Test: Moisturizer from Elizabeth Arden contains preservative that Cosmetics Europe advises against using

24. nov 2015

The industry discourages manufacturers from using MI in personal care products which stay on the skin. However, a test from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals show that Elizabeth Arden still uses the preservative in a moisturizing face cream.


Face cream test
Photo: Anne Beck Christensen

MI is unwanted in face creams

Methylisothiazolinone – known as MI – is a highly allergenic preservative.

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.

The problems linked to the preservative are highly prioritized, and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is working on a ban of the preservative in cosmetic products which stay on the skin. The industry itself, Cosmetics Europe, has also – in 2013 – decided to advice against use of MI in products which stay on the skin.

At The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals project manager Stine Müller criticizes Elizabeth Arden’s use of MI in their face cream, which was spotted in a check of the ingredients in expensive face creams.

“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. Unsuspecting consumers can put this face cream under the Christmas tree along with the risk of developing allergy. I recommend that this product is taken off the market immediately,” says Stine Müller.

MI is not only found in cosmetics and personal care products. You can encounter the substance in paint, glue, cleaning detergent and other chemical products.

That way the allergy to MI can constitute a major problem because affected persons get restricted in daily activities. For example an MI allergic person may not be able to visit the houses of relatives, stores or supermarkets if there have been painted recently.

Elizabeth Arden: New products on the way

At Elizabeth Arden Nordic Brand Manager, Anja Bork Hamstrup, stresses that the face cream meets the cosmetic regulations in the EU.

However, the company is examining the content of MI in its products which stay on the skin 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.

Test: No face creams receives top mark

The test of expensive face creams did not have many highlights among the products. No face creams received the highest mark. 

14 face creams receive a medium rank. They contain for example substances which could be  harmful in the  environment and fragrances or plant extract which can increase the risk of developing allergy.

6 face creams get the lowest mark for content of substances which are suspected of being endocrine disrupting – for example parabens.


For more information:

Mrs Stine Müller, sm@fbr.dk, +45 41 94 79 06                                                              

Project Officer, Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals

Relaterede artikler