkle-resistant) fabrics, skin care products such as creams, lotions, and moisturizers, personal hygiene items such as soaps, cleansers, and shampoos, cleaning products, waxes, polishes, paints, electrode attachment gels used in healthcare, embalming and preserving fluids, glues, inks, and toners to name a few.

Why is Quaternium-15 Used?
Quaternium-15 is used as a preservative. It is also used for its formaldehyde-releasing properties.

Why is Quaternium-15 Bad for Me?
Quaternium-15 can cause contact dermatitis, a symptom of an allergic reaction. Those with sensitive skin, infant’s skin are more susceptible to contact dermatitis Sensitive areas such as the genitals can also be affected. Typical symptoms include redness, swelling, itching, and fluid-filled blisters. Many of those with an allergy to quaternium-15 are also allergic to formaldehyde. It is the single most often found cause of allergic contact dermatitis of the hands (16.5% in 959 cases). Allergic sensitivity to quaternium-15 can be detected using a patch test. A patch test is a method used to determine if a specific substance causes allergic inflammation of the skin. The European Union has determined that quaternium-15 ‘may not be safe’ in cosmetics.

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