Molton Brown use both methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone in some of their products — but others are isothiazolinone-free.
We got in touch with them to ask which products were safe, and to clarify comments made on social media that suggested the brand would become entirely MI-free by 2017.
These are the currently safe products:
1. Tabacco — Body Wash
2. Lily Of the Valley — Body Wash & Lotion
3. Rosa Absolute — Body Wash & Lotion
4. Honey Suckle & White Tea — Body Wash & Lotion
5. Gingerlily — Hand Wash & Lotion
6. Vintage — Body Wash & Lotion
7. Oudh — Body Wash & Lotion
8. Rhubarb & Rose — Body Wash & Lotion
They also sent us a long document concerning their use of MI, and outlining some future plans. One extract reads:
“… MI has not been used as a preservative system in any new formulas that we have launched since the beginning of 2015. A re-formulation of all the current recipes that contain MI is well under way and we plan to be completely MI free in 2017 (Ed. our emphasis). Leave on products like creams and lotions will be the first to be altered, followed by our body washes and scrubs etc.”
Elsewhere they say that “MI is in most cosmetics and most brands – including tooth pastes” — which I’m not convinced is true — and also strongly recommend patch testing to be sure MI is to blame when you do suspect it, which of course is good advice. They stress that they have always used the preservative within legally required limits.
Overall, good news for many who like MB products. Given that the banning of isothiazolinones in leave-on products will take effect from 12th February 2017, we assume that Molton Brown intend to meet that target with regard to their creams and lotions, at least in the EU, and then follow in spring or summer with rinse-off products. We’ll try to keep you posted.
Postscript: I was moved to check with Molton Brown on their MI / MCI status in May 2019, and it was confirmed to me that all products sold via their UK store and through authorised sellers in the UK were now MI / MCI free. They could not vouch for unauthorised traders, however. You can see the exchange on Twitter here.
NB: Remember to double check all products and labels prior to purchase, especially during upcoming transition periods, when both old and new stock of reformulated products may still be available both in-store and online.