What are they? Fragrances are used as scents, masking scents, and flavorings in a number of cosmetic products and foods. The components of Fragrance Mix I/II are: 

Fragrance Mix I
  • Amyl Cinnamal
  • Cinnamyl alcohol
  • Cinnamal
  • Eugenol
  • Geraniol
  • Hydroxycitronellal
  • Isoeugenol
  • Oakmoss absolute
  • Emulsifier: sorbitan sesquioleate 5%

Fragrance Mix II
  • Hexyl cinnamic aldehyde
  • Coumarin
  • Lyral (Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexane carboxaldehyde)
  • Farnesol
  • Citral
  • Citronellol
Skin contact with a fragrance is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing fragrance should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the U.S. for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it. Check the labeling of your skin care products for fragrance ingredients. If there is not enough information on the label, ask your pharmacist or call the company directly. At work, request a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.

The avoidance of fragrances can be difficult since so many everyday products contain these substances. One should use only fragrance-free cosmetics and household products. “Unscented” products may contain low levels of a fragrance to cover up an undesirable odor and also should be avoided. Products labeled as “hypoallergenic” do not assure that the product is truly free of fragrance. Since some fragrances are also flavors, foods can, rarely, cause flare-ups of dermatitis in fragrance-sensitive individuals. 

Since fragrances are complex mixtures of many ingredients, an individual may tolerate one fragrance but not another. A trial-and-error method of avoiding a fragrance allergen in a product can be performed by applying the product to the forearm in the same small area twice a day for a week. If no dermatitis develops, the product may likely be used safely. Direct contact with foods or products containing fragrances may cause symptoms including burning, irritation, and redness. 

Direct contact may occur on the skin, lips, or mouth. It is possible, but rare, that ingestion of this substance could cause generalized symptoms such as itching or redness of the skin

Fragrances are found in a wide variety of products to enhance odor or mask undesirable odors, including the following:

Perfumes/Colognes/After-shaves/Toilet water
Skincare products/Cosmetics
  •     Antiperspirants/Deodorants
  •     Hair sprays, gels, tonics, and lotions
  •     Hair colorants/“Permanents-relaxers”
  •     Soaps/Cleansers
  •     Shampoos/Conditioners
  •     Moisturizers
  •     Make-up
  •     Nail polish/Nail polish remover
  •     Powders/Sprays
  •     Sunscreens
Medications (prescription and over-the-counter) such as
  •     Anesthetics
  •     Antiseptics
  •     Creams, ointments, solutions
  •     Foot and other powders
  •     Nasal decongestants
  •     Traditional Chinese medications
  •     Wound dressings
Insect repellent candles
Household products
  •     Cleaning products/Soaps/Detergents (A preferred household cleaner
        for fragrance-allergic individuals is dilute white vinegar.)
  •     Furniture polish
  •     Laundry care (detergents, softeners)
  •     Room fresheners
Oral care products
  •     Cough mixtures
  •     Toothpaste/Mouthwash
  •     Throat tablets and lozenges
  •     Flavoring agents
Metalworking fluids
Tobacco and vaping products
  •     Spices/Flavoring
  •     Oranges and lemons
Other names for Fragrances: 
  • Aroma chemicals
  • Colognes
  • Essential oils of plants and animals
  • Masking fragrance
  • Perfumes
  • Toilet water

How safe is it?

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