Published: April 2011

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About the brand: Cadiveu

Cadiveu advertises their "safe and effective Brazilian Keratin Treatment" but tests by Canada in fall 2010 showed 7% formaldehyde and lead to a recall. Cadievu has resorted to using none standard test methodology to defend their product and claim the lack of formaldehyde (C-13 NMR which fails to include the hydrated formaldehyde). They issued a press release in fall 2011 claiming that "Formaldehyde is a gas and therefore cannot be added to a cosmetic as an ingredient. In fact, Formaldehyde has never been a cosmetic ingredient." Cadievu has released a new smoothing product advertised as a natural treatment, Acai Therapy.

Products by Cadiveu

  Product Formaldehyde testing results Injuries: Number of consumers that filed reports with the federal government Product recalls
Acai Therapy Smoothing Treatmentnot tested0
Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction 7 %0Canada

Formaldehyde test results

Product Formaldehyde Detected Number of samples Tested by Date Reference
Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction 7 %1Health Canada2010-12-10Health Canada 2010C


statment on October 11, 2010

"Before Cadiveu USA entered into its Distribution Agreement with Cadiveu Brazil, we were assured that Cadiveu’s chemists were not relying on formaldehyde in their formulas. To confirm this, we hired an independent lab to test the products thoroughly. The results of this test confirmed that the formula does not contain formaldehyde as a functional ingredient in the hair smoothing process. As a result we felt confident that we were offering a safe product, which is our primary concern. Cadiveu’s panel of experts explains, "Formaldehyde is a gas and therefore cannot be added to a cosmetic as an ingredient. In fact, Formaldehyde has never been a cosmetic ingredient. Most test methods commonly used, are not suitable for measuring Formaldehyde in water-based cosmetic products. Formaldehyde is extremely unlikely in a water-based cosmetic product to exist beyond 0.005%." "


Since 2009, health and consumer product agencies in 6 countries have announced recalls of hair straighteners with high amounts of formaldehyde.

Product Australia Canada Cyprus France Germany Ireland
Acai Therapy Smoothing Treatment - - - - - -
Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction - 2010-12-10 - - - -


Brasil Cacau Keratin acts by combining the acid pH of the formula and keratin with the heat of a straightening iron to produce straight hair for up to 3 months. Acai Therapy: The heat of the straightening iron locks the sugarcane cysteine active principle compound into the hair to make it straighter and more lustrous for up to 3 months. [link]


A loophole in federal labeling law allows companies to sell "professional use" products without the ingredient label required on all other personal care products, so the use of formaldehyde can be hidden. Nearly all of the hair straightening products surveyed by EWG are marketed for professional use only. Despite these claims, EWG found that consumers can easily purchase "professional use" products through online retailers. Retailers identified for Cadiveu products are listed below:

Product Retailers
Acai Therapy Smoothing Treatmentnone identified
Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction
eBay (Kit)

Cadiveu - Acai Therapy Smoothing Treatment

"Acai Therapy with sugarcane cysteine - the 1st 100% natural treatment to eliminate frizz."
- from link

Cadiveu - Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction

"Service - Thermal Hair Reconstruction. Kit composition: Anti Residue Shampoo, Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction, Deep Conditioning Mask. Sutable for: wavy and frizzy hair, with or without previous chemical treatments. Results: Naturally straight and smooth hair, extremely shiny and without frizz. Technology - Cocoa, Keratin, Panthenol, pH 2.8 (acid 0 decisive factor for the smoothing process). How it works: The smoothing effect is provided through the rigorous application of the 3 steps: the Anti Residue Shampoo with pH 9 (alkaline) opens the hair shaft cuticles so that the Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction with pH 2.8 (acid) will be effective. The heat provided by the hairdryer and the hair-straighter activates the ingredients which are then fixed to the hair. The Deep Conditioning Mask with pH 4.5 finally equilibrates the hair pH values keeping hair straight and reconstructed for longer times. "
- from link

Retailers: 599.99 from, 399 from eBay (Kit)

Legal Disclaimer:

The conclusions and findings that appear on this page reflect EWG's research at the time of publication stated above. In light of evolving market conditions, subsequent product reformulations, and other factors, they may no longer be current. EWG makes no representations or warranties about any of the products that appear on this page. EWG hereby disclaims all warranties with regard to any of the products that appear on this page, including express, statutory, implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use.


Cadiveu. 2010. Cadiveu Leads Initiatives for Consumer Safety. Available: October 11, 2010. Accessed: 2/25/2011.

Cadiveu. 2011. Cadiveu Continues to Clears the Air on Formaldehyde. Available: Accessed: 2/25/2011.

Cadiveu. 2011B. Cadiveu Professional Products. Available: Accessed 2/7/2011.

ACCC 2010. Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. Product Safety Recalls. Available at: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

AFSSAPS 2010. French Agency for the Safety of Health Products. Notice of the French Agency for Safety of Health Products concerning the health risks of exposure to formaldehyde in some smoothing hair cosmetics.” Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Anonymous 2010. Analytical report. Columbia Analytical Services. 3/25/2010-10/1/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/7/2010.

Fisher M 2007. Scared Strait Warning: A hot new hair-straightening treatment from Brazil could be a health hazard. But that hasn’t stopped people from performing it. Allure. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Health Canada 2010A. Brazilian Blowout Solution Contains Formaldehyde. 10/7/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Health Canada 2010B. Brazilian Blowout Solution Contains Formaldehyde: Update. 10/26/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

Health Canada 2010C. Several Professional Hair Smoothing Solutions Contain Formaldehyde. 12/10/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

IMB 2010A. Concerns Relating to use of Certain Hair Straightening Products – Update. 11/29/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

IMB 2010B. Irish Medicines Board, Concerns relating to the use of certain Hair Straigtening Products. 12/23/2010. Available:

Irish NCA 2010. ‘Marcia Teixeira’ hair products withdrawn. 6/14/2010. Available: Accessed: 1/7/2011.

OREGON OSHA 2010A. OHSU Toxicology Center Issues Public Alerts About the Ingredients of a Popular Hair Salon Treatment. 9/30/2010. Available: http://www.Oregon Accessed: Accessed: 1/7/2011.

Oregon OSHA 2010B “Keratin-Based” Hair Smoothing Products And the Presence of Formladehyde. October 29,2010. Available: Accessed: 1/7/2011.

PBA 2007. Professional Beauty Association testing results. FDA Freedom of Information Act request F10-8327. Received 12/3/2010.

RAPEX 2010. European Union Rapid Alert System for non-food consumer products. Available at: Accessed: 1/6/2011.

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