Over the years I’ve discovered that almost all shampoos, conditioners, shower gells, bubble bath products and sun screens cause my skin to break out in an eczema type rash. Through trial and error I’ve discovered some that are kind enough for my skin and I stick to these and very rarely experiment.
Usually testing products on your wrist or neck is a good way of gauging whether you’re likely to get a reaction, but often it can take a few weeks before seeing a reaction. I can also sometimes use a product on the rest of my body as a moisturiser but not on my face, where the skin is far more sensitive. Always try to use a sample tester before buying something in case you are allergic and always study the ingredients list to make sure it doesn’t contain your known allergens.
Recently I’ve come across something which sounds innocent enough; Linalool.
Linalool is a very fragrant component of various herbs such as lavender, mint and coriander that can be a potent skin irritant, causing contact dermatitits in some sensitive individuals. It also appears to become an allergen or sensitiser once it becomes exposed to oxygen in the air. Some experts suggest that replacing the lid swiftly can reduce the reaction… I’m no expert – but I’d suggest avoiding linalool altogether if you see a reaction.
Products for sensitive skin should probably not include an ingredient known to cause irritation in some individuals with sensitive skin but keep a lookout for this little linalool. It could be hiding anywhere.
I wonder whether coriander isn’t a common ingredient here too. I am allergic to coriander in food, so could this reaction be linked? Am I allergic to linalool, or to linalool when it contains coriander? Linalool can be made from a variety of fragrant herbs e.g. lavender and mint, as well as coriander. Did you know linalool was made from coriander? Or even that linalool was a known cause of eczema? It just goes to show that the ingredient names on skin care products can be misleading. A word can be used to encapsulate a number of oils, yet not have to mention what those oils are. If someone is allergic to one of the constituents, chances are they’ll never know why because cosmetic and skin care ingredients lists don’t have to declare that much detail.
You might also find my blog – ‘Coriander allergy – spices to avoid’ interesting.
Coriander is also linked to oral allergy syndrome. Someone who is allergic to birch may well also experience tingling of the lips, stomach upset, skin reactions and in rare cases, anaphylaxis, when they eat coriander.
Are you allergic to linalool? or coriander? Do you avoid products containing linalool?