Perfume 101

Sensitive Skin Issues and Perfume: What to Do if Your Sexy New Skin Scent is Sending You to the Doctor?



Sensitive Skin Issues and Perfume: What to Do if Your Sexy New Skin Scent is Sending You to the Doctor?

The Do’s and Don’ts of wearing perfume is just as important as wearing haute couture fashion. In the same way that your skin can react to itchy wool or have reactions to synthetic materials, some perfumes can cause reactions on the skin as well. So what can you do if you love a certain scent, but your skin shies away from it in horror?

Turns out you are in luck. We’d like to suggest a few options so you won’t suffer sandalwood separation anxiety or develop a sudden fear of florals.

Sensitive Skin Pro Tip Number One: Scented Objects!

Just spray your favorite scent on something that won’t interact with your skin if the scent is the main thing for you. A piece of silk ribbon, a bookmark, or even the lapel of your coat is a convenient, travel-ready stand-in for your own body. Not only will you get the joy in being able to keep your scent near you, but also your clothes always keep scent longer than skin can, so it will last even longer.

Sensitive Skin Pro Tip Number Two:  Scented Lotions!

Another suggestion is to see if a hand or body lotion that carries a lighter version of your favorite perfume will be gentle enough to keep your skin happy (and hydrated!)  Many of the major designer brands, as well as the larger indies have lotion versions of their most popular fragrances, so sample a tiny amount on the back of your hand to see if you can wear it.

Another fun, DIY option is to find an unscented lotion with your favorite consistency, and add some neutral essential oils your skin favors, and blend the two into your own customized scent.

This way you can wear a scent that is uniquely and forever yours by tailoring the entire experience to your exact specifications. No more timid guesswork at the fragrance counter!

Sensitive Skin Pro Tip Number Three: Easy There, Turbo!

Many times perfume fans are dismayed when they find an amazing new fragrance, and then go home only to find that they experience instant head or stomach aches after applying it.

The first thought is to suspect a possible perfume allergy, but it could just as easily be a common case of over-application. You should never wear enough scent to make your head feel light, constricted or your stomach start to turn. It’s a sign that your senses are overloaded and need a Time Out.

One spray at the neck from a distance of six inches or more, and one on the wrist is plenty, no matter what scent you love. Be gentle to yourself and others and go easy on the sprayer. If you can smell your perfume wafting back in front of you as you walk, you’ve gone a wee bit farther than necessary.

So try these three options and see how they work with your chemistry.

And as always, if any reaction gets truly irritated, or a rash forms, see your dermatologist and step away from the atomizer until you know what’s going on. Skin issues are complex and often don’t just have one cause – best to leave serious problems with the doctor and vicariously enjoy what other people are wearing for a while.

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