Allergic contact dermatitis to plant extracts in cosmetics

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Sep;32(3):140-6. doi: 10.12788/j.sder.0019.


Topically applied cosmetics and medicaments containing botanical extracts are commonly used. Despite popular beliefs of their benignancy, some botanicals have been implicated in causing allergic contact dermatitis in susceptible patients. The offending allergen may be the botanical extract itself or another ingredient such as a fragrance, preservative, dye, or sunscreen found in the product. Specific botanicals implicated in causing cosmetic contact dermatitis include Compositae family plants, tea tree oil, peppermint, lavender, lichens, henna, and others.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens*
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Patch Tests
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*


  • Allergens
  • Cosmetics
  • Plant Extracts