Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a powerful synthetic biocide which is used in numerous cosmetic products and industrial applications. It’s a cytotoxin that may affect different types of cells – despite this it is used as a preservative in many lotions, moisturisers, shampoos, cleaning products, sunscreens, etc.
MI is therefore allergenic – it causes contact allergic dermatitis and its symptoms include redness, rashes, inflammation, itchiness and irritation, and if the contact is longer it can eventually cause scaly, flaky skin.
I noticed some of these symptoms on my skin a year ago and I went to a dermatologist who prescribed me a cream. The cream seemed to help but then the symptoms would come back in a month or in a few weeks. I knew that something had to be wrong with the products I was using, so I tried switching to different moisturisers but it was the same no matter what I was using. This year I got fed up with it and instead of going to the dermatologist again I decided to do my own research and I came to the conclusion that it’s probably caused by MI. I never before heard of that chemical and when I checked the labels on products it was listed on some of them – my shampoo, face cream and dishwashing liquid.
I wanted to be sure that it really was MI that was causing my symptoms so I switched to The Body Shop products (during my research I found out that they don’t use this chemical at all, which is very rare to find) and I bought gloves to use for when I’m washing the dishes. Over some time I noticed that my symptoms subsided and none have come back so far. So I gave away all the products containing MI, apart from the dishwashing liquid because I still keep using the gloves, and I bought more products from The Body Shop to eventually replace pretty much everything I was using before. The Body Shop is more pricey than an average drugstore but I think it’s worth it and their products are of a very high quality.
I wanted to write about this becasue my allergy bothered me a lot, especially because I didn’t know what it was caused by. If you’ve noticed any similar symptoms then maybe you should check the labels and see if methylisothiazolinone and other isothiazolinones are in your products.
I hope that this post has been helpful and let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂