You may not be surprised that fragrance is one of the top five allergens in moisturizers. Just about every skin care cream, lotion, body butter and so on contains fragrance mixes that make you want to use it. These fragrances also mask the not-so-pleasant scents of other ingredients.
But what you don't know about this good-smelling stuff may be getting under your skin -- literally. Here's why: You may be one of 20 percent of people who get an allergic reaction (also known as contact dermatitis) to the chemicals that comprise fragrances [source: New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated]. What's more, people who develop fragrance allergies seem to experience an increase in the severity of reactions over time.
When you apply a skin moisturizing product that contains an allergen, your skin may become red, itchy and bumpy. Or, you may get a more severe reaction, such as discolored, flaky skin. If your skin suddenly breaks out in a rash once you apply a specific moisturizer, you'll probably want to rinse it off and a start using a different one that's fragrance-free.