Fragrances are one of the most common triggers of contact allergies. According to the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB), 12% of the population is sensitive to one or more fragrance allergens. Symptoms include redness, swelling, itching, blisters or scaling.
Origins of fragrances
Until the middle of the 19th century, fragrances were exclusively of natural origin - they were purely herbal or sometimes from animal secretions. This changed when modern chemistry managed to synthetically replicate more and more natural substances. Today about 2500 artificial fragrances are used in chemical cosmetics. 95% of them are made from petroleum.
Only natural fragrances may be used in natural cosmetics. Fragrances of certified natural origin, however, rarely use pure essential oils in their entirety. Rather, individual components are isolated from various natural substances and then recombined for the desired effect. This happens primarily to cut costs - ecologically obtained, naturally pure essential oils can be extremely expensive.
Long-term effects of chemical fragrances - danger for fertility and DNA?
Even natural fragrances can have an irritating effect on sensitive skin . However, natural essential oils are far better tolerated than other fragrances (see BDIH study 2006). Synthetic fragrances in particular are considered to be highly problematic. They can penetrate the skin and accumulate in the body. Artificial fragrances have even been found in the milk of breastfeeding mothers. These synthetic compounds also persist in the environment for decades, often longer. The potential dangers have been recognized far too late.
Most contact allergies in recent years have been caused by the synthetically produced fragrances Lyral, Atranol and Chloratranol. Nevertheless, these fragrances are still approved until end of 2021. Artificial musk fragrances suspected of causing cancer and influencing our hormones are fortunately now prohibited.
Although the potential risk of synthetic fragrances is well known, there are hardly any scientific studies on the effects. Animal experiments have shown that synthetically produced Lilial - also known as lily-of-the-valley - can impair the reproductive ability of animals and possibly damage the genome (BASF 2006). The study found that Lilial caused the testicles of male rats to shrink, and hindered reproductive ability in female rats. This aldehyde can still be found in numerous perfumes, as well as in hand creams, body lotions, soaps, shower gels, and other skin care products.
"Fragrance-neutral" cosmetics with fragrances and allergens
Be cautious with so-called "fragrance-neutral" products! These cosmetics usually contain fragrances intended to mask unpleasant smells of certain ingredients like preservatives. You can only be certain after an analysis of the ingredients on the product label. According to EU Cosmetics Regulations, the 26 fragrances that are known for their allergy potential must be declared. These include limonene, linalool, farnesol, citronellol, eugenol, coumarin, geraniol and citral.
Fragrances exceeding a certain concentration must be declared in the ingredients list. The limit is 0.01% for rinse-off products such as shampoos or shower gels. For products remaining on the skin (leave-on), the limit is 0.001%. If these limits are exceeded, the term "perfume" or "aroma" must be declared in addition to the allergens. It is often difficult for allergy sufferers to find out which fragrances they cannot tolerate. Although a complex mixture of different fragrances is often used, the interactions between their components have hardly been investigated.
Allergen-free cosmetics without fragrances
If you are allergic to fragrance, if you have very sensitive skin, prone to irritation, or if you simply don't want any fragrances in your cosmetics - at myrto you will find an extensive range of high-quality, fragrance-free natural cosmetics. Not only is our complete organic facial care fragrance-free -some myrto hair and body care products are as well.
Fragrance-free products do not smell boring at all. The natural intrinsic smell of cold-pressed plant oils and solvent-free plant extracts is captivating. But it is only noticeable without additional fragrances. The solvent-free extraction of plant extracts with natural carbon dioxide - as used for rosehip, pomegranate, sea buckthorn, rosemary, amaranth, chia seeds or schizandra - preserves the freshest and most concentrated essence of the fruits, leaves or seeds.
Perfume-free myrto organic natural cosmetics
Organic Hair Care
The Bio Shampoo Ultramild Free and the mild deep cleansing Bio Shampoo Purifying Free are specially designed for sensitive scalps and therefore fragrance-free. The organic scalp treatment T for dry, irritated scalps, and the organic scalp treatment H against avoidable hair loss for improved and healthy hair growth are fragrance-free as well.
Organic Body Care
The myrto Bio Deo Blue Sensitive Argan is not only free from fragrances and aluminum, but also free from alcohol. With the After Sun Body Oil Wild Berries, myrto also offers a fragrance-free body treatment. This is especially important for sun cosmetics, because some fragrances can also be phototoxic.
Organic Face Care
The focus of the myrto range is hypoallergenic organic facial care. All of the now over 20 facial care products are fragrance-free. The specific fragrance of each product is based exclusively on the cold-pressed plant oils and solvent-free plant extracts.
If you are not sure about the individual compatibility of a new cosmetic product with your hypersensitive skin, first test it on the inside of your elbow and then observe it for two days. If there are no symptoms, the product is compatible with your skin.
What else can you do to prevent fragrance allergens?
Use onlyfragrance-free household cleaners and detergents .
Avoid fabric softener in the washing machine and replace it with vinegar if necessary.
Also keep an eye on fragrance-free foods in your diet. Read the package information carefully to be sure which foods (especially spices, flavored herbal teas, ready meals with spices, cough lozenges, etc.) contain the fragrance to which you are allergic. Unfortunately, the packaging information for processed foods is often inaccurate or incorrect. Therefore, better avoid ready-made meals completely. Instead, prepare your own food fresh with vitamin-rich and, if possible, seasonal ingredients.