Methylisothiazolinone – EU Labelling and Law

Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) must be declared on cosmetics labels when present in the formulation.

(Note that small products may not carry a list of ingredients. In this case, the ingredients must by law be made available at the point of sale – if in store, ask an assistant, and if online, email customer services.)

EU cosmetics labelling laws treats ‘leave on’ products (such as face creams) differently to ‘rinse/wash off’ products (such as shower gels). 

The legalities and processes are complicated, and are under constant under review. 

On 16th April 2016, the MI / MCI blend was banned from leave-on products in the European Union.

On 12th February 2017, MI was banned from leave-on products in the European Union.  

Both MI and the MI / MCI blend are permitted in rinse off products, and this is likely to remain the case in future. 

Removal of the preservatives in leave-on products may help to reduce the number of people becoming sensitised to MI, but will not help those individuals already sensitive to MI – who will have to continue to read ingredients labels carefully. 

For blog posts concerning legislation, click here

For MI-free cosmetic brands, click here, or use the drop-down menu above for cosmetic types. 

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