Limonene & Linalool

Regular readers of this blog will know that my teenage daughter has coeliac disease. This means she can’t ingest gluten. She adheres to a strict gluten free diet and we have to be careful about cross contamination. She was diagnosed six years ago and we haven’t stepped out the front door since without having to plan ahead. It’s every meal, every day, forever. If this sounds like a massive headache that’s because IT IS. But after that initial deer-in-the-headlights phase it does become a way of life and ultimately you get used to it. Most people are very accommodating, checking packet ingredients carefully and ensuring she can eat without any worry. As a family we hugely appreciate it. But this post isn’t about all things gluten free (I’ll save that for another time), that was just to set the scene.

Recently the same daughter (I only have the one after all) underwent some fairly gruelling allergy testing. There was a round of blood tests followed by a week of patch tests. She couldn’t wash, swim, sunbathe, sweat etc.

And the results came back saying she’s allergic to Linalool and Limonene. Aside from sounding like characters in an Enid Blyton novel (“…the girls at Mallory Towers were extremely excited when identical twins Linalool and Limonene arrived with their matching lacrosse sticks and palomino ponies…”) I can’t say I was overly thrilled at having another thing to eliminate/worry about, even if they were two things I’d never heard of.

Essentially linalool and limonene are ingredients found in fragrances. One floral and the other from the zest, peel or rind of citrus fruits. Can’t be that common can it? Wrrrooonnnggg! Turns out these two ingredients appear in mostly everything in my house, or at least it feels that way.

Washing up liquid, toothpaste, shampoo, dry shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent/pods, stain remover, fabric conditioner, hand wash, bubble bath, dishwasher tablets, face wash, bath oil, household multi purpose cleaner, carpet cleaner, floor cleaner, granite cleaner, ANY CLEANER, antibacterial wipes, shower gel/body wash, perfume, facial moisturiser, candles, cleanser, hand/foot creams, body lotion, air freshener, hair spray, shaving gel… gives you the idea.

At first I thought I’d use up what we have and then move on from there bit by bit but my daughter has been on and off steroids for two years with skin issues and if this allergy is what’s causing it then I really couldn’t see how I could delay. The doctors also advised she avoid products containing SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) where possible. So I set about researching. All I can say is thank God for the internet.

Here are some of my finds…

The moment I said my daughter had a contact allergy several people came out and recommended the household brand Method. They are known for being eco friendly with a focus on natural ingredients, rather than the synthetic, but finding a product that has neither limonene or linalool was tricky. I’d advise checking individual packaging to find what you need. This Sweet Water Foaming Hand Wash is suitable.

Ecover Zero has been specially formulated for those with skin allergies. Zero fragrance and zero colours. Not to be confused with Ecover’s regular range which is fragranced. This range isn’t available in any of my local supermarkets but I did manage to order it from Ocado.

Surcare is widely recommended for those suffering from eczema and skin allergies. I emailed them as I didn’t find the ingredients clear on their packaging and they responded saying their range does not contain limonene, linalool or SLS. Super!

ECOS, formerly named “Earth Friendly Products”, have a fragrance free line in their range. I ordered this hand wash from Amazon for my kitchen. Pleased with it. Good chunky size and inexpensive. They also have laundry products.

0% colourants. 0% perfumes. 0% optical brighteners. Neutral is endorsed by Allergy UK. The only thing I would say is that it is comparatively quite expensive.

My daughter really likes the pretty packaging of the Happy Naturals 97% natural hair care range. Not all fragrances were suitable but the Coconut & Roobios shampoo and conditioner for colour treated hair was. A bargain at £2.50 a bottle!

Green People are the experts in organic, environmentally friendly, gentle products. As a result you pay a bit more but they really know their stuff and have a huge range. We have their scent free hand wash in our bathroom and my daughter uses their scent free body wash. Highly concentrated, a little goes a long way!

If you or anyone you know has sensitive skin issues then their website is a really good place to start. Click here

  • Finding a toothpaste that fit the bill was quite tricky. We bought one but my daughter really didn’t like the taste. I can’t say I’d be keen on an aniseed flavoured toothpaste myself. Eventually we did happen upon The Natural Family Co. With 70% organic ingredients this minty gel toothpaste is SLS, paraben and sugar free. No artificial colours or flavours. Non-GMO. Vegan. Cruelty free. So far, so good!
  • Now, after all of this the doctors aren’t even sure that this allergy has anything to do with her skin issues. It may something internal. People with coeliac disease have a much higher instance of skin issues after all. But at least it’s a start!
  • The small print – Please do not take my word for any of this. Ingredients can change at any time. Always read the label and if in doubt contact the company directly.
  • 15 Comments Add yours

    1. Anonymous says:

      just found out I have an allergy for limonene and linalool and I have found this article very useful as an intro to the subject rather than all the tech stuff about it, so thank you. It has made a gentle intro to this subject.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. P says:

      Hi – I just found out I have an allergy to limonene as well. Hopefully non linalool as well, though my final derm appointment is Tuesday. Thank you for sharing this!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. S Reid says:

      All mints contain either or both limonene and linalool. When I started to react it was all around my mouth area where the toothpaste had been dribbling out of my mouth. It took a while for me to realise that it was the toothpaste that was doing it. I started to use Oranurse toothpaste which is expensive (£6 odd) per tube, It is unflavoured and does the job. I have contacted a few companies to find out if their products contain lim or lool, and most have got back to me. A few have said no, but on checking the ingredients list on google a few have contained them. Just because it says scent/fragrance free it doesn’t mean that it is. It may just be that the offending ingredient is below the level that needs to be declared by law. I still react to it even in low concentrations. Green tea in one product I was assured had neither of these perfumes in them but it does. The quantity within the tea will vary with different types of green tea, but its in there. Check everything if you are very sensitive. I’m trying to find out if soap nuts contain any lim or lool which is becoming quite a task, but I will bash on and hopefully find the answer somewhere before wasting any more money.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zoro says:

        Hi. I have had allergies all of my life, which have got worse with age. I’ve had so much testing done and reacted to so many things, the dermatologist said, that if he did any more, i’d end up living in a bubble! I’m 51 now and still find it a nightmare, trying to find things I can use. I’m also trying to find out if soap nuts contain linalool, limonene etc and would appreciate any information on this. Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Louise says:

      Hi I will just state tha the line Neutral, also use SLS –


    5. Jes says:

      My daughter suffers from the same. After reading every single bottle in various supermarkets I have found Lidl products to be the best. Shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste. All at very good price. Their strawberry shampoo is fantastic. But check as different ones do have linalol. Aveeno cream and body wash also good and a few of the body shop products are ok. It has been hard especially for girls as all the nail varnishes and make up stuff and bath balls etc are no good. Do let me know if you come across other products without L &L.

      Liked by 1 person

    6. Jane S. says:

      Hello! Just come across your page. Finally! I’m 70 and had the same patch tests as your daughter. I could put my photo up of the 80 things attached to my back, but as you can imagine, my back isn’t as pretty as hers! Anyway, I’m allergic to linalool and limonene too, and when I read your reference to Enid Blyton I thought – this woman is for me!! I’ve had my diagnosis for about 3 years now, and it is really difficult to find products. I’m also allergic to cobalt, nickel and chromium. The consultant also said to avoid anything that says ‘parfum’, or any natural oils like lavender, argan oil – anything. Life is very difficult, but the more people spread the word about this, I hope the more products will change. So, here’s what I’ve found: I use doublebase for washing (I get it on prescription, but I’ve seen it in shops now); some Sensodyne toothpastes are ok but you have to check the ingredients on each pack; Superdrug own brand skin cream moisturiser is good. In fact, the doc said the cheaper brands are often better than more expensive ones. I use Aveeno oat moisturiser too. I use Eucerin Calming Urea Shampoo, and Pitrok Crystal solid deodorant stick. BUT I still need to find a conditioner. Apparently I have a high histamine count, which is why I’ve always gone red at the drop of a hat, and react very badly to insect bites. So glad I’ve found you. I’ll check out your suggestions above. Thanks.


    7. Stephanie B says:

      Cetaphil range is really good 🙂 keep strong its an awful allergy to have I have been living with it for 3 years now and I am fed up!


    8. Oriole Elliott says:

      Hello I have just been diagnosed with same allergies Hell! Have AB+ Blood group, been gluten free and deadly nightshade family free for many years which has been difficult enough. Now this research is nightmare with terpenes, cinnamol, coumarin etc.. Life is a lemon and oranges are worse!! Rosemary, lavender, oxidation etc.. I could do with the help of a chemist.


    9. Jen says:

      Sorry to hear about your daughters allergy diagnosis. I am allergic to linalool, limonene, parfum, lanolin alcohol and some sulphites too. It’s horrendous to live with and like others who have commented, it’s in EVERYTHING! I find it harder as my children have use products without any of the above too. I have narrowed my choices down for products like deodorant, toothpaste etc and it’s a very small amount of things. I miss my perfume, candles, toiletries when staying at a hotel – they’re so hard to live with. I hope your daughter manages OK going forward and can keep her reactions to a minimum.


    10. Anonymous says:

      This blog was so helpful- thanks so much! I’ve also just been diagnosed with the same two allergies after years of eczema. Interestingly my mum is coeliac, I wonder if the two are interlinked!


    11. BA says:

      Is there a list of food products (fruits, veggies, etc) contain linalool? Or opposite, free from it?


    12. Louise says:

      My mum has an allergy to Linalool and limonene and I’m trying to find a perfume which she can use, does anyone know of one? Many thanks


    13. Katherine Coaley says:

      Same here! Highly recommend palmers shampoo & conditioner as no SLS or the dreaded limonene & linanool


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