Last week Watchdog reported on the increase in adverse reaction to Piz Buin 1-day-long sun lotion, and specifically a reaction to the ingredient: Methylisothiazolinone (MI).

Published 25 September 2013

After Watchdog's report, Piz Buin announced that it would be removing MI from all of its leave-on products.

And these four major brands are following suit:

  • Vaseline
  • Brylcreem
  • Huggies
  • Nivea

They have all told Watchdog that they are changing the formulation of these cosmetics.

However it's not such good news from the following brands. They say they will continue to use MI for as long as it remains approved by Europe.

  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
  • Umberto Giannini
  • Boots Botanics conditioner
  • Boots Fruit Essence dry ends shampoo
  • L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Day Cream SPF30
  • Dove Men+Care Face Wash Sensitive
  • Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash
  • St Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub Blemish Fighting
  • Radox Shower Smoothies Spirit Booster
  • Charles Worthington

Company Responses

 

A SPOKESPERSON FOR UNILEVER SAYS:

(RE: Vaseline Hand Cream, Brylcreem Wet Strong Wet Look Gel, Brylcreem Extreme Ultimate Hold Gel)

Consumers trust us to provide them with products that are safe and effective. Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a commonly used preservative in a range of consumer products. Preservatives are an important ingredient in many personal care products because they help prevent contamination by microorganisms. Without preservatives, bacteria, germs and other organisms could develop, leading to product deterioration, spoilage and safety issues.

Over the past months we have closely followed dermatologists’ concerns about MI. The human and environmental safety of our products is our top priority and we regularly update our assessments in light of new information and scientific developments. We discussed the new findings with dermatologists and have reviewed the use of MI in all our products. As a result, we decided to phase-out MI from all leave-on personal care products and started our replacement programme earlier this year. We will continue to engage with dermatologists on our approach, ensuring that our products are safe and effective.

A SPOKESPERSON FOR KIMBERLY-CLARK SAYS:

(RE: Huggies Pure Wipes, Huggies Natural Care Wipes)

Kimberly-Clark has a long history of providing products that improve the health, hygiene, and well-being of families everywhere and is constantly striving to identify and develop new solutions that respond to our consumers' needs. While the low levels of the preservative, MI, used in our wipes remain 100% safe as established by scientific and regulatory bodies such as the European Commission Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel in the U.S, we recognise that some of our consumers have concerns about the use of this ingredient.

We have been evaluating alternative preservative options over the past few years and are now ready to confirm that, beginning next year, Huggies® will be introducing new wipes that are MI-free across its entire baby wipe product range in Europe, the United States, Canada and other global markets. At Kimberly-Clark, nothing is more important than the health and safety of the families who use our products and consumers can continue to use our products with confidence.’

A SPOKESPERSON FOR NIVEA SAYS:

(RE: Nivea in Shower Body Moisturiser, Nivea Men Sensitive Moisturiser, Nivea Fragrance Free Facial Cleansing Wipes, Nivea Pure and Natural Night Cream)

The scientific advisory committee of the European Commission, the former SCCNFP, has evaluated this substance and concluded the safety up to a concentration of 0,01 % (adopted on plenary 23.04.2004). Based on this opinion, a Commission Directive (2005/42/EC) was published on 20.06.2005, amending the Annex VI of the EU Cosmetics Directive, authorizing the use of Methylisothiazolinone as preservative in cosmetics.

Methylisothiazolinone is the latest approved preservative in Europe thus meeting the most current requirements on safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients.

In addition to the official approvals from European regulatory bodies, all Beiersdorf products utilizing Methylisothiazolinone have been subject to an expert safety assessment and release by our company toxicologists.

However consumer safety is our leading priority and in response to these new findings we are already working on replacing Methylisothiazolinone in all our skin care formulations where it is currently used. Methylisothiazolinone is only used in some NIVEA products. We do use a range of different preservatives in different products to give consumers, who have sensitivities to any particular ingredient, more choice.

A SPOKESPERSON FOR PALMER'S SAYS:

(RE: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter)

Consumers’ safety matters to us that is the reason why all Palmer’s products and ingredients we use are in accordance with the safety standards of both the UK and EU recommendations and regulations.

Furthermore all Palmer’s products go through rigorous quality and safety checks before being marketed to consumers.

MI is an approved preservative by the European Commission and our safety reports on this preservative state that “Its inclusion in Palmer’s products does not present a health risk to consumers”.

In addition, the concentration of MI in Palmer’s products that have it in is very minimal and in accordance with the safety levels recommended by EU regulations.

Along with the normal Repeat Insult Patch Testing that we conduct for all our products, we conduct additional testing for any products of the range labeled “for sensitive skin”.

In light of the above, we are using compliant ingredients and are making the necessary testing before marketing our products to the public. Therefore at this point in time no reformulation will be carried out.

A SPOKESPERSON FOR BOOTS SAYS:

(RE: Umberto Giannini, Boots Botanics conditioner, Boots Fruit Essence dry ends shampoo)

At Boots UK we are focused on bringing our customers great health and beauty brands that they can trust. All our products are subject to strict European safety regulations and our team of Formulation experts carefully test all products before they go on sale. We will continue to keep up to date with the latest research and carefully assess any new findings. Customers with any questions about skin allergies should always speak to their GP or pharmacist for further information.

A SPOKESPERSON FOR L'ORÉAL SAYS: 

(RE: L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Day Cream SPF30)

Consumer safety is always the highest priority for L’Oréal. MI (Methylisothiazolinone) is a very effective preservative that has been widely-used for years in many industries with a well-known safety record. MI has efficient anti-bacterial properties, which is why it is frequently used in cosmetic products, so that consumers can enjoy long-lasting and safe cosmetics.

L’Oréal is aware of the concerns about MI and its allergy potential. Alongside the cosmetics industry, we are working closely with leading European dermatologists (the European Society of Contact Dermatitis) to develop a workable solution that will account for these potential effects and address these concerns

A SPOKESPERSON FOR UNILEVER SAYS:

(RE: Dove Men+Care Face Wash Sensitive, Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash, St Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub Blemish Fighting, Radox Shower Smoothies Spirit Booster x 2)

Consumers trust us to provide them with products that are safe and effective. Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a commonly used preservative in a range of consumer products. Preservatives are an important ingredient in many personal care products because they help prevent contamination by microorganisms. Without preservatives, bacteria, germs and other organisms could develop, leading to product deterioration, spoilage and safety issues.

Over the past months we have closely followed dermatologists’ concerns about MI. The human and environmental safety of our products is our top priority and we regularly update our assessments in light of new information and scientific developments. We discussed the new findings with dermatologists and have reviewed the use of MI in all our products. As a result, we decided to phase-out MI from all leave-on personal care products and started our replacement programme earlier this year. We will continue to engage with dermatologists on our approach, ensuring that our products are safe and effective.

A SPOKESPERSON FOR CHARLES WORTHINGTON SAYS:

The safety of our customers is our top priority. We take the greatest care in formulating products that conform to the highest quality standards and are safe for their intended use. Methylisothiazolinone (MI) which is contained within our Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Conditioner has been approved for use for many years under strict European cosmetics legislation. The primary purpose of these laws is to protect human safety and all of our products have been independently safety assessed by a qualified safety assessor. Nevertheless, we have already directly responded to the Public Consultation launched as part of the European Commission’s independent expert scientific committee’s review of the material (the Scientific Committee on Consumer safety, SCCS) by not using MI in new product development until the SCCS reports further.

We ask anyone who knows they are allergic to an ingredient or combination of ingredients to refer to the product labelling on pack. Should viewers have concerns about any of our products, please contact our customer services team on 0800 0234 966.

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