There are a huge range of ingredients that are often added to beauty products that we believe aren't needed, some of which are now shown to be harmful. One of these is MIT, which we do not put in any Heyland and Whittle products.
What is MIT?
MIT is Methylisothiazolinone and is a synthetic chemical that was created to act as a powerful biocide. This essentially means that it has properties that kill potentially-harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria.
This allows it to function as a preservative, as it can kill any fungus, bugs and bacteria that might make their way into a beauty product. It can add years onto the shelf life of things like shampoo, body lotion and shower gel, among other body care products.
In fact, a large proportion of companies use MIT and chemicals like it - which include CMIT, BIT, OIT and DCOIT - in their rinse-off products, which means you are likely to find low concentrations in most liquid soaps used in your house, including laundry detergents.
Why is MIT problematic?
Scientific tests have revealed that MIT could potentially be damaging to our cells, even when used in small amounts. Researchers found that even brief exposure to MIT can be incredibly toxic to cultured neurons.
It was found that damage was done to the cells after they were only exposed to the chemical for ten minutes, which is a worrying find.
According to the team, the toxic effects of MIT had previously been reported on, but that more work into the consequences of chronic exposure in humans was needed because MITs are used so widely in home and beauty products.
Despite these findings, companies are still able to legally use MITs in their products, with governing bodies stating that it is acceptable to do so because the amount in each product is so low. However, as the vast majority of products on the high street contain MIT, it can add up to a greater level of exposure.
What else does MIT do?
As well as causing cell damage, studies have found a link between MIT and the skin condition dermatitis. This means it could be problematic for those with sensitive skin or who already have skin conditions - such as eczema. However, it may also cause issues for those who have perfectly healthy skin.
Other research has suggested that even brief exposure to MIT can have an impact during neural development, which could increase the chance of developing seizures. However, more work is needed into this area in order to assess what the risk level is.
Why we avoid it
At Heyland and Whittle we pride ourselves on using natural ingredients as much as possible, including natural preservatives. We add as few additives as we possibly can to ensure that all our products are good for your skin and your health.
This is why we steer clear of MIT, as research has pointed to the fact that it can be harmful even in small doses. While more research is needed into the effects of MIT, we believe it is better to be safe than sorry.