Ask Beaut: How to deal with allergies to perfumes and fragrances

It's Monday again and August is coming to a close. The biggest and last of the festivals is coming upon us and it's almost time to take down our winter duvet from the attic.

With all that in mind, let's switch your attention to more positive situations like solving this week's beauty dilemma.

In this week's Ask Beaut, we tackle the frustration of perfume allergies.

Avril asks

"Hi Aisling, 

For the last five years, I seem to have developed a bad allergy to perfume. Throughout my early 20s, I always wore the same perfumev but I can't seem to wear it now. It doesn't even matter if it's a cheap or expensive brand, I just end up with a rash on my wrists and neck, along with a bad headache for days. Is there anything I can do to stop this happening? I love smelling nice and I don't want to never wear perfume again. Help!"



Hi Avril,

Having a perfume allergy is a lot more common that you might think. A high percentage of the population suffer with the same thing. It's not really understood how exactly this happens but the most likely of cause is a chemical in the perfume. The other issue is that there may be up to 14 chemical ingredients not listed on the ingredients list in any given product, so it extremely hard to narrow down the exact allergy.


coconut oil

Obviously, the best thing to do is to narrow down exactly what you are allergic to but this can be a trial and error kind of process. I would probably start by swapping your fragrance with some essential oils. If you choose a few that you like, dilute them down with fractionated coconut oil or some other kind of carrier oil, that out it could be a solution. Also, try applying the mix to your clothes and not directly onto your skin. That way you will still smell nice but it's not causing irritation to your skin.


There are also organic perfume brands that might be worth trying. A lot of them can be bought online like Pacifica and Lavanilla or sometimes more solid perfumes can have fewer chemicals in them so they might be worth a try.

Hope that helps in some way. Do let me know how you get on.

Ais x


Are you allergic to a perfume or fragrance? Have you found a solution that might help our reader?

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