What Should Allergy Sufferers Look out for in Body Care Products?

What Should Allergy Sufferers Look out for in Body Care Products?

Peo­ple with con­tact aller­gies who use cos­metic prod­ucts usu­ally know which ingre­di­ents cause aller­gic reac­tions. For them, it is, there­fore, espe­cially impor­tant to know what a prod­uct is made up of. The inter­na­tion­ally har­mo­nized ingre­di­ents list, known as INCI (Inter­na­tional Nomen­cla­ture of Cos­metic Ingre­di­ents), is a very use­ful infor­ma­tion source for this pur­pose; and it has to be printed on every sin­gle prod­uct. The user should know the INCI name of the aller­genic sub­stance that he reacts to. The INCI list helps him to decide whether a prod­uct is suit­able for his indi­vid­ual skin con­di­tion, or whether it con­tains harm­ful sub­stances that he needs to avoid. Naturals_incis

Cur­rently, the Cos­met­ics Reg­u­la­tion has iden­ti­fied 26 fra­grances, includ­ing isoeugenol, hydrox­yc­itronel­lal, HICC, cin­nemalde­hyde, cin­namic alco­hol, eugenol, far­nesol, oak moss. Among der­ma­tol­o­gists, these sub­stances rank as par­tic­u­larly aller­genic. The EU will, in future, be demand­ing an even more strin­gent label­ing require­ments, i.e. every sin­gle ingre­di­ent has to be listed and cer­tain nat­ural fra­grances are to be either restricted or even pro­hib­ited. Even when the product’s ingre­di­ents list merely uses the term ‘scent’, ‘fra­grance’ or ‘aroma’, allergy suf­fer­ers have to pay atten­tion because these terms may include fra­grances that do not have to be declared but which may still cause aller­gic reac­tions. Peo­ple prone to aller­gies also should avoid prod­ucts con­tain­ing preser­v­a­tives such as methylisoth­ia­zoli­none, imi­da­zo­lidinyl urea and dia­zo­lidiny urea. The best tol­er­ated preser­v­a­tives are methyl­paraben or eth­yl­paraben; they show very few instances of aller­gic reactions.

If a con­sumer is still uncer­tain about the ingre­di­ents’ safety, a self-test on the inside elbow should be con­ducted over a period of at least three days. If there is no reac­tion, the prod­uct can be con­sid­ered as quite safe.

Dr. Hans W. Steisslinger, ADA’s R&D Director

Please also read the fol­low­ing articles:

How Dan­ger­ous are Cos­met­ics Prod­ucts? / Skin Irri­ta­tion, Aller­gies & Co. / Dan­ger­ous Fal­lacy: Nat­ural cos­met­ics do not cause aller­gies / Sen­si­tive skin? A rel­e­vant topic for hotels! / ECARF – Europe’s Allergy Researchers / New EU Cos­met­ics Reg­u­la­tions in the Fall 2014

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