Discontinuing a Preservative

Guest author:  Deepa Sinha

Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is a commonly used cosmetic preservative in cosmetics and personal care products has been recommended by Cosmetic Europe to discontinue its use on leave-on skin cosmetics and personal care products.  This preservative has been declared to cause dangerous adverse reaction to its consumers. The European Society for Contact Dermatitis has showed data that this preservative has caused an increase in the number of allergic reaction.


The end of Methylisothiazolinone?

With the official press statement by Cosmetic Europe, it would be a challenge for the industry to continue its use in cosmetics and personal care products. This will lead to large number of reformulations for the existing products containing Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) in the market.

Not banned

Methylisothiazolinone is listed the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union (Annex V) and is authorized for use at a maximum concentration of 0.01% (100 ppm). A mixture of Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone is also listed in Annex VI, Part I, and is authorized for use as a 3:1 mixture at a maximum concentration of 0.0015% (15 ppm).

Health Canada permits the use of Methylisothiazolinone/ Methylchloroisothiazolinone, in combination, at concentrations equal to or less than 0.0015% (15 ppm) in rinse-off products and 0.00075% (7.5 ppm) in leave-on products. When used alone, Methylisothiazolinone may be used at concentrations up to 0.01% (100 ppm).

Perils of Alternative Preservatives

Ironically, Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) was introduced as safer substitute for parabens, and the way it is understood now, Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is now featured as never seen any reaction like this on consumers and urging to take immediate action.

These episodes of banning a preservative, introducing a ‘safer’ substitute definitely picture a gap in the clinical study and market research and safety assessment. Most of the preservatives are either under opinions, or reviews are still going on. If it had to ban at the end why was it introduced in the first place as a safer substitute?  The concerns grow only after bad press, and why not when the chemicals are registered with REACH, ECHA, FDA, EPA etc.

Need for standards

The whole process of introducing any chemical, ban or uplifting a ban or bad press/media costs a lot on small manufacturing or medium size company. Sadly, this price is ultimately paid by the end users.

Related Articles

Free Report

Sign up now to get a free report "How to Duplicate any cosmetic formula". Plus a 4-part introduction to cosmetic science mini-course.

We respect your email privacy