Fragrance freeThis week is Allergy Awareness week. Do you use fragrance free products?

Allergies are recognised as a modern epidemic and can be linked to the rise of chemicals in our environments, including our homes.

There are a several ways which chemicals can get inside our bodies. We can consume them. They can be in what we eat and drink having been added to our food in the form of pesticides, preservatives, colours or flavour enhancers. We can apply them to our bodies via chemicals in the soaps, shampoos and cleaning products. And, we can also breathe them in. Fragrances, (even plant-based essential oils), can trigger reactions in sensitive people.

According to Dr Vincent Crump, Allergy Specialist at Auckland Allergy Clinic, “Fragrances rank number 3 in terms of the chemicals that people are allergic to. Fragrance is found in almost every skin care product unless it specifically says fragrance free, you also get fragrance in your laundry powders, moisturisers, soaps and shampoos”.

Steps towards being fragrance free

There are steps you can take to avoid fragrances in your environment. I know that my skin is sensitive to fragrances and I even insist on fragrance free loo paper.

  • Use products with natural plant-based fragrances or if you’re particularly sensitive, you might be better off using fragrance free products.
  • Avoid scented candles, artificial air fresheners or products with strong smelling fragrances. These products contain multiple chemicals, which can include dangerous solvents.
  • Avoid air fresheners. These disperse a mix of chemicals which may include synthetic fragrances and phthalates to mask unpleasant odours in your home. It’s better to open a window.
  • Children breathe more per kg of bodyweight than do adults which makes them even more vulnerable to any harmful effects of chemical fumes. Put off cleaning with strong smelling chemicals – especially oven cleaner and bleach, until your child is away or asleep in another room. If your child is in the room with you, have an open window to let plenty of fresh air circulate.
  • Indoor houseplants to help filter the air in your house. Peace Lilies and Maidenhair Ferns are among those listed by NASA as good choices.
  • Make bath time fragrance free your little ones with a fragrance free bodywash.

But how do you know if you have an allergy to fragrance? Ecostore has a great post which can help with this. They also have some great tips to help you protect your family from allergies.


Mummy to three small boys

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