Do you start to sniffle as soon as your exposed to scents? Maybe get a rash, causing intense itching? You’re not alone. In fact, about one in five adults suffer from chemical hypersensitivity.

So what happens when you can’t buy brand name perfumes and colognes? Often, we turn to the “natural” varieties, assuming they are better than their chemical-laden counterparts, in order to still be able to spray  a scent. But is that the right choice?

New research at the University of Gothenburg indicates probably not. Researcher Lina Hagvall has discovered that even natural aromas can cause allergic reactions like their synthetic sidekicks.

We often turn to the chemical-free options with the added assumption that they are safer. But these recent studies show otherwise. Previous claims suggest that natural essential oils offer protection against autoxidation – the process of allergens being formed through a reaction with acid in air or skin enzymes. Hagvall discovered that the formation of allergenic substances were not prevented in several essential oils, regardless of their level of allergenicity before the reaction takes place.natural-scents

This study was the first time these items were tested for this purpose, further proving that claims of the benefits for those chemical-sensitive will do well with “natural” products. Although more studies need to be completed for further details and among various oils, it provides extra proof that natural does not always equal better.

Regardless if you are sensitive to scents, it’s common courtesy not to douse yourself in perfumes in kindness to those around you. Often there are signs hung in places, such as labs, clinics, and small businesses, asking to come to your appointment scent-free.

Maybe we should think twice about what we’re spritzing on our skin. And if all else fails? Rub your pulse points with a vanilla bean.


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