Hi there!

Today I want to tell something about preservatives used in cosmetics. Or to be more exact, about the hysteria caused by blind believers about those preservatives.

There are multiple preservatives known, for example: alcohol, parabens, methylisothiazolinone, phenoxyethanol and much more.The full list of allowed preservatives in the EU can be found here.
A lot of those preservatives are known to cause skin-irritations, or are taken up into the body. Sure, that is bad. But what most people don’t know is that these preservatives are well known and researched for a long time. Especially parabens seem to be very bad preservatives though they are used for many years and there are quite as much publications which say that they are harmless as there are publications which say they are harmful.

The problem is that because of the huge media-attention regarding the possible bad characteristics of parabens, the manufacturers switch to other preservatives. Which are newer, less researched, and nobody knows what their long term (side)effects are.
One of the ‘newer’ preservatives is methylisothiazolinone. This is a nasty compound which is already banned from use in cosmetics in Canada and Japan. But the European Union still allows it to be used. Even though methylisothiazolinone has been proved to induce contact allergies and potential nerve damaging. Overall it is even more harmful than the parabens.

The shift from paraben to methylisothiazolinone has mainly happend because customers thought that the parabens were so harmful. As they got told by the media. But the customers do not know that the alternatives are even more harmful. And that is exactly why I hate this kind of blind panic introduced by the media. Though it has some benefits, as a result of increase methylisothiazolinone there will be more people with skin irriations. Those people need doctors and treatment which keep the dermatology-business running. Sadly enough it is something we created ourselves and we have to pay for it whereas the manufactures will be laughing out loud.



2 thoughts on “Preservatives

  1. You are absolutely right about the media strongly influencing the perception of parabens, however, it is not completely unfounded. Just because there is no conclusive evidence about the dangers of parabens does not automatically mean they are safe. People should make informed decisions and stay current about information regarding preservatives instead of listening to an uninformed 3rd party. There is a similar split of opponents and proponents for methylisothiazolinone as well. An alternative to all of this would be to have these products on the shelf no longer than 1-2 years! 😉 Check out my blog, I will be covering topics similar to this.

    • I hope you noticed that my message was that it is a unwelcome development that if one preservative (or any other ingredient) gets a bad reputation (which might not even be justified), the concerning ingredient will be replaced by something which is possible even worse.
      And there are currently more people with allergic reactions due to methylisothiazolinone then due to parabens (at least where I live). Though I agree with you that both preservatives do not have a spotless reputation.

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