Category Archives: Preservatives

Polyaminopropyl Biguanide Banned. Sort of.

Safe to use, but I’d reformulate if I were them

 

A question about an ingredient from Sara.

Hi, just wondering if you could give some information on the preservative Polyaminopropyl Biguanide? Apparently it was banned by the EU in January 2015 however appears to be still used in many beauty products including up to very recently Liz Earle’s cleanse and polish. Many thanks.
Hello Sara,

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Methylisothiazolinone Isn’t Banned, But It Looks Like I Am

Banned from MI GroupI am not a big fan of Facebook.  I find the interface a bit busy and confusing, and I haven’t really worked out who can actually see stuff when I post it.  But it is a big platform so I feel obliged to got on it every now and again.  I was on it recently and a side bar suggested I should join a group called “Get Methylisothiazolinone Removed From Products!”.  It sounded interesting so I clicked on it and thought no more about it. Continue reading

P&G Offers More Clarity On Which Preservatives It Uses

P&G Offers More Clarity On Preservatives

Preservatives = P&G come clean


Preservatives in cosmetic products are a problem and will remain so until the way they are made and used changes significantly. I imagine someone somewhere is working on a project to create cosmetics in a small machine which you can programme with your favourite recipes. That would enable people to choose their own preservative option or to not use them at all and just make their personal care products fresh as needed. But until that technology becomes widespread preservatives are a necessity, and some people will have allergic reactions to them. Even the ones with a low propensity to cause allergic reactions, like the parabens and methylisothiazolinone, still cause plenty of people issues.? Continue reading

Does MI Cause Developmental Problems?

MI development problems

There are an interesting couple of points in the comments thread on my blog post asking for MI not to become a scare story, from Suzanne. She has drawn my attention to a paper from 2012 that details developmental problems in tadpoles exposed to MI. She concludes from this that MI is potentially unsafe for humans as well and asks what the liability is for companies that continue to use it now that this risk has been identified. Continue reading

L’Oréal Withdraws Product With Too Much MI In It

There is a news story that L’Oréal have issued a product recall for their Ideal Moisture Dry and Sensitive Day Cream in Canada. The reason is that the level of MI in it is higher than Health Canada’s regulations allow.   This is quite a rare event – big cosmetic companies are usually pretty good at following regulations.  Unfortunately Google has not revealed the details of just how much over they were.  But the product has been on the market for three years so there is a good chance that they have simply failed to keep up with the regulations and that the product was legal when formulated and launched.  They have shifted just under 60,000 units.   Continue reading

Natural Antioxidants

natural-antioxidants

Antioxidants get a lot of interest for the skin benefits, but for a cosmetic chemist they also have a rather more mundane use.  If you are using natural ingredients in your products, and particularly some natural oils, you need to give some thought to the risks of  oxidation of the product over its shelf life.  Left to themselves many oils will go rancid, which gives them an unpleasant odour and often affects the colour.  Consumers love natural products in principle, but aren’t keen on being presented with brown smelly ones.  It is a shame to mess up a natural story by including chemical antioxidants, so what are the natural antioxidant alternatives? Continue reading

MI in Paint

MI in paint

One of the most surprising things about blogging is how much you learn.  A good example arrived in my inbox yesterday.  I have just started a newsletter for people with sensitive skin, largely because I get a lot of people getting in touch looking for information about it, and in particular sensitivity to methylisothiazolinone or MI.  This is of course of no interest at all to the 99.9% people who don’t have a problem with it, so I thought a newsletter was a good way of giving them the information they want without devoting too many blog posts to it.  But a list member drew my attention to something simply too interesting not to share it. Continue reading

Latest News on MI

methylisothiazolinone

I get a lot of traffic to this blog from people interested in methylisothiazolinone, or as it is now known MI.   For people who haven’t been following the story, here’s a quick recap.  MI has been used for about 40 years in combination with a closely related chemical called methylchloroisothiazolinone.  I’ll call that MCI.   The combination works extremely well at very low levels.  Its Achilles Heel is that it causes a lot of allergic reactions when used at higher levels.  This took formulators a while to work out when it was first introduced.  But the level was scaled down and the reactions went down.  Continue reading

Cross Sensitivity

Cross-reactions

I got a good point made to me via e-mail responding to one of my posts about methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone.   He or she desribes themselves by the pathos ridden name foreverbotheredbythisallergy and referring to some products that readers have identifed as free of those two chemicals –

Some the products above have the benzylisothiazoline which can give you the same reaction as the methyl and chloromethylisothiazoline. I have been using Tide Free for years and just now have developed the skin rash. As it turns out it is the benzylisothiazoline in the product. Be warned, the benzylisothiazoline allergy can occur after use over a period of time with a product that has this chemical in it. good luck.

And they are absolutely right.  The medical term for this is cross sensitivity.  If people with allergies didn’t already have enough trouble, it turns out that if you are sensitive to one chemical it might predispose you to get the same reaction to a related one. Continue reading