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Doctors in the UK have raised concerns about a preservative used commonly in moisturisers, toners, deodorants, shampoos, cosmetics and baby wipes. Preservatives methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) have been linked to an outbreak of acute dermatitis, mostly in women over 40. In the US, the American Contact Dermatitis Society named MI ‘contact allergen of the year’ for 2013. 

Research in the UK suggests that the rate of allergy to these two preservatives is around 10%. Here, a study by the Contact Dermatitis Clinic, Skin and Cancer Foundation in Melbourne found that MI is also an "important allergen in both cosmetic and occupational settings in Australia." Allergic reactions to the preservatives include facial swelling, itching, hives and redness.

Pharmaoil is 100% preservative free and we use all natural ingredients that are kind to your skin.

Yours in skin health,


It's a label being used more and more often: paraben-free. But what exactly are parabens and why are some researchers concerned about their widespread use?

Parabens are a group of common chemicals used in many cosmetics and skin care products, including deodorants, moisturisers and soaps, to preserve them. They're controversial because researchers in the United Kingdom recently studied 40 samples of tissues from breast cancer sufferers and found that parabens were contained in every single sample. Another study by the US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the common parabens, Methylparaben and Propylparaben were found in the urine of most people that they tested, indicating widespread exposure in the US population. Concerns have long been raised about a possible link between parabens and breast cancer as they possess oestrogenic properties.

Of course, much more research needs to be done to get to the bottom of whether there is a link between parabens and breast cancer. But while the jury is still out, Pharmaoil will not be using any parabens in our products. We also do not use parabens because they a known skin irritant for those who suffer paraben allergies, causing contact dermatitis and rosacea in these sufferers.

Common parabens include methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216) and butylparaben. Less common parabens include isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben and their sodium salts.

Yours in skin health,