MI is a preservative currently used in cosmetics to prevent unwanted growth of bacteria and yeasts, although it has become a concern because of sensitization and allergic reactions, if used at high levels.
Although industry wants to avoid banning every preservative ingredient one-by-one, from a list that is small anyway, trade association Cosmetics Europe recommended MI use was discontinued in leave on products two years ago; and Elizabeth Arden products were highlighted by THINK in Denmark as still using the preservative in a moisturising face cream.
Elizabeth Arden Nordic Brand Manager, Anja Bork Hamstrup, responded by stressing that the face cream meets the cosmetic regulations in the EU, but that the company is examining the content of MI in its leave-on products after the 2013 recommendation from Cosmetics Europe.
“Elizabeth Arden has completed or is in the process of completing the reformulation of the handful of products in its portfolio that contain MI and expects the reformulated products to be on the market within the next several months,” says Anja Bork Hamstrup.
The Elizabeth Arden cream was one of 20 face creams that had their ingredients checked by the Danish Council, with none receiving the highest mark it said - 14 face creams receive a medium rank and six face creams got the lowest mark for content of substances which are suspected of being endocrine disrupting.
“It is disappointing that Elizabeth Arden still has not removed these products from the market when there is agreement that it is a major problem and when their own business organization advices against the use,” says Stine Müller, project manager at The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.
“Unsuspecting consumers can put this face cream under the Christmas tree along with the risk of developing allergy.”
In Denmark the Allergy Research Centre estimates that 1,000 Danes develop allergy to the substance each year and subsequently suffer from the allergy for the rest of their lives.
Despite the Cosmetics Europe recommendation and many companies moving to remove it from formulations, the Elizabeth Arden cream is following EU regulation, and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is working on a ban of the preservative in leave-on cosmetic products.