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Toxic Chemicals: Skin Irritant Banned in EU, Still Allowed in U.S.

Toxic Ingredients

The EU has always been more strict when it came to toxic chemicals in beauty products, and they recently banned a chemical linked to eczema and allergic reactions.

Methylisothiazonlinone (MI) – a preservative – is being removed from skin products in the E.U. According to Cosmetics Europe the chemical is linked to severe allergic reactions and to eczema.

MI works as a preservative in beauty product like parabens, and cosmetics makers don’t have to use any of these toxic chemicals as preservatives in beauty formulas. As our editor – Liz Thompson – explains:

Certain formulations do require a preservative to be safe, but parabens are certainly not the only option. There are many safe natural preservative ingredients and systems that are healthier alternatives to synthetics.

The trade association Cosmetics Europe advised members to stop using MI in “leave-on” products, like creams and lotions that don’t get immediately rinsed off of skin. In a statement, the group said:

It is recommended that companies do not wait for regulatory intervention under the Cosmetics Regulation but implement this recommendation as soon as feasible.

MI is common in skin creams, moisturizers, shampoo, and wet wipes.

Toxic Ingredients: MI in Baby Wipes

This isn’t the first MI-related dust-up this year. This fall, a story broke that MI was being used in high concentrations in baby wipes, causing children and adults who used them to break out in terrible rashes.

I actually found out about this when I mentioned my son’s diaper rash to our pediatrician, and she asked me what sort of baby wipes we were using. The wipes – Huggies Pure and Natural – contained this toxic ingredient, and less than a week after switching to MI-free wipes, my baby’s rash disappeared completely. We now use Seventh Generation and Whole Foods 365 brand wipes when we need disposable wet wipes.

We don’t actually use disposable wet wipes with our son most of the time, which made his severe reaction even more surprising. If you want to be 1000 percent sure that your wipes are MI-free, you can make your own DIY reusable wet wipes using my tutorial from Crafting a Green World!

Image Credit: Face Cream photo via Shutterstock

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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