Thimerosal is used for the preservation of topical medications, cosmetics, vaccines, and contact lens solutions. Avoidance of thimerosal is accomplished by substituting products that contain an unrelated preservative. For eye preparations, benzalkonium chloride is a good substitute. Sterile saline contact lens solutions do not contain thimerosal. Skin antiseptics such as povidone-iodine (Betadine) or chlorhexidine gluconate (Hibiclens) may be substituted for Merthiolate. Sensitization to thimerosal is often caused by the mercury portion of the compound. When mercury is the sensitizer, cross-reactions can occur with other mercury containing compounds such as phenylmercuric nitrate or acetate. Substitution of phenol for thimerosal in vaccines avoids the rare severe reactions to thimerosal from vaccination.
How can I avoid it?
Avoidance requires reading the product labels, package inserts, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and on occasion, direct communication with the manufacturer.
Free of the following top common allergy causing ingredients
Common Preservative Free
Free of formaldehyde and the most common allergy causing preservatives such as benzalkonium chloride, formaldehyde, benzophenone, methyldibromo glutaronitrile, MCI/MI and others.
Free of fragrances and the most common allergy causing botanicals such as balsam of peru, cinnamic aldehyde, propolis (bee glue) and many more.
Free of allergy causing parabens and related esters such as benzocaine, PPD and others.
Free of allergy causing lanolins, esters, waxes and other wool related ingredients.
Free of coconut and related allergy causing coconut derivatives
Topical Antibiotic Free
Free of topical antibiotics such as neomycin and bacitracin.
Free of Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and related kathon-like ingredients.
Free of added nickel and cobalt related ingredients.
Free of ADDED gluten and other wheat-related ingredients, including barley, rye and oat. However, highly processed ingredients derived from wheat, barley, rye, and oat (e.g., glycerin or tocopherol) will not be excluded by SkinSAFE
Our Soy filter excludes products with soy ingredients (e.g., soybean oil). However, highly processed ingredients derived from soy (e.g., glycerin or tocopherol) will not be excluded by SkinSAFE.
Propylene Glycol Free
Free of the vehicle (gives substance) propylene glycol and similar vehicles.
Find Lip Safe cosmetics. LipSafe is the same as "Top Free" and free of LANOLIN too, Lip Safe aka the kissing badge keeps your lips more kissable.
Free of the top common allergy causing ingredients (fragrances, preservatives, topical antibiotics, sunscreens and metals), surfactants (cocamidopropyl betaine) and harmful hormone-altering chemicals and ingredients.
Free of the most common fragrances, preservatives, soap and glue ingredients that cause eyelid rashes (It’s Top Free plus no gold, thimerosal, soaps related to cocamidopropyl betaine, or glues/adhesives like shellac or acrylate monomers)
Free of harmful hormone-altering chemicals and ingredients that may affect teen development, such as Phthalates, Parabens, Triclosan, Benzophenone-3 and related ingredients.