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Contact Dermatitis. 2016 May;74(5):281-8. doi: 10.1111/cod.12546. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

Ethylhexylglycerin: a low-risk, but highly relevant, sensitizer in 'hypo-allergenic' cosmetics.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) and University of Antwerp (UA), 2650, Antwerp, Belgium.
2
Department of Dermatology, University Hospitals K.U. Leuven, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ethylhexylglycerin is a relatively new cosmetic ingredient that is used for its surfactant, emollient, skin-conditioning and antimicrobial properties. Since 2002, it has been occasionally reported as a contact allergen.

OBJECTIVES:

To report on 13 patients who presented with allergic contact dermatitis caused by ethylhexylglycerin, evaluated at two Belgian university patch test clinics during the period 1990-2015.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

The patients were patch tested with the European baseline series, a cosmetic series, and - if indicated - additional series. Both the cosmetic products used and their single ingredients were patch tested.

RESULTS:

All but one of the ethylhexylglycerin-allergic patients were female, with a median age of 43 years (range: 29-81 years), most often suffering from dermatitis on the face, and sometimes on the hands and/or axillae. As the culprit products, leave-on cosmetics were identified, including a high number of proclaimed 'hypo-allergenic' and 'preservative-free' facial creams, sun protection creams, and deodorants.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ethylhexylglycerin is a rare, but highly relevant, cosmetic sensitizer, even in those products advertised to be safe for consumers. Targeted patch testing with ethylhexylglycerin 5% pet. is very useful, and routine patch testing in a cosmetic series may be considered. Higher test concentrations might be indicated in selected cases.

KEYWORDS:

CAS no. 70445-33-9; allergic contact dermatitis; cosmetics; deodorants; ethylhexylglycerin; octoxyglycerin; patch testing; preservative; skin conditioner; sunscreens

PMID:
26876063
DOI:
10.1111/cod.12546
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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