An analysis of ingredients in cosmetics recommended by the Polish Society of Dermatology and Polish Society of Allergology with regard to the presence of substances with known sensitizing potential

Paulina Pokorska, Radoslaw Spiewak

Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

Source: Pokorska P, Spiewak R. Analiza skladu kosmetykow rekomendowanych przez Polskie Towarzystwo Dermatologiczne oraz Polskie Towarzystwo Alergologiczne pod katem wystepowania substancji o znanym potencjale uczulajacym. Alergol Immunol 2012; 9 (4): 227-232. (In Polish)


Producers of cosmetics seek recommendations of medical societies in order to convince the buyers that their products are "healthier" than those of competitors.
Objective: To analyze the presence of sensitizing ingredients in cosmetics recommended by the Polish Society of Dermatology (PSD) and Polish Society of Allergology (PSA).
Materials and methods: Cosmetics recommended by PSD and PSA were analyzed for the presence of "problematic" ingredients listed in Annexes III and VI of the EU's Cosmetic Directive (CD), as well as non-listed ingredients known to be sensitizers.
Results: Out of 105 cosmetics recommended by PSD, 102 (97.1%) contained CD-listed ingredients, including fragrances in 100 (95.2%) products, and preservatives in 46 (43.8%). Other sensitizers were present in 42 (40.0%) cosmetics, 101 (96.2%) cosmetics recommended by the PSD contained fragrances hidden under a cryptonym "Parfum". Among 26 cosmetics recommended by the PSA, all contained "problematic" ingredients. EC-listed fragrances were present in one (3.8%), while preservatives - in 17 (65.4%). Other known sensitizers were found in 10 (38.5%), and the cryptic "Parfums" were present in 25 (96.2%) cosmetics recommended by the PSA.
Conclusion: Recommendations of leading Polish scientific societies in the field of allergy and dermatology do not guarantee safety to consumers with allergic skin diseases.

Key words: cosmetics, recommendations, Polish Society of Dermatology, Polish Society of Allergology, The European Union Cosmetics Directive preservatives, fragrances, sensitizers.

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Testing for cosmetic allergy in Krakow (Cracow), Poland

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Document created: 2 February 2013, last updated: 18 June 2020.