Isothiazolinone preservatives are turning up in cosmetics in which they should not be turning up.
First, in New Zealand, Stuff reported the shocking case of a woman who’d used a cleanser containing benzisothiazolinone (BIT) — which is not permitted for use in cosmetics, only in household cleaners and paints — and which caused painful, perhaps long-lasting damage to her eye.
Now, The European Commission’s weekly alert system on dangerous non-food products in the EU has just revealed eleven leave-on products containing methylisothiazolinone (MI) — seven of which also contain methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) — which have spent time illegally on the market.
You can scroll through the full list of products here, although they include products unrelated to MI / MCI, so for convenience here are the eleven products listed. In brackets, I have added further comments on additional details I have been able to ascertain from reading the labels:
4. Diana contre les taches de rousseur (Lebanese product, sold in the UK, and probably French-speaking nations)
5. Clere hand and body lotion – Cocoa Butter BB 02/2018, and Lanolin and Glycerin BB 07/2019 (English and Portuguese on the label).
6. St. Ives Daily Hydrating and Intensive Healing and 24 Hr Deep Restoring (USA product)
7. Revmatol / Med-Eq: Joints and Muscles Cream (a Norwegian product, language on pack appears to be Slovene)
8. RICH Pure Luxury Moisture Leave-in Conditioner and Rich Pure Luxury Argan Curl Enhancing Cream (USA product, presumably sold in the UK)
9. RICH Pure Luxury Energising Multi-Style Gel and Pure Luxury Argan Volumising Mousse and Pure Luxury Energising Matte Texture Paste (USA product, presumably sold in the UK and possibly elsewhere)
10. Perlier Body Honey Miel – Fluid Cream Moisturizing (Italian product, possibly sold on mainland Europe)
11. Perlier Body Honey Miel – Revitalizing Body Butter (Italian product)
These products should have been withdrawn from the market.
If you have bought any of these products in Europe or online, check the labels, do not use them, take a picture of the product, and return to the retailer.
As always: don’t drop your guard, stick to safe and known brands and retailers, and always check and double-check ingredients. For a list of cosmetic brands and products free from MI / MCI, check our Cosmetics directories on the menu bar.