Common Ingredient in Kids' 'Hypoallergenic' Products Can Cause Awful Rash

bath products

Many parents may reach for "hypoallergenic" bath products trusting that they're better for their kids' sensitive skin ... yet a story has surfaced that suggests certain products with this label don't live up to their hype. 


According to the Consumerist, an ingredient called methylisothiazolinone (or MI) in Suave Kids Body Wash had caused an 8-year-old girl to be covered from the neck down in a horrible rash.

Worse yet, the parents spent four horrible months trying to pinpoint the source, ignoring the bottle in their own bathroom because the label claimed "hypoallergenic" and "safe for kids’ delicate skin."

Once the parents stopped using the product, their daughter's rash disappeared. And while their child's allergic reaction was rare, they did find a Facebook page for individuals sensitive to MI, isothiazolinone, and chloroisothiazolinone with over 5,000 followers.

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And Suave Body Wash is hardly the only source: One 2014 study by Baylor College of Medicine of over 152 products for children and babies -- bubble baths, moisturizers, sunscreens -- found that 30 contained MI.

The European Commission banned MI from leave-in products, and the FDA has set limits on MI use. Companies like Johnson & Johnson have pledged to phase out MI in leave-on products, and as for Unilever, the company has stated they've also removed MI from the majority of their products and have reduced levels to satisfy international requirements for rinse-off products ... which means a little bit of MI is still there.

Although companies appear to be reducing MI levels, here's my question: Why are they still allowed to use the "hypoallergic" label on products with MI? It certainly makes me, as a mom, think twice about trusting this marketing slogan anymore. 


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