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The harmful preservative you didn't know was in your body products

Julia Horniacek is an independent freelance writer reporting beauty and fashion for SheKnows and Bustle.com, addicted to exercise, coffee and making an attempt to get outside her comfort zone.

Companies replaced parabens with a 'new' chemical that's causing harmful side effects

Reading the ingredients of every little thing we use to wash out hair, clean our bodies and even consume can actually be intimidating. With so many long winded terms you can't even attempt to pronounce, how can you tell which products to trust?

According to Consumerist.com, there is a preservative possibly sitting in your medicine cabinet as we speak that is more than likely to be the reason behind the frequent, painful rash you've been experiencing as of late.

More: 12 Chemicals that can hurt your child's brain

Methylisothiazolinone, otherwise known as MI, is a common preservative found in personal care products such as body wash and shampoo. If you start to notice your skin drying out, red splotches beginning to form and/or are experiencing stinging sensations, facial swelling, blisters and crusting, it would be wise to scan the product's label for MI.

According to Consumerist, after a series of tests and multiple doctor visits when an 8-year-old girl suffered a rash for months, it was found that MI was a key ingredient in the child's Suave Kids Body Wash, which is ironically labeled "hypoallergenic" and "safe for kids' delicate skin."

More: The top 10 preservatives and additives to avoid

It is important to note that the term "hypoallergenic" actually means nothing. According to the federal government, "there are no federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term 'hypoallergenic.'"

"It was known that that could be an allergen," former head of dermatology at St. Luke's Roosevelt in Manhattan Dr. Vincent Deleo told Consumerist, "but it was fairly safe to use in things like shampoos, which are washed off and so diluted."

MI is increasingly being seen across body care product ingredient labels due to the high demand from consumers for companies to discontinue the use of parabens, so it's a chemical you'll definitely want to look out for. It has been incorporated into many leave-on products as well, such as lotions and moisturizers.

More: Chemical sensitivity in children

It is scary to think that every day products such as shampoo and body washes could cause us more harm than good. Now more than ever, it's important to make sure you are educated in what exactly is being used on your body, considering that the harmful chemicals being removed from products are just being replaced with other chemicals.

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