Your Secret Allergy Triggers Revealed
Soaps and detergents
You think it’s the chemicals in cleaning products that make you itch? Surprise: “The majority of skin sensitivities are caused not by the cleaning agent but by a perfume additive,” Dr. Wedner says. “And nearly every soap now has some sort of plant in it to make it fancyroses, elderberries, etc. The skin can respond with irritation, and give you a rash.”
What to do: Buy organic or specially marked soaps; look for “no additives,” “nonscented,” or “phthalate-free” on the label. Phthalates are chemicals that help improve texture, but they’ve been linked to allergic reactions; products that contain them may have “diethyl phthalate” or something similar on the label. Dove, Tide, and Ivory all offer low-irritant products, as do many organic brands.