Ecologically sound because they are synthesized from natural and renewable sources, the mild surfactants alkyl glucosides are being rediscovered by the cosmetic industry. They are currently found in rinse-off products such as shampoos, liquid cleansers, and shower gels, but also in leave-on products that include moisturizers, deodorants, and sunscreens. During the past 15 years, numerous cases of allergic contact dermatitis have been published, mostly to lauryl and decyl glucosides, and these compounds are considered emergent allergens. Interestingly, the sunscreen Tinosorb M contains decyl glucoside as a hidden allergen, and most cases of allergic contact dermatitis reported to this sunscreen ingredient are probably due to sensitization to decyl glucoside. This article will review the chemistry of alkyl glucosides, their sources of exposure, as well as their cutaneous adverse effects reported in the literature and encountered in various patch testing centers.
From the *Division of Dermatology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, †Division of Dermatology, National Guard Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and ‡Service de Dermatologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Estaing, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Address reprint requests to Denis Sasseville, MD, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital, Room L8.210, 1650 Cedar Ave, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1A4, Canada. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
D.S. receives royalties from UpToDate (Wolters Kluwer Health). The other authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.