Beauty industry trade body Cosmetics Europe has recommended that manufacturers eliminate the preservative MIT from all leave-on skin products.
This announcement comes following discussions with the European Society of Contact Dermatitis and other experts in skin care, who advised the association that the product might be responsible for a rash of contact allergy and allergic contact dermatitis cases which have been reported recently in Europe.
In the future, Cosmetics Europe will only permit the ingredient in wash-off products, such as shower gels, rather than leave-on items like sunscreen.
Earlier this year, major cosmetics manufacturer Johnson & Johnson eliminated MI/MIT from its Piz Buin sun cream range after 150 people reported allergic reactions.
Cosmetics Europe statement
The industry body has carried out its' investigation, which was a thorough review of the clinical and toxicological data for MIT, with the support of “experts from ingredient suppliers and cosmetics products manufacturers”
In a statement, the organization commented: “Based on the careful assessment of available data, the industry experts concluded that there was evidence to suggest a relationship between the use of leave-on skin products, including cosmetic wet wipes containing MIT, and the induction of contact allergy and allergic contact dermatitis.”
“Therefore the removal of MIT from leave-on skin products including cosmetic wet wipes is expected to significantly decrease the incidence of induction of contact allergy to MIT.”
Dermatology society response
In a statement, Dr David Orton, a member of the British Association of Dermatologists and president of the British Society of Cutaneous Allergy, praised the move but asserted that it did not go far enough in removing the allergen problem.
He commented: “As it currently stands, this recommendation falls short of calling for the removal or a reduction of MI levels in rinse-off cosmetics, such as shower gels or shampoos.”
“We still have concerns that its continued use at present concentrations in such products will elicit allergic reactions in those that are already sensitized. This is a matter which we are hoping to reach agreement on in future planned discussions.”