* Perfumes and fragrances can induce allergic reactions and irritate the skin
* Scents can also bring out seasonal allergy symptoms and worsen migraines
* Switching to an all-natural fragrance can help
If you’re prone to allergies or have sensitive skin, finding a signature scent that doesn’t trigger a reaction or cause a rash to flare up can be quite the challenge. We’ve all been there: when you walk past someone who is wearing an obscene amount of perfume or cologne, the resulting whiff that follows their every move is utterly unbearable. And while the experience can be repulsive to anyone, it actually make some people physically sick.
According to a study in 2009, almost 30% of the individuals polled reported a sensitivity to perfumes or fragrances. Unfortunately, many perfumes and colognes on the market today contain harsh chemicals that can actually function as neurotoxins when absorbed into your pores — which isn’t healthy for anyone, let alone those with allergies and sensitive skin.
Allergic reactions to scents are actually labeled as “irritants,” rather than allergens (which would indicate the release of histamine internally). But according to an article on Everyday Health, fragrances can not only cause external skin rashes and hives, but they can also trigger a histamine-release response as well. If you’ve ever experienced a painful headache or bout of sneezing after getting a whiff of some strong perfume, this would be the result of a histamine response.
Signs of an allergy to perfume or scents can take the form of repository symptoms including sneezing, headaches, difficult breathing, stuffy or runny nose, or topically on the skin, with hives, redness, or a rash.
Choosing a fragrance that is free from phthalates, parabens and sulfates will help alleviate these responses to scents for most people. Thankfully, the market for all-natural fragrances is growing, and more and more variety of scents are becoming available. If you want to find a scent that’s safe, here are five options that smell fresh and are less likely to cause an allergic reaction or irritation.
1. Lavanila The Healthy Fragrance
Vanilla is one of the most popular scents to wear thanks to its appealing sweet and smoky balance. If you don’t want to give up your signature scent but also don’t want to feel miserable every time you wear it, you need this Lavanila Healthy Fragrance Eau de Toilette. This all-natural line of vanilla-scented perfumes come in an array of variations to the classic scent including Vanilla Grapefruit and Fresh Vanilla Lemon to meet the needs of every fragrance lover. Each all-natural fragrance is blended with pure, Madagascar vanilla and antioxidant goji berry and kakadu plum, to deliver 30 essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Olivina Men Bourbon Cedar
This men’s cologne is a rugged-spicy scent that won’t leave you with a sneeze attack or itchy hives on the neck. The whiskey-inspired bottle corresponds well with its top notes of rich bourbon and musky vanilla undertones, inspired by the wood-aging process in American distilleries. Best of all, this fragrance is based with essential oils and is free of allergy-inducing chemicals.
3. Ursa Major Willoughby
This all-natural unisex scent blends 14 different aromas derived from essential oils for an enchanting scent that merges light citrus notes with underlying earthy notes for a full bodied, but balanced scent that can be built up to the intensity desired. Best of all, the convenient roller ball makes a great addition for allergy-free fragrance on the go and fitting into your carry-on handbag for touch-ups after long flights. In the all-natural fragrance world, this scent goes above and beyond. It’s paraben-free, vegan, natural, sulfate-free, gluten-Free, and certified cruelty-free.
4. Korres Black Sugar Lily Violet
Korres is known for being an all-natural skincare line that doesn’t sacrifice potency or natural ingredients, and their fragrances adhere to the same ethos. This woodsy-citrus fragrance is 88% all-natural and is free of harmful parabens and sulfates, that are known to be topical irritants and have been associated with respiratory allergy symptoms. The complex scent profile is unique and layered — but not overbearing.
5. Raw Spirit Wild Fire Luxury
This unisex fragrance will not only flatter both men and women, but it will also keep your allergies and headaches at bay. With top notes of citrus, grapefruit and Kaffir lime, it also has a rich base of Haitian vetiver and smoky cedarwood for a universally appealing yet distinct scent. Best of all, this all-natural scent is 100% paraben free so you can breathe with ease.