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
There was a lot of interest in hypoallergenic products back in the eighties when I first started as a formulator. Back then the perception was that natural ingredients were the problem. Like a lot of popular ideas it corresponded to prejudice rather than evidence. But few of us, scientists included, trouble to check our beliefs against actual data. Continue reading
I am afraid this is old news, though as it happens new to me. I am not sure how I missed it but it turns out that a very large and well conducted survey was carried out into the link between antiperspirants and breast cancer. It was done in 2002 by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and is explicitly inspired by internet rumours about such a link. Continue reading
This is what a patch test looks like.
Should you use natural products if you have sensitive skin?
There is an argument that you shouldn’t. The problem is that an allergic reaction is caused by your immune system reacting to something that it encounters and identifies as a threat. Natural products contain a wider diversity of ingredients so you have a bigger chance of one of them being something that will give you a problem. Continue reading
Colin’s Beauty Pages has been getting massive traffic over the last couple of days from people searching out information on methylisothiazolinone. I gather the issue has got some media coverage over in the US – which is where most of it is coming from. I don’t know exactly what form it has taken but it looks like the emphasis has been on MI containing baby wipes. Continue reading
One of the Chemists’ Corner team made a very good point on Twitter. If antibacterial soaps, most of which contain triclosan, are effective then industry shouldn’t have any trouble demonstrating the fact. The context to this is a recent request from the FDA for data supporting the efficacy of antibacterial soaps. Continue reading
An interesting question from Patricia that I think might interest some other people.
I have sensitive skin and always look for cosmetic products which are free of harsh chemicals. I was not aware of the m1 preservative until today when a report was made on the breakfast show and will in future try to find a product which does not include it. However, I have been aware of parabens for some time and have tried to use products that do not include parabens, difficult. Lloyds the Chemist did bring out a range of their own brand moisturisers parabens free, but for some reason I can’t find that range now, think it may be discontinued. Inecto make a moisture replenishing body lotion which is paraben free, I love this, and have given to friends and to one young friend in particular who suffers from dermatitis and she likes it very much. I have checked some of the most expensive brands of cosmetics, and for some reason most seem to include parabens in their make up, don’t know why because surely cosmetics, particularly lipsticks, are something which are used up pretty quickly, I know mine are.
I think there are two distinct meanings to the term sensitive skin. Some people have skin that is just a lot more porous and dry than others. This means that it is not a good barrier and is prone to becoming dry and itchy. I can sympathise with this as my skin is a bit like this, and is getting worse as I get older. Continue reading
I was disappointed with the way Watchdog handled its coverage of methylisothiazolinone. Quite apart from the blatant sensationalisation and lack of explanation, it also failed to address a pretty key question. What do you do if you develop a reaction to a cosmetic product? Continue reading
Although it is a long way from being my most popular post, the one I get most comments on is my one on Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone free products. These preservatives are used in a lot of products. I doubt that anybody alive hasn’t come into contact with them. Most people don’t have any issue with them, but a small proportion of people are allergic to one or other or both. So if you sell large numbers of units, inevitably this leads to complaints. Continue reading
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