the SKINny girl

living with eczema, allergies and other skin issues

Methylisothiazolinone

I went to the dermatologist and had a skin patch test done on my back. No bathing for 48 hours. Basically, you sit tight while the chemicals and preservatives do their thing on your back. If you’re allergic, the 48 hours are hell. My entire back was itchy so I figured I was allergic to everything on that T.R.U.E. Test. My dermatologist said that my skin was irritated by the adhesive she used to tape the test to my back and that I only had a reaction to one preservative: methylisothiazolinone.

T.R.U.E. Allergy Test - my back

It has taken me a couple of weeks to memorize this word and now I look for it in all products I purchase. It’s such a common ingredient — it’s in products such as cosmetics (foundations, powders, concealers, bronzers, self-tanners, makeup removers, moisturizers, sunscreens, eye shadows, and mascaras. It’s also found in shampoos, hair conditioners, gels, bubble baths, soaps, baby wipes, creams, lotions and over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Other sources include detergents, fabric softeners, cleansers, pesticides, polishes and some toilet paper) and is also found in air conditioning, metal working, water cooling and latex emulsions such as paints. In industrial situations, it is called Kathon and is used in curing agents, adhesives and glues, jet fuels, printing inks, radiography and slim control agents in paper mills.

Synonyms for Methylisothiazolinone:

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)
  • Kathon
  • 5-Chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one
  • 2-Methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one

I may also react to other isothiazolinones.

Here is a site that lists a bunch of products that contain this preservative: Cosmetics Database.

This is the US Department of Health & Human Services’ page on household products that contain this preservative: Household Products Database for Methylisothiazolinone

This is definitely turning me into a more vigilant consumer, but I’m bummed that one of my favorite hand creams contains this ingredient.

Lollia Hand Cream

Time to toss it out.

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