Skin Bliss

Demystifying Skincare

Fragrance Allergies. Knowledge gaps – Part 2

Because there are many more things we don’t know…

  • Fragrance Allergies. Knowledge gaps – Part 2

    Fragrance Allergies. Knowledge gaps – Part 2


The European Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety lists a number of gaps in our understanding of fragrance allergies. Continuing from the last post, we look at more issues that we do not understand yet sufficiently.

Here we show the question marks concerning the biochemical properties of fragrances.

The effect of a product group on the allergenic potential is little understood.

Data on human exposure to fragrances from the use of different product categories is very scarce and therefore does not provide an optimal basis of risk assessment. Exposure data on use for perfume/eau de cologne are for example lacking.

Fragrance interactions are not researched.

Most experimental studies are done on individual fragrance ingredients, while exposure to allergens in cosmetic products is usually to mixtures of allergens. The risk of sensitisation and elicitation may depend on the mixture of substances, but very few studies on this exist.

Skin-Fragrance interactions are little understood.

There is a need for more experimental research to further establish the impact of the behaviour of fragrance substances when applied on the skin (including factors such as volatility, autoxidation, skin penetration, reactivity in skin and bio-activation).

Further experimental investigations of the sensitization potential of fragrance substances are needed to determine the effect of other ingredients on skin penetration and absorption and reactivity by fragrances.

Finally, it has been little studied so far if an individual who is sensitized to one fragrance substance must also avoid other fragrance substances that can cause allergic contact dermatitis due to cross-reactivity.