Estimates vary, but around 3% of us may have an allergy to one or more fragrance compounds commonly used in our toiletries, toothpastes, household cleaning agents, air fresheners, scented candles, and other consumer goods.
Where the food manufacturing industry in the UK and EU has 14 food allergens that it is required to always clearly declare on its labels, the cosmetics industry has 26 fragrance allergens. They include natural components of essential oils – such as eugenol, geraniol, and limonene – and artificial fragrance compounds – such as methyl 2-octynoate, butylphenyl methylpropional, and amyl cinnamal. The 26 must be declared when present in concentrations greater than 0.01% (wash-off products) or 0.001% (leave-on products). They are typically positioned last in a list of ingredients.
Although other household goods have less strict regulations regarding their labels, many do declare the presence of fragrances and fragrance allergens on packaging.
Fragrance Free Cosmetics
Here are some brands and ranges worth exploring:
Fragrance-free brand with skin-beneficial ceramides.
This brand may not win any ‘natural’ awards, but has a large range of affordable fragrance free products in no-fuss packaging that often come dermatologist-recommended for problem skin issues.
Green People Scent Free
Full range of no-fragrance products – including shower gel, cleanser, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, face cream and lotion – from a very natural and highly respected British brand.
MIR Skincare (UK)
Boutique brand – UK based and entirely fragrance free.
Various skin ‘fixing’ products for problem skin and eczema – available in the UK from Boots.
Fragrance Free Hair Care
For an article on fragrance-free conditioners, click here.
Free & Clear are a US brand offering fragrance free hair products for sensitive skins. Click here to learn more.
Fragrance Free Household Products
Dishwashing detergents, laundry products and general household cleaners.
Meliora Cleaning Products (US)
Laundry soaps and powders. All-purpose home cleaner. Also free from dyes, preservatives and optical brighteners.