Thursday, July 7, 2011

Understanding Fragrance Allergies

Fragrances causing allergic reactions can be found in many common everyday personal care products, including colognes, makeup, shampoos, antiseptics, and toothpaste. Even items such as cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, and insecticides may cause an allergic reaction in certain individuals. Doctors can test for fragrance allergies by using a screening agent called the fragrance mix. This is a combination of the eight individual fragrance ingredients that have been found to cause the majority of allergic reactions.
The fragrance mix includes:
  • Cinnamic alcohol -- a hyacinth like scent
  • Cinnamic aldehyde -- a warm and spicy with a hint of cinnamon
  • Eugenol -- a spicy odor of clove
  • Isoeugenol -- the odor of clove, but weaker than eugenol
  • Geraniol -- makes up the floral odor of rose and is found in palmarose oil, geranium oil, lavender oil, jasmine oil, and citronella oil
  • Alpha-amyl cinnamic alcohol -- creates a strong scent of jasmine
  • Hydroxycitronellal -- the fresh scent of lily of the valley
  • Oak moss absolute -- an earthy and woody fragrance
It has been estimated that fragrance allergies affect 1-2% of the general population. Fragrance allergies are most common in women of childbearing age, but can affect people regardless of age or gender.

Candles and Fragrance Allergies

Contrary to popular believe, having allergies doesn't necessarily prohibit you from enjoying home fragrance. Millions of allergy and/or asthma sufferers are able to be around scented candles with no problems. However, the fragrances used in candles can cause a problem in individuals with extreme sensitivities. Headaches or difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to the scent used in a burning candle.
If you are a candle lover who struggles with fragrance allergies:
  • Invest in clean burning, environmentally-friendly soy candles. Studies have shown people with allergies tend to have fewer problems with scented soy candles compared to similar products made from paraffin wax.
  • Consider choosing candles made with essential oils. Some people who react poorly to artificial fragrances do not have problems with candles that use essential oils.
  • When possible, choose single note fragrances over those that contain multiple scents. A single fragrance, because it is less complex, may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated area.
  • Only burn richly scented candles for a short time or consider using a candle warmer to subtly disperse the scent.
When using Scentsy Wickless Candles, many people with serious allergy to candles are able to enjoy their products without having any reactions to it!! Come to my website at Shawnas Candles to order Scentsy products... You will actually enjoy having wickless candles in your home with extremely low risk of having allergy reactions.  Contact me if you have any questions.

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