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What are naturally occurring allergens?

You know when you look at ingredients on skincare and toiletries and you see that bit which doesn’t make any sense to you, “naturally occurring allergens” what on earth does it mean?

This is a really important question when you have sensitive skin, it’s really important to understand what you are using on your skin, and what is natural and what isn’t.

When I was attempting to recover from severe eczema around 15 years ago, one of the first things I taught myself about what skincare ingredients, what’s good, what’s bad. And then when i did my Aromatherapy diploma, I came to understand what allergens where.

What are Allergens?

So the main definition of an allergen is something that causes an allergic reaction. Skin can react to natural ingredients and synthetic, lab-made ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to pick products that have a short list of allergens.

One of my most popular blogs is the one that explains what linalool is. Linalool and Limone are both allergens you will see a lot in skincare, as they naturally occur in so many essential oils. You can read that blog to learn more about that.

What are the allergens called?

When making skincare in the correct, legal way, it’s vital to list the allergens that occur in the essential oils that you use; the kind of things you will see listed under naturally occurring allergens are:

Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Cinnamal, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Anisyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Citronellol, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool

Virtually all essential oils contain naturally occurring allergens, and if used neat, you are very likely to get some kind of skin reaction; this is why you should only use essential oils if they have been diluted down to only 1 or 2% in a carrier oil or base products. All of my products contain less that 1% essential oils so they are super-safe even on sensitive skins.

If an essential oil contains a lot of allergens, you might be more likely to have a reaction to that, such as ylang ylang, which has quite a long list of allergens.

And it can be confusing that although all of the above naturally occur in essential oils, they can be lab-extracted to make them a separate ingredient.

If you think you do have an allergy to one of these, the only way to be certain is to get patch-testing via a dermatologist. In the short-term, it’s best to use products with very low or no essential oils.

Some of my products don’t contain any essential oils at all so you won’t get any allergens in them at all:

Very Sensitive Organic Moisturiser

Super Fruit Face Oil

Cucumber & Watermelon Eye Serum

OMG Serum – Sensitive

Balancing Organic Toner

All my products have full ingredients listed (as required by law) both on my website page and on the label when you receive the products, so you can be completely clear about what’s in there.

Also because all my products are handmade, and the essential oils are the last to go in, I can easily make any of my products without essential oils, if you prefer them without, just contact me to discuss.

Something to note: Food allergens are different from skincare allergens so if you want more information on that, pop over to this page.

Hope that helps and if you have any questions, just contact me.


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