Keep Your Kathon. Kavella has alternatives

Keep Your Kathon. Kavella has alternatives!

Staying true to our brand promise, Kavella is staying up-to-date with health conscious consumer’s latest concerns, one of which is Kathon CG. Kathon CG is a mixture of two heterocyclic isothiazolinones:

methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMI)


You may see it on your label as kathon, kathon CG, Isothiazolinones or as the individual components.  It is commonly used in a variety of shampoos, conditioners, skin-care lotions, and other cosmetic products as a preservative to inhibit microbial growth and ultimately extend product shelf life.

However, as the consumer, you have to decide… do these benefits outweigh the risks? 

The latest concerns with Kathon include:

possible neurotoxicity(1,3), skin irritation(1,2,3) and sensitization(1,2,3,5), allergic reactions(1,2,3), immunotoxicity (2,3), and CMI is showing potential as a cancer-causing mutagen (2).

As a matter of fact, other countries (Europe, Canada and Japan to name a few) are banning or putting heavy restrictions on use of Kathon and its separate components (2, 3).

Unfortunately, the US is trailing when it comes to cosmetics and regulation, as Kathon and its components are still considered safe for use in cosmetics, although for leave-in products they are subject to concentration or use limitations and/or may have some qualifications for compliance. (2,3). 

However, since it is not banned and not much is needed for it to be effective as a preservative, Kathon is getting more wide spread here in the US. Subsequently, the cases of contact sensitization are on the rise in this country (4).

Most cases of contact allergy are caused by leave on products, i.e. moisturizing creams, usually on individuals with slightly damaged skin or those with sensitive skin. Sensitization with use of Kathon containing cosmetic products on healthy skin has also been known to occur as evidenced in the references above, so it is up to the consumer to be their own advocate and decide for themselves.

And sure you could test yourself to see if you have an allergy or sensitivity to Kathon, but isn’t it easier just to avoid it altogether? We understand, it is easier said than done, since it is so commonly found in the following cosmetics and OTC products:

  • Foundations/concealers
  • Bronzers/self-tanners
  • Eye shadows
  • Mascaras
  • Make-up removers
  • Moisturizers
  • Sunscreens
  • Shampoos/conditioners
  • Bubble baths
  • Soaps
  • Baby wipes
  • Creams/lotions/gels
  • OTC and prescription medicines

As you can surmise, preservatives are important, which is why they are so prevalent in our cosmetic and health products. And, of course, at Kavella, we are also concerned about bacterial growth and extending the shelf life of our products.

But we choose to use safer alternatives to Kathon. We could simply omit the preservatives and know the product is not going to have a long shelf life, but that isn’t the best option for personal care products.

But MI and CMI are not the only options, and as they are becoming more prevalent (as a substitute for parabens), more people are finding out they have allergic reactions to isothiazolinones and are seeking alternatives.

If you have a known allergy or sensitivity and you don’t have time to read all of the ingredients, you can “usually” be safe picking a product for sensitive skin, but that is not a fool proof method.

It is better to choose health conscious brands, like Kavella, that you already know use natural, alternative ingredients rather than harsh preservatives. There are actually numerous natural preservatives that can be used, so why wouldn’t you? One reason is cost...

most of the natural preservatives require higher amounts to be effective and therefore cost more, but we think you are worth it! 

Recent Articles

How Many More Hair Care Products Will Be Added to the Benzene Recall List?

How Many More Hair Care Products Will Be Added to the Benzene Recall List?

Read more
Why You Should Carry Clean Products at Your Salon!

Why You Should Carry Clean Products at Your Salon!

Carrying clean salon products is a smart move, even if you aren't...

read more
Aloe-Based, pH-Balanced Haircare

Aloe-Based, pH-Balanced Haircare

Kavella creates pH balanced, aloe-based hair and scalp care products for all...

read more
How Many More Hair Care Products Will Be Added to the Benzene Recall List?

How Many More Hair Care Products Will Be Added to the Benzene Recall List?

In March of 2022, we published an article that discussed the dangers...

read more