Cosmetics and skin care products are often the culprit in allergic contact dermatitis (i.e. skin care products act as allergens producing an allergic reaction of the skin). A 5 year retrospective study was done in Europe to further understand the allergic source of these cosmetics. The study showed “cosmetics, creams, and sunscreens” were the suspected allergen producing dermatitis. The most common site of dermatitis was the face, particularly the eyelids. Participants that were exposed to cosmetics containing fragrances, balsam (aromatics), and the antibacterial agent methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI), and lanolin alcohols showed significantly more reactions than control groups.
Moral of the story: Fragrances are the most common allergen found in cosmetics.