You may have seen the launch of our new plastic free Body Wash back in April. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s a beautiful new synthetic fragrance that is both uplifting and refreshing.
What exactly does allergen-free mean?
Firstly, let’s start with what an allergen actually is. An allergen is a substance that produces an abnormal response in the body. It is this response that we call an allergic reaction. The body sees this allergen as a threat and responds to it.
In most people, an irritant or allergic reaction starts to manifest within 5 or 10 minutes of coming into contact with an allergen and can be almost instant. Symptoms include some or all of the following:
- Burning and/or pain
- Hives (tiny blisters)
An allergic reaction can in some cases last up to a week or longer, but most disappear within a few days. Sometimes allergic reactions spread to parts of the body the product was not directly applied to.
Cosmetics can contain various ingredients or substances (allergens) that can cause an allergic reaction. The main culprits are found in fragrances and preservatives. Although you wouldn’t think so, it is actually natural products containing essential oils that contain more allergens.
What exactly is an essential oil? An essential oil is an aromatic chemical that is made up of chemical constituents that all have different properties. Some of these consituents such as Linalool are allergens and have to be declared on the ingredients list in cosmetic packaging. If you look at the ingredients lists for our Plastic Free Normal Shampoo, you will see that the essential oils that we use; orange, palmarosa and Grapefruit contain some of the chemical constituents. d-Limonene**, Citral**, Geraniol**, Linalol**, Farnesol**
To see a full list of the 26 allergens that are identified in EU Cosmetic Regulations, click here.
While the majority of people will not experience any allergic reactions or sensitivity to allergens, some people can. In fact, the most common type of adverse skin reaction to fragrances in cosmetics is ‘delayed hypersensitivity’. This is a delayed-type reaction, which means a person’s immune system is first introduced to the allergen; this is called the induction phase, then after exposure to the allergen again over a period of time, contact dermatitis occurs.
To try and create wonderful, plastic free products for as wide an audience as possible, we decided to create shampoos and conditioners and Body Wash products with uplifting, therapeutic fragrances from essential oils, for those who are sensitive to allergens in fragrances but want a really good fragrance; our new allergen-free White Tea and Citrus Body Wash and for those who want to avoid fragrances altogether and have a sensitive scalp, we have created our sensitive range.
Look out for more additions to our White Tea and Citrus range, with an allergen-free, plastic free Shampoo and Conditioner coming later in the year!