Cosmetics guidelines for skin cleansing wipes


New guidelines from Cosmetics Europe, the personal care association recommends that the use of Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) in leave-on skin products including moist patient wipes is discontinued.1

This recommendation comes as a result of a thorough review in 2013 of the clinical toxicological and cosmetovigilance data initially assessed by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) in 2004. In light of this review (SCCS/1238/09), the Commission proposes to restrict the use of MIT to rinse-off products.

In a statement by Cosmetics Europe, the body said: ‘This action is recommended in the interests of consumer safety in relation to adverse skin reactions.  It is recommended that companies do not wait for regulatory intervention under the Cosmetics Regulation but implement this recommendation as soon a feasible.’1

The use of preservative systems including Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a currently a high profile topic within the global cosmetics industry, with serious implications to skin integrity and health.  Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) are biocide preservatives frequently used within personal care and cosmetic products in rinse off and leave-on formulations.  Recent clinical data within Europe demonstrate a rapidly increasing frequency of contact allergy to MI, increasing from 1% to 11% between 2010 and 2013.1,2

In addition, chelating agents such as Disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and parabens are also widely used and can potentially be harmful.  Disodium EDTA is a chelating agent incorporated into formulations to prevent precipitation of trace (heavy) metals. Parabens are preservatives with bactericidal and fungicidal properties used to prolong the life of cosmetic products. However, parabens have been known to mimic the action of oestrogen which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers.3

There have been many concerns over the use of these chemicals in cosmetic products.  They have been shown to cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis and rosacea in people with paraben allergies and have even been found in breast cancer tumors.3,4  Concerns have also been raised by the cosmetics industry regarding the use of Disodium EDTA and certain European markets including the Nordic region where use of parabens or Disodium EDTA in formulations are not permitted.

Synergy Health does not use MI or MCI/MI preservatives in any patient hygiene products including Oasis™ bed bathing wipes. In 2013, steps were also taken to remove parabens and Disodium EDTA from the formulations of skin cleansing products.

Jonathan Wogel, Managing Director, Healthcare Solutions said: ‘In response to increasing evidence highlighting concerns over the use of parabens and Disodium EDTA on skin integrity, we took the decision to remove these chemicals from our formulations.’

He added: ‘Our patient hygiene products have been developed to the highest standard in adherence to current cosmetic regulations to ensure gentle and effective cleansing without affecting the skin integrity.’


Refs. 1. Cosmetics Europe News – ASEAN Cosmetics Association recommends discontinuing use of MIT. 2. Johnson G et al 2013 combined multicentre data from British Isles. BSCA. 3. Vince G (12 January 2004). "Cosmetic chemicals found in breast tumours". New Scientist. 4. Nagel JE, Fuscaldo JT, Fireman P. Paraben allergy (April 11, 1977). "Paraben allergy.". J Am Med Assoc 237 (15): 1594–5. doi:10.1001/jama.237.15.1594. PMID 576658



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