Cosmetics: Consumer Associations Advises Against Purchases from a U.S. Online Store

The Danish Association of Cosmetics and Detergents (SPT) has issued a warning about products from, an online store based in the United States, and advised consumers not to purchase any cosmetics there. The reason is a study undertaken as part of the Think Chemicals initiative. Scientists bought and inspected about 39 different cosmetics from the site. The sobering conclusion? The labels on more than half of the products did not comply with the labeling requirements of the EU Cosmetics Regulation. An indication of the ingredients was missing for 21 of the products. Although a well-known face cream listed its ingredients, they included two allergenic preservatives, methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), both of which are prohibited in the EU. According to SPT, many of the products involved come from China.

The EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC Regulation No. 1223/2009 and No. 2016/1198) has prohibited MIT in leave-on cosmetics products (like face lotions and creams) since February 2017. Even stronger threshold values have applied to rinse-off cosmetics and body care products since April 27 of this year. The EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC Regulation No. 1223/2009 and No. 2017/1224) requires with immediate effect that MIT be limited in a ready-to-use preparation of cosmetics only up to a concentration of 0.0015%.

MCI used in mixtures with MIT (3:1) is permitted as a biocide only for defined types of products according to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/131.

According to the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), isothiazolinone (21% of cases) and fragrances (46% of cases) cause the most allergies in cosmetics. For more information, see our blog entry.

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