What is it?
Rosin, also known as colophony, is the sap or sticky substance that comes from pine and spruce trees. Its “stickiness” lends itself to being used in a wide range of cosmetics, topical medication, and industrial products.

How do I avoid it?
Skin contact with Colophony is required for it to cause a rash.  Discontinuation of exposure to products containing Colophony should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. Products made in the US for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of you skin care products for this ingredient.  If there is no information ask your pharmacist.  At work or for industrial products request a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.Avoiding contact with rosin or colophony may be difficult because of its widespread use. Exposure can occur from many different sourcesInform your health care provider & dentist that you are allergic to colophony and ask for preparations that do not contain colophony or any of the other allergens to which you are likely to react.

  • Cosmetics: mascara, lipsticks, eye shadows, concealer creams, foundations, nail varnish, depilatory waxes, hairspray, rouge
  • Adhesives & glues: sticking plasters, salicylic acid plaster, OpSite (Shoes, postage stamps)
  • Brewery pitch
  • Medicines: wart removers, cold sore creams, nappy creams, hemorrhoid creams, sprays, disinfectants, insecticides, ointments, plasters, preservatives, first-aid ointments, blister creams
  • Ostomy products
  • Dentistry: cements, impression pastes, dressings, cavity varnishes, topical medications, antiseptics & sealants in root canal treatment
  • Toiletries: transparent soaps, hair removing wax, dental floss, sunscreens
  • Household items: grease removers for clothes, shoe wax, polish for floors, cars and furniture, laundry soaps, fly strips
  • Recreational: sport racket handles, athletic grip aids, golf club grips, bows for stringed instruments, fireworks, ski wax, match tips, modeling clay
  • Chewing gum
  • Cleaners, solvents & soaps (clothing, leather, office machines)
  • Clothing (pre washes, tackifier)
  • Paper products: one of the largest single uses of colophony is in the manufacture of paper and paperboard (used for sizing, coating, finishing), especially newsprint and magazine, listing paper, glossy paper, photographic paper, price labels, stickers
  • Paint, enamels, varnishes, lacquers, mastics, sealants, & stains
  • Cements, glues, putties, caulking (lens coating, rubber, shoe, thermoplastic tiles)
  • Linoleum, floor coverings, tiles, adhesive bedding & cements
  • Tape: insulation tape (electric & thermal), jointing tape, medical tapes
  • Inks: printing, ceramic, marking pens, felt tip, water-fast artist pens
  • Sawdust, firewood, and resin from pine, balsam and spruce trees
  • Asphalt products
  • Soldering products, welding flux
  • Corrosion inhibitors
  • Grease and lubricant thickener, axle grease
  • Veterinary medications: adherents, drawing salves, hoof ointments and softeners, blister creams, and first-aid ointments
  • Oils: core oil, cutting oil, tall oil
  • Waterproofing agents
  • Waxes: car, grafting, floor, furniture, physiotherapy, sealing, shoemakers, ski, tree, etc.
  • Machine belts in industry 
  • Plastics (surface coating) & polyethylene

Other names for colophony:
  • Abietic acid
  • Abietic alcohol
  • Abietyl alcohol
  • Abitol
  • Colophonium (cosmetic name)
  • Dercolyte ZS
  • Dertomal 18
  • Dertophene 18
  • Foral 105
  • Granolite SG
  • Gum Rosin
  • Hercolyn D
  • Methyl abietate alcohol
  • Methyl-abietate alcohol
  • Resina terebinthinate
  • Rosin
  • Rosin gum
  • Staybelite 10
  • Tall oil
  • W-W wood rosin

Potential cross-reacting/co-reacting substances:
  • Abietic acid and its derivatives
  • Abitol (hydroabietyl alcohol mixture)
  • Balsam of Peru
  • Dihydroabietyl alcohol
  • Fragrances, essential oil
  • Maleopimanic acid (in maleic-modified rosins)
  • Oil of turpentine
  • Other plant materials including chrysanthemum
  • Pine resin
  • Spices (nutmeg, paprika, mace, cloves)
  • Spruce resin
  • Wood tars, especially juniper tar (oil of Cade)

How safe is it?

Hang tight. We're thinking.