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The EU Allergenic Substances List

When it comes to skincare and cosmetics, knowing about potential allergenic substances is crucial for consumers who may have sensitive or reactive skin. The European Union (EU) has identified 26 specific allergenic substances that require special attention due to their potential to cause allergic reactions.


It is REALLY IMPORTANT to note that you can be allergic to things outside of this list and you may not be allergic to any of the things in this list, but it is a good starting point if you are reacting to products and you don’t yet know why.


In this blog, we will outline these 26 EU allergenic substances, shedding light on common triggers and helping readers make informed choices about the products they use.


Throughout our store, we identify these allergens in product ingredients lists by marking them in italics.


What are EU Allergenic Substances?

The EU has compiled a list of 26 allergenic substances known to cause allergic contact dermatitis in some individuals. These substances are widely used in various skincare, cosmetics, and personal care products, making them important points of consideration for those with sensitive skin or a history of allergies.


The 26 EU Allergenic Substances are: CHECK THIS LIST AND DOUBLE CHECK IT!

Amyl cinnamal

Anisyl alcohol

Benzyl alcohol

Benzyl cinnamate

Cinnamyl alcohol

Farnesol

Citral

2-(4-tert-Butylbenzyl) propionald-hyd

Eugenol

Linalool

Hydroxy-citronellal

Benzyl benzoate

Isoeugenol

Citronellol

Amylcin-namyl alcohol

Hexyl cinnam-aldehyd

Benzyl salicylate

d-Limonene

Cinnamal

Methyl heptin carbonate

Coumarin

Treemoss extract

Geraniol

Oak moss and treemoss extract

Hydroxy-methylpentylcyclohexenecarboxaldehyd

3-Methyl-4-(2,6,6-tri-methyl-2-cyclohexen-1-yl)-3-buten-2-one


Updates to the list

The EU is in the process of expanding this list from 26 to 82 and once this is finalised, we will work to update our own records to help you navigate this.


Common Uses and Prevalence

These allergenic substances are often used in fragrance compositions, essential oils, preservatives, and other ingredients commonly found in skincare and cosmetic products. Fragrances are particularly likely to contain some of these substances, as they contribute to the scent of the product. It's important to note that some products may contain more than one allergenic substance, increasing the risk of an allergic reaction.


Allergic Reactions and Precautions

Allergic contact dermatitis is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction that occurs when the skin comes into contact with allergenic substances. Common symptoms include redness, itching, swelling, and the formation of rashes or blisters. Individuals with a history of skin allergies or sensitive skin should be cautious when using products containing these substances.




If you have any kind of reaction to a product, stop using it immediately. We recommend that you patch test products before applying more fully.


Reading Product Labels

To make informed choices and minimise the risk of allergies, consumers should carefully read product labels. Manufacturers are required to list allergenic substances on the product packaging, allowing consumers to identify potentially problematic ingredients.



Being aware of the 26 EU allergenic substances empowers consumers to make informed choices about their skincare and cosmetic products. By checking product labels and being cautious when using products containing these allergenic substances, individuals can reduce the risk of allergic reactions and enjoy a more comfortable and enjoyable skincare routine.


(Note: This blog is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Individuals with specific allergies or skin concerns should always consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist.)

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