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Topic: Allergy issues  (Read 663 times)
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Soup Nazi
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« on: July 10, 2008 09:00:05 PM »

Hello. Smiley
My best friend recently found out that she has a very severe skin allergy to formaldehyde, which is commonly used in perfumes, scents, etc... So, we were wondering if you have any recipes that have scents without formaldehyde or anything similar to it.

Thanks much!

Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2008 07:20:04 AM »

I'm definitely not an expert, but if she's looking for scents/perfumes, I'm thinking she could just use essential oils.  Some of the oils can't be put directly on the skin, though, and she'd need to mix them with an oil like jojoba oil.  Actually, for a perfume, I'd mix it whether it's skin-safe or not, because if you put it directly on the skin the smell may be too strong.

But I'm just starting to learn about oils and essential oils, so maybe someone here could correct me if I'm wrong. Smiley
Soup Nazi
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2008 11:33:17 PM »

That's definately a start. Thank you! I'll let her know; maybe she can do some research on essential oils.

Cmarie?My name is Clare Marie. Cheesy

Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2008 08:38:17 AM »


I know this post is old, but I thought I'd reply anyway.

If your friend has a problem with formaldehyde, she should avoid any product that lists "fragrance" as an ingredient. Scent blends are considered trade secrets, and so the company that makes them doesn't have to disclose the individual ingredients used. That means that a company making synthetic scents can use pretty much any weird chemical they want, and not tell you what's in it (even if you call and ask for the purposes of avoiding an allergic reaction). This includes both "fragrance oils" sold for use in homemade toiletries and the "fragrance" added to commercial personal care products. There's no way to know if a synthetic scent contains formaldehyde, so she'll just need to avoid synthetic scents altogether.

Like cmarie said, if she wants something scented, it's best to stick with essential oils. One thing she could do is buy an unscented product and add essential oils to it herself. If she wants to try that, though, she should read up on essential oil safety and properties. No essential oil should be applied undiluted to the skin, and some are useful and smell pretty but can cause a rash or discoloration even if they're diluted. (High on this list are spice scents and citrus.) Plus, essential oils can act as potent medicines, so it's a good idea to know what they're supposed to do and if there are any times a particular oil should be avoided. (Some can't be used during pregnancy, for example, or would exacerbate a health condition she already had.) Essential oils are great, but you have to make sure to play it safe. I recommend getting a good aromatherapy book.

She should also make sure to read the ingredients on the bottle -every time-. Even if a product is marketed as "unscented," fragrance will frequently be an ingredient.

Also, if a product is making her react even if there's no fragrance listed on the label, it could be the preservative. Some preservatives release formaldehyde over time. I think it happens when they start to break down. Unfortunately, I don't know which preservatives do that and which don't.

It would probably be great for your friend to pick up a few recipes she can use instead of buying commercial personal care products. If she makes stuff herself, she'll have complete control over the ingredients. There are some great simple recipes that you can find here on craftster or by just googling.

Hope this helps!

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