Abstract Number: 43

Ultraviolet filter, preservative and fragrance allergens in New Zealand sunscreens

J. Roh1, H. S. Cheng2

Meeting: 2021 Dermcoll

Session Information

Date: -

Session Title: Contact Dermatitis

Session Time: -

Introduction: With increasing use of sunscreens there has been a rise in reports of allergic contact dermatitis, pho- toallergic contact dermatitis and irritant reactions. The aim of this study was to investigate contact allergens and photoallergens in sunscreens commercially sold on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies in New Zealand.

Methods: A comprehensive market data review of suppli- ers’ websites was performed from March to August 2019 to obtain a list of the commonly sold sunscreens in our region. Ingredients were collated and analysed using Microsoft® Excel according to INCI names. Ultraviolet (UV) filters, preservatives and fragrances were included for analysis. Place of sale and cost of sunscreens was also
recorded.

Results: Ninety-five sunscreens were analysed; 36% sold in supermarkets, 43% in pharmacies and the remainder available in both. The most frequent UV filters were Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (contained in 70% of products) followed by Octocrylene (63%) and Homosalate (50%). The common photoallergen Benzophenone-3 was found in
19% of products. Phenoxyethanol was the most common preservative (68.4%) followed by Disodium EDTA (30%) and Propylparaben (24%). Two sunscreens contained Methylisothiazolinone. Thirty-nine percent contained fra- grance, the most frequent being Limonene (17%) and Linalool (13%). There was an average of 1.9 Australian Baseline Series allergens per product (range 0–11, stan- dard deviation 2.2).

Conclusion: Common allergens including those with high sensitising potential were frequently found in New Zealand sunscreens. Up to date knowledge of common allergens used by manufacturers is useful in dermatological assess- ment of skin contact reactions.