Molton Brown

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:

Molton Brown Gingerlily Hand Wash — MI-Free

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

These results will bring up both MI-free and MI-containing products, but to browse the Molton Brown site, click here for US and click here for UK and click here for Australia.

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.


  1. Elaine john

    I have recently purchased pink pepperpod and heavenly ginger lily body lotions. I notice they still contain this ingredient despite your assurance that your products will be free of it commencing February 2017. I have developed a rash where I’ve used it on my body, which is why i did some research and found this article. Please advise. Im no longer using the lotions but still have a rash. Will it go away by itself? I haven’t used the lotions for over a week.

    1. MI Free (Post author)

      Elaine – you’ll need to contact Molton Brown themselves about this as they are unlikely to read this post! Are you sure the body lotion contains this ingredient? Is this in the UK? If you want to email me a picture of the product with ingredients and let me know when and where you purchased it, I can perhaps investigate. You’ll find my email address in the About section.

  2. CjBerk

    Obviously, Molton Brown is not telling the truth. it’s now May 2019 and unfortunately my MB Orange&Bergamot body lotion still contains MI. I’ve had skin irritation for years and never connected it to MB. I use and love all their shower gels and lotions…well not anymore. I live in NYC (U.S.seems to have less regulations).So thanks for educating me. I need to find a list of harmful ingredients.

    1. MI Free (Post author)

      I need to update this post, I think, Carole. I’m sure MB were telling the truth but this may just apply to UK / EU. US hasn’t yet banned MI / MCI in leave-on products. You’ll find plenty of brands in the cosmetics lists on this site which are safe and sold in the US, if you’re just avoiding MI / MCI. Not sure what you mean by ‘harmful ingredients’, but am sure many are free from those too.

      1. Elaine john

        It still applies here in the u.k. My NEW products still have thus ingredient. I had a bad rash all over where i used it.

        1. MI Free (Post author)

          Elaine, I followed up with Molton Brown on Twitter. They said all products are now MI / MCI free in the UK as sold from their online store, and authorised traders. They say they can’t vouch for unauthorised traders. Where did you buy your products? The exchange on Twitter is here:


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