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Book or Master List of Skin Sensitizers?

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makemineirish

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I have some extra-crunchy friends that would prefer their Christmas gifts be scented only with essential oils. My soaping preferences tend toward the unusual or novel, and I do not sell. As a result, I am sometimes game on using materials that would not be cost-effective if profit margin was a consideration.

My fear is that I will stumble onto an intriguing natural fragrance (benzoin), additive (orris root), or decoration (pink pepper) without realizing that they are skin sensitizers or allergens. While I am happy to be a guinea pig, I seem to have more in common with a rhinoceros than my more delicate compatriots.

I am interested in any tools that facilitate my due diligence and research. Are there any resources that list which essential oils are skin sensitizers (or come with other considerations) and require additional caution (or outright avoidance)?

I understand that I can Google everything to death, but sometimes drive myself a bit bonkers trying to discern between articulate children, semi-lucid crackpots, and credible information derived from scientific study. I have absolutely no problem paying for a book or membership if there is something that you guys have found to be indispensable.

As always, thanks in advance for any help :)
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kchaystack

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The problem with allergens is that they are pretty particular to the individual. You should ask each of your friends to give you a list of things they are allergic to, and also anything they might have a sensitivity to. You really can't look for a list of allergens.
 

makemineirish

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While I make no claim that this list is either accurate or comprehensive, it is what I started with when I was trying to do what you are doing.

https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety/
Thank you so much. I have been googling book recommendations all morning. While I started with those suggested by sites like Mountain Rose Herbs, few are carried locally. It is almost impossible to ensure that the information I want is contained in the references. This link is highly appreciated.
 

Susie

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I have to second what kchaystack said. Allergens are something entirely separate, and unique to each person. When I am making soap for several people that have allergies, I usually ask them if they can tolerate one EO-usually lemongrass. That way I am not trying to get and keep an updated list of allergies for everyone. Lemongrass is gender neutral and usually well behaved in soap. It is also cheap, so I can buy large amounts for reasonable prices.
 

makemineirish

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The problem with allergens is that they are pretty particular to the individual. You should ask each of your friends to give you a list of things they are allergic to, and also anything they might have a sensitivity to. You really can't look for a list of allergens.
I fully understand this and am aware of my friends' allergies, sensitivities, and preferences. While not well articulated, my example of pink pepper was meant to illustrate hidden perils. Apparently pink pepper can trigger an allergic reaction in those with tree nut sensitivities because it is related to the cashew plant.

Even if a friend had told me that they had a nut allergy, it is highly probable that I would not correlate that with concerns about pink peppercorns. Heck, they might not even know that a non-nut is a concern if pink peppercorns are not in their gastronomic repertoire. (My culinary arsenal includes SIXTY unadulterated spices and TWENTY-FOUR blends. My "problem" is not limited to fragrance oils and micas :oops:)

My fear is that I don't know what I don't know (if that makes sense). It is important to me to be as conscientious as possible (and more-so than most would consider reasonable) to ensure that I have not overlooked anything. Even while I am aware of how rare a reaction to shea or cocoa butter is, you better believe that, "Do you have any latex or tree nut allergies" is a fairly normal question for me to ask :think:

All concerns aside, I like being a know-it-all
 

dixiedragon

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Allergies are such a broad area, and full of things we'd never think of! I think it would probably work better in reverse - ask your friend if they have any allergies, and Google from there.

My aunt has VERY sensitive skin - yet she uses my homemade soap with all sorts of sensitizers - cinnamon EO, clove EO, etc - with no problem whatsoever.
 

makemineirish

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Allergies are such a broad area, and full of things we'd never think of! I think it would probably work better in reverse - ask your friend if they have any allergies, and Google from there.

My aunt has VERY sensitive skin - yet she uses my homemade soap with all sorts of sensitizers - cinnamon EO, clove EO, etc - with no problem whatsoever.
I agree, but still find Google to be a information wormhole. While it is great that I can sift through mountains of data without putting on clothes...there is also little accountability for that information. I often feel that it is more time-consuming to filter everything than to simply find a credible book, website, etc.

Furthermore, my interest is not just limited to my current circle and I am a bit overzealous/obsessive about EVERYTHING. I also do enough with animals and children to have an "ounce of prevention" mentality.

For example, not a single one of my friends or family members has tree-nut allergies. Nevertheless, when I was looking for mineral-oil free recipes for wood conditioner...I eliminated all those that involved tree nuts as a general prophylactic.

My friends are having kids, my social circle changes, and nut allergies are more common than anyone would like. For this reason, it seemed imprudent to contaminate my butcher block. At 5" thick, it's the kind of thing that might actually get use from more than one generation. Likewise, a friend that fell in love with an EO-scented soap now might not think to re-check the ingredients for contraindications if she became pregnant.

Many resources are based around New-Age beliefs such as "opening you third eye" (not judging, just not my objective) or home remedies for any number of ailments. Tracking down the credentials of print authors, much less online bloggers is a rabbit warren in and of itself. While anecdotal evidence is interesting, I have listened to too many inaccurate statments from my own loved ones to take them on faith. I would really like to find a scientifically-based compendium of practical aspects of essential oils that could serve as a reference guide.
 
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Susie

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Yep, I totally get that. I feel the same way. I kept on looking, and finally acknowledged that I would never be able to know everything about EOs. My asking folks directly about allergies to one EO is my way of keeping the onus of knowing if they have cross allergies to other things on their backs. And I told them so. Up front, so no one got mad. I feel like if I provide a non-irritating bar of soap that smelled halfway decently to everyone, they should be responsible for knowing if they are allergic to said EO or not.
 

penelopejane

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The problem is people don't know what they don't know about their own skin! ������

I can't use many EOs my DH can't use FOs. It's crazy.
Scent sensitivity is as individual as the preference of one scent over another.
If it's psychological and people believe EOs are better for them then that gets you half way to your goal but if they look at the naturally occurring chemicals in EOs they might think again!

Another pitfall especially for eczema sufferers they might try a soap and think they are fine with that EO. Then they get run down or there's pollen on the air and they suddenly react to the soap. It takes months for their skin to settle down again. Sometimes it's better for some people to use fragrance free.

It's a very interesting topic.
 
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lenarenee

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I agree, but still find Google to be a information wormhole. While it is great that I can sift through mountains of data without putting on clothes...there is also little accountability for that information. I often feel that it is more time-consuming to filter everything than to simply find a credible book, website, etc.

Furthermore, my interest is not just limited to my current circle and I am a bit overzealous/obsessive about EVERYTHING. I also do enough with animals and children to have an "ounce of prevention" mentality.

For example, not a single one of my friends or family members has tree-nut allergies. Nevertheless, when I was looking for mineral-oil free recipes for wood conditioner...I eliminated all those that involved tree nuts as a general prophylactic.

My friends are having kids, my social circle changes, and nut allergies are more common than anyone would like. For this reason, it seemed imprudent to contaminate my butcher block. At 5" thick, it's the kind of thing that might actually get use from more than one generation. Likewise, a friend that fell in love with an EO-scented soap now might not think to re-check the ingredients for contraindications if she became pregnant.

Many resources are based around New-Age beliefs such as "opening you third eye" (not judging, just not my objective) or home remedies for any number of ailments. Tracking down the credentials of print authors, much less online bloggers is a rabbit warren in and of itself. While anecdotal evidence is interesting, I have listened to too many inaccurate statments from my own loved ones to take them on faith. I would really like to find a scientifically-based compendium of practical aspects of essential oils that could serve as a reference guide.
Are you aware of Robert Tisserand and his book? I think it's the most comprehensive and trustworthy source out there, but its by no means a "bible".
 

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