Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin

What Is It?

Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin is a polymer formed from the reaction of toluenesulfonamide and formaldehyde. Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin is used in nail enamel products. It is a soft resin material which, in conjunction with nitrocellulose, forms tough, shiny and durable films on nails.

Why Is It Used?

Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin is a very unique resin that modifies the widely used nitrocellulose type polymers to form tough and shiny films, which have excellent wear and durability characteristics while maintaining high gloss of nail enamel throughout the wear period.

Scientific Facts

Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin is a synthetic resin, sometimes called Toluenesulfonamide/Formaldehyde Resin. It modifies the film-forming characteristics of Nitrocellulose type polymers. Nitrocellulose is extremely hard and brittle. Addition of Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin makes the film less brittle, tougher, and the resin also increases the gloss of the film.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin on its list of indirect food additives. It is permited for use polymers having contact with food. The safety of Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin was safe as a cosmetic ingredient. In 2004, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Toluenesulfonamide/Formaldehyde Resin and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin was practically nontoxic when given orally as a 70% solution in acetone and when applied to the skin as a 40% suspension in corn oil. Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin in the form of a finely ground powder was nonirritating to skin and slightly irritating to the eye.

The undiluted material was nonirritating to skin, slightly irritating to the eye, and practically nontoxic by dermal application. No significant treatment-related effects were observed in a subchronic oral study. Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin was negative in a bacterial test for mutagenicity. In clinical studies, 10% Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin in dimethyl phthalate was nonirritating and nonsensitizing to the skin.

Nail products containing up to 12% Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin were nonsensitizing, nonphotosensitizing and essentially nonirritating to human skin. Reports of nail polish dermatitis of allergic origin have been attributed to Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin and other liquid thermoplastic resins.

FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Toluenesulfonamide-Formaldehyde

Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

More Scientific Information

Tosylamide/formaldehyde Resin, also referred to as Toluenesulfonamide/Formaldehyde Resin, is a reaction product of toluenesulfonamide and formaldehyde. It is an amorphous resin and is used in conjunction with the polymer nitrocellulose in nail enamel products.

Tosylamide/Formaldehyde resin functions as a film former and plasticizer. It imparts high gloss and good flow properties and increases the hardness of nitrocellulose film. The purity and residual formaldehyde content are tightly controlled in resins used for in nail products with maximum levels of 0.5% formaldehyde and with typical levels at less than 0.2%.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration