5 Sneaky Health Hazards That Are Lurking In Your Medicine Cabinet – Prevention.com

Many skin and hair-care products, particularly disposable wet wipes like baby wipes and makeup removal wipes, contain the preservative methlisothiazolinone, or MI, which has been linked to a dramatic rise in allergic reactions that resemble poison ivy. To further complicate matters, many cosmetics marketed as “gentle,” “sensitive,” “organic,” or “hypoallergenic” often contain MI.

The good news is that a growing number of products are now MI-free, says Megan Jean Schlichte, MD, a medical resident in the dermatology department at Baylor College of Medicine, who coauthored a 2014 report on the use of MI. Some brands she says are doing a good job of avoiding this preservative include Aveeno, CeraVe, Neutrogena, and Vanicream. For more info on products that are MI-free, check out the website MI-free.com. (Also try the natural, cruelty-free Rain Facial Cleanser from the Prevention Shop. It’s great for all skin types, including oily or acne- and eczema-prone.)

Schlichte recommends checking the ingredient listing on all personal-care products to avoid common allergens like MI and the preservative mixture MCI/MI, as well as formaldehyde, fragrance, and quaternium-15. This scrutiny is particularly important for people with eczema or who have impaired skin barriers due to age or underlying skin disease, she says. Keep in mind, too, that allergic reactions can take time to develop, so you might not have a reaction until you’ve been exposed to the offending ingredient several times. (Here’s the most toxic stuff in drugstore makeup, and 8 organic brands to try instead.)


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