New and emerging cosmetic allergens

Clin Dermatol. May-Jun 2011;29(3):311-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.11.010.


Human skin is exposed to a large variety of cosmetic allergens. Most allergic contact dermatitis occurs after exposure to fragrance, preservatives, and hair dyes. Such reactions can often be occult. As a result, a high index of suspicion is needed in assessing the patient with facial or cosmetic dermatitis. This contribution looks at why such a large number of chemicals are in everyday usage, at how dermatologists monitor trends in allergy to cosmetics, and at a number of new and emerging allergens to consider in the assessment of suspected cosmetic allergy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Benzophenones / adverse effects
  • Carbamates / adverse effects
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects*
  • Cosmetics / chemistry
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Facial Dermatoses / diagnosis
  • Facial Dermatoses / etiology
  • Humans
  • Maleates / adverse effects
  • Patch Tests
  • Propolis / adverse effects
  • Sulfites / adverse effects


  • Allergens
  • Benzophenones
  • Carbamates
  • Cosmetics
  • Maleates
  • Sulfites
  • sodium metabisulfite
  • 3-iodo-2-propynylbutylcarbamate
  • benzophenone
  • Propolis
  • dioctyl maleate