Methylchloroisothiazolinone & Methylisothiazolinone Free Products

One of the most commmented on blog posts I have done recently was the one on the preservative combination of methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone.  But I was surprised by the number of people who have written in to talk about their experiences.

I already knew that there were a lot of people who are sensitive to this particular preservative system, but I hadn’t reckoned on them being so motivated to share their stories.

When I thought about it, it occurred to me why.  All but the very smallest personal care companies keep careful records of all the skin reactions that get reported back to them.  If an ingredient, lets call it A irritates 0.02% of users while B irritates 0.01%, then you are going to get twice as many complaints when you use A as when you use B.  So not surprisingly you switch to B.   Given that all the companies are doing the same thing, over time there is a tendency for the least sensitising ingredients to be used most.  When it comes to preservatives this is a particular problem.  It isn’t just that preservatives are more prone to cause irritation, there aren’t that many of the approved for use.  The EU has a list of around 40.  But a lot of them are not suitable for any number of reasons leaving about a dozen that get used regularly.  We are all looking out for the ones that give the lowest level of reactions, so we end up with nearly every product containing either parabens or the azolinones.

While this is perfectly understandable, it does mean that if you happen to be sensitive to one or other of these widely used options you are going to be severely limited in what products you have available to you.  So I am going to try and do something to help.  I have set up a page on my blog where I intend to list products that are free of  methylchloroisothiazolinone.  I am not sure exactly how well this is going to work, so I hope you’ll bear with me as I try and get the format right.  I am more than open to any suggestions from people of products that they have used. So if you have anything you’d like to contribute just pop a comment below.

8 thoughts on “Methylchloroisothiazolinone & Methylisothiazolinone Free Products”

  1. Hello! I haven’t seen your page listing methylisothiazolinone / methylchloroisothiazinolone free products yet, but I was happy to be able to find content regarding the preservatives on your website. I’ve just completed patch testing, & have an allergy to both. I’m told that diaper area cleansing wipes are a problem, even if labeled ” for sensitive skin”. I also work in anaesthesia, with strong anti microbial hand washing products, so both at home & at work I am exposed to the compound which seemed to cause bleeding cracks, burns with subsequent skin peeling, blistering, rawness, incredible itchiness, & even perpetual loss of sleep! I hope to have it under control @ the moment; am seeing a very well-regarded occupational dermatologist, but yours will be the first of any lists I will see for products free of this preservative.
    Thank you!

  2. Although I am happy you are bring awareness to this ingredient that companies are using, I was hoping your blog was posting different products that were free of that item. Your title definitely mislead me. Back to my search for Methylisothiazolinone free products.

  3. I have just had patch testing done and found that my alergy is to methylisothializone I was shocked to find out how many products i use every day have this product in it. I am still looking into products without it. I have beeen using natural products thinking this would help me but when i read the contents they contain it also.

  4. I’m so glad to have come across this page! For 1yr I’ve been dealing with what my doctor called a “dry spot” unfortunately after a series of biopsy’s (7) , steroids, antibiotics, and labs work with horrifying words like lupus, leukemia.. I have patch testing and learn that MI/MCI are my enemy’s. The info I read here today truly have enlightened me. I’ve used the same products for years and suddenly I develop flakey blistering ,bleeding sores: a staph infection and I’ve become a recluse! No more, I’m determined to figure this out! I can’t quite tell if it’s just skin care/household products or is it used in items we consume? Any input is much appreciated, Happy hunting.

  5. I took the test twice to be sure and yes, I am allergic to MI. My husband and I decided that the plan was to find one thing in each category that was free of that preservative – and stick with it. I use Chagrin Valley Honey and Beer soap for both body and hair and have had superb success for 2 years. Their products ARE preservative free. I also use Tide Free and Clear to wash. Please note I also discovered, however, companies may change preservatives without telling you, so always check every once in a while. I read the labels on hand soaps because EVEN IN THE SAME COMPANY, sometimes yes and sometimes no. I do find if it uses Butane Gylenol sp?), it won’t have MI. I never use a soap in a restaurant without checking. I do find if I get one little dose, it won’t really affect. It seems to be concentrated or regular use that causes trouble. I have been itch/sores free for over 2 years. I called the companies of products I use to find out what they do/don’t have in EACH product. Nutrogena was extremely helpful and SOME of their products are free… and cheap and easy to buy. I use their alcohol toner in the summer in the heat. I had a terrible time with the sumptuous mascara of Estee Lauder, though I’m not sure what is in it. Hope this helps. Thanks for your work and info!!!

  6. I found your site from the Environment Working Group (EWG) site. I was diagnosed with Contact Dermatitis for a rash I have had on parts of my neck since 2013. Neither my family doctor nor my Dermatologist said anything about Allergy Testing. I feel that my Dermatologist failed me because he never suggested having Allergy Testing.

    In June 2017, I decided to go for Allergy testings. Not only being allergic to most of the trees and grasses outside our home in North Carolina, I am also allergic to these five Chemicals:



    Methyldibromo Glutaronitrite

    Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB)


    I am happy I found your site — I haven’t had a chance to explore it and I am looking forward to anything that might help me.

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