Products free of Methylchloroisothiazolinone/Methylisothiazolinone (aka Kathon CG)

My post on methylchoroisothiazolinone/methylchoroisothiazolinone has generated a lot of interest particularly from people who are sensitive to it and looking for alternative products. Given how widely it is used I thought I would try and create a page which listed some products that definitely do not contain this preservative system.

Update 3.4.14 I have had quite a lot of suggestions via the contact form on this page and directly via e-mail.  My plan now is to try and create some lists which I’ll share via my sensitive skin newsletter where people will hopefully share their experiences.  If you’d like to participate sign up for the sensitive skin newsletter.

Update 13/03/16 I have had some lists of MI free products up for a while now in the hope that people will share their experiences to help identify which products are safe for people with MI issues.  This is sort of working, though not as well as I had hoped, and people keep putting useful product information in the comments on this post.  If you have something to share please pop over to where it can be a lot more use.

The idea is to help people who are sensitive, not to promote particular products.   I am thinking in terms of just a few products per category, and where there are quite a few options I’ll rotate them so the page doesn’t get cluttered.  This is only going to work if I get a reasonable number of suggestions from sufferers.  I am not going to list product categories where these preservatives wouldn’t generally be used, so I won’t bother with lipsticks and deodourants for instance.
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There are some companies that have a blanket policy of not using these preservatives.  These include Body Shop, but most are relatively small.  If you know of any I’d love to hear about them, or if you think those policies have changed.  In Body Shop outlets they have a reference of the ingredients used, so you can ask specifically about this ingredient.  Don’t be self conscious if you can’t pronounce it.  The sales staff probably won’t be able to either.

MI is often used in combination with MCI (methylchoroisothiazolinone) and is used at a much lower concentration.  It is often at a very low concentration indeed in fact.  There is a good chance that even if you are sensitive to MI, you may not be sensitive to the MI/MCI combination.  You probably won’t want to take that chance and it does make working out whether or not you have MI sensitivity harder. You might well find that there are some products that contain MI that don’t give you a problem.

MI is mainly used in products that contain a lot of water.  So you’ll see it in things like shampoos, washes, lotions and such like.  It is not such a good choice for things like creams.  It is very widely used in household products where it is not always necessary for it to be listed as an ingredient and where names other than methylisothiazolinone are often used.  All I can say is beware.  Just about the only good news is that all cosmetic products that contain it will list it on the ingredient list and that they will always use the same name i.e., methylisothiazolinone.  You can be confident that any cosmetic or personal care product that doesn’t list it doesn’t contain it.


Since I posted this, methylisothizolinone or MI has become a big news story and this has become a big story and this has become my most visited page.  Sadly most of the people who visit stay only a few seconds and never comment.  But for those of you who have made it this far, I have written quite a bit on this subject since.  (Links below)

I also get a lot of e-mails, some of which contain useful information.  I have now given up any hope of simply keeping this post up to date, and have decided to do a newsletter instead.  I hope you will sign up for it.

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