Skincare Preservative Causing ‘Epidemic’ of #Skin Reactions

This should be interesting to you if you are suffering dermatitis, eczema or scaly skin, especially if it started in the last 5 years. Many people are suffering skin reactions to a chemical preservative called MI that became popular about that time ago. The Mail on Sunday carried a report on it and there is a summary below.


Doctors are calling for an immediate ban on a face cream chemical they say has triggered one of the worst skin allergy epidemics.

Dermatologists estimate that 1 in 10 patients they are seeing with eczema or dermatitis is allergic to the preservative – called METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE or MI.   

Cosmetic firms like MI because it extends shelf life.  Manufacturers started to use MI seriously about 5 years ago after it was approved by the European Commission in 2005 as a preservative for products left on the skin. 

The chemical is routinely add it to moisturisers, sun creams, shampoos and wet wipes (often used for babies, note!).  The report states that it is used in products including Nivea Daily Essentials face wipes, Piz Buin 1 Day Long Lotion, Clarins Extra Firming Day cream, L’Oreal RevitalLift Laser Renew, Molton Brown Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Body Lotion and Wet Ones hand wipes etc. 

Doctors blame the chemical for a massive surge in patients with rashes, scaling skin, swelling and eczema.  The problem will be discussed at a major dermatology conference in Liverpool this week.  Dr John McFadden, consultant at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, said:

“This is one of the worst outbreaks of allergy to cosmetic products I have ever seen.  There hasn’t been anything on this scale before.”   

This year 10% of patients with certain skin conditions are testing positive according to St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London and Nottingham Uni Hospitals.  Studies from Denmark and Australia paint a similar picture.  

The DM reports that, so far, Molton Brown said it would stop using MI from September.

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