Methylisothiazolinone (MI)

We use preservatives to keep home and personal care products in good condition: without them, they could be spoiled by bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We choose our preservative ingredients carefully, making sure they are safe and effective to people who use our products.

Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a common preservative used in the personal care industry, however there are now concerns it may trigger allergies in some people. We have removed MI from the vast majority of our leave-on personal care products. For rinse-off personal care products, we are reducing MI levels globally to ensure we meet new regulatory requirements. 

In our personal care products, the presence of MI is shown in the ingredients list so that any person who is allergic to MI can avoid using the product. We will continue to monitor scientific developments to ensure that all our products are safe, effective and fully compliant with regulatory requirements.

Your questions answered

What is MI?

MI is a clear, colourless liquid that is soluble in water. It enhances the safety and shelf-life of products by preventing the growth of bacteria and yeasts. Without preservatives like MI, products could start to smell unpleasant, change colour or grow moulds which can produce toxins which are harmful to health.

Does MI cause allergies?

Most people who use products containing MI have no allergic reaction. However, after dermatologists expressed concern that MI can trigger skin allergies in increasing numbers of people, our Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) reviewed all relevant clinical data. As a result, we are phasing it out from our leave-on personal care products and reducing levels in rinse-off personal care products.

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