Cosmetics: Substances That Trigger Most Allergies

The National Institute for Public Health and Environment (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu: RIVM) in the Netherlands has published its current RIVM Report on the frequency of allergic reactions to cosmetics. According to the report, isothiazolinone (21% of cases) and fragrances (46% of cases) cause most of these allergies. The triggers are products for skin and hair care that lead to classic symptoms like erythema, scaling, and itchiness on the face and hands.

As early as 2009, the Institute set up a control system, Consumer Exposure Skin Effects and Surveillance (CESES), a database that stores information on allergic reactions related to cosmetics. Dermatologists register these cases routinely and have a good overview of the frequency and causes of such allergies. Since the inception of CESES, the number of registered cases has grown continuously. Between October of 2015 and October of 2017, some 90 cases were documented.

Last year, members of the EU Standing Committee on Cosmetic Products further limited the use of the preservative methylisothiazolinone (MIT): See EU Bans Allergenic Fragrances. The authors assume that the number of cases related to methylisothiazolinone will decrease in 2018.

Since August 2017, CESES has also collected data on skin injuries that result from tattoos.

Make sure you take care of the legal compliance of your products as early as possible. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Share This Post

Post Navigation