The Top 26 Allergens Behind Skin Irritation

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Do you have sensitive skin? If you go through a ton of products trying to find something that doesn’t cause redness or irritation to your skin, you may be running into one of the top 26 Allergens named by the EU. Allergic reactions include contact dermatitis (redness) and eczema (an immune response due to repeated exposure to a substance).

In the EU, companies are required by law to list any of these allergens as ingredients on product labels, even if the ingredients are considered “trade secrets.” By contrast, in the U.S., companies must list ingredients but not fragrance chemicals. The use of the ingredients is not banned in the EU, but it is regulated. For rinse off products, the following allergens must be no more than 0.01% of the formula. For leave-on products, they must constitute no more than 0.001% of the formula.

If you are experiencing contact dermatitis or eczema, check the labels of your bath and body products, hair products, facial products, and makeup for the following allergens.

EU 26 Allergens as of 2018

List A (most commonly reported allergens)

Amyl cinnamal

Amylcinnamyl alcohol

Benzyl alcohol

Benzyl salicylate

Cinnamyl alcohol

Cinnamal

Citral

Coumarin

Eugenol

Geraniol

Hydroxycitronellal

Hydroxymethylpentyl-cyclohexenecarboxaldehyde

Isoeugenol

List B (less commonly reported allergens)

Anisyl alcohol

Benzyl benzoate

Benzyl cinnamate

Citronellol

Farnesol

Hexyl cinnamaldehyde

Lilial

d-Limonene

Linalool

Methyl heptine carbonate

3-Methyl-4-(2,6,6-trimethyl-2-cyclohexen-1-yl)-3-buten-2-one

Natural Allergens

Oak Moss

Tree Moss

A note on natural fragrance. If you have allergic reactions to personal care products, you may be interested in a more natural approach. Unfortunately, natural ingredients can also be irritating to those with sensitive skin. Remember that essential oils are very concentrated and therefore strong substances. They are meant to be diluted in water (like a diffuser) or in a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or safflower oil.

Reference

Green Facts