Melissa Kaplan's
Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases
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Last updated January 1, 2014

Unscented or Mildly Scented Products Generally Tolerated by Most Persons with MCS

Based on the original list compiled by Sheila Bastien PhD and her patients

Updated and expanded by Melissa Kaplan

The original list on which this one is based was provided by Sheila Bastien, Ph.D, a neuropsychologist whoherself has MCS. Some people with MCS have reactions to chemicals tolerated by others with MCS. Type and severity of reaction varies as well. Just because a product or scent is "natural" is no guarantee that it will be tolerated. Personally, the majority of aromatherapy products and most essential oils have caused the same shortness of breath, loss of voice, and headaches that I get from solvents, plastics and paints.

Product Categories:
Body Lotion
Dishwasher Soap
Hair Gels & Mousses
Household Cleaners
Household Lubricants, etc.
Laundry Detergents/Soaps
Lightweight Masks
Mail Order Catalogs
Miscellaneous Products
Shampoos & Conditioners
Shaving Cream
Suntan Lotion
Wet Cleaners
A Note on Unscented and Fragrance-free

The following are unscented products which are helpful in reducing problems and symptoms for many people who have chemical sensitivities or environmental illness (EI). Not everyone is reactive to the same chemicals, or to the same concentrations of the same chemicals, so your experience may not match those of the individuals who found these products to be safe for themselves.

Most perfumes and essential oils, scented body lotion, and deodorant, and clothes dried with scented anti-cling/fabric softener sheets (Bounce unscented is not E.I.-safe but is more tolerable) should probably be avoided. Most scents can be reduced with a baking soda or milk soak.

The following products can be found in many health food stores. Please read the lable to be sure you are getting an unscented product, with no herbal scent and no fragrance. Recheck the labels of products you have purchased before as manufacturers tend to change their products.

* = Safest products - others may be tolerable.

Canary Cosmetics fragrance-, preservative-, endocrine-disruptor-free
New Essentials (1-800-221-7857; sold at J.C. Penny stores)
Patricia Allison


Deodorants Possibly any unscented brand, including:
Alvera Aloe Unscented
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Crystal (Le Crystal Rock, Natural Stick, Roll-on, Natural Pump spray)
Earth Science LiKEN Natural Herbal Deodorant
JASON Tea Tree Oil Natural Deodorant; Aloe Vera Gel
Kiss My Face Active Natural Enzyme Deodorant Stick
Mennen Unscented Speed Stick for Men
Mineral Rock
Nature de France
Nutribiotic Unscented Deodorant Stick
Tom's of Maine


Dishwasher Soap
Life Tree Dishwasher Liquid
Planet Dishwasher Liquid


Gel/Mousse (Check for "Fragrance Free")
Aloe Vera Gel
Aubrey Hair Gel*
Organics B5 Design Gel
KY Jelly (from drug store, spermicidal-free; not for use by those sensitive to chlorhexadine)


Household Cleaners
Baking Soda
Orange Power
TSP (available at hardware stores)


Laundry Detergents
Arm & Hammer Unscented Washing Soda*
Borax Unscented Washing Soda
Cheer Free
Countryside Safe Unscented
Granny's Old Fashion Concentrate or Power Plus*
Tide Unscented


Lightweight Dust and Filter Masks
I Can Breathe!®
Designer and maker of the original I Can Breathe!® Honeycomb and Silk masks.
5459 S. Hyde Park Blvd.  
Chicago, IL 60615-5801 USA
Phone: 773-324-6956
Fax:   773-324-9315


Almond Oil (with no essential oils added)
Aloe Vera Moisturizer
Burt's Bees Lemon Balm Cuticle Cream
Granny's Old Fashion
Jackie's Magic Lotion
Lubriderm (Fragrance Free only)
Moisture Guard*
Nature's Plus Vitamin E Cream*
Skin Trip Moisturizing Cream
Truly Moist NaCPA


Shampoo, Conditioner Hair Products (Check for "Fragrance Free")
Avalon Botanicals shampoo and conditioner
Infinite Chamomile (shampoo only; conditioner is scented)
Magick Botanicals


Shaving Creams
Tom's of Maine


Conti Castile
Dr. Bonner's (baby soap only)*
Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap*
Pure Castile Soap (including liquid)
Save the Whales Glycerin Soap
Simple Soap*
Sirena Coconut Soap*
The Chef's Soap*


Suntan Lotions
Hawaiian Tropic Sensitive (Fragrance and PABA Free)
Mountain Ocean Sun Screen (SPF 15)
Rainbow Aloe Paba Sunscreen

Mail Order Companies
The following companies sell a wide range of products for those with asthma, allergies, MCS, and will ship your orders via UPS:

Asthma Allergy Technology Resources 1-800-621-5545 Note: AATR has been selling inferior copies of the ICanBreathe!® masks, passing them off in their catalog and website as the originals made by I Can Breathe, Inc.

Allergy Control Products
Allergy Resources
Allermed Clean Air
Caring for You (CA) 1-408-296-7968
Health Product Center 1-800-292-2952
Living Source
Magick Botanicals
National Allergy Supply


Wet Cleaners
Wet cleaning is an alternative to the highly toxic - and undesirably fragrant - dry cleaning. Wet cleaners are not as widespread as dry cleaners so some searching may be necessary to find one - and some travel may be required to get to the one closest to you.

Center for Neighborhood Technology Alternative Clothes Cleaning - check here for locations of wet cleaners


Household Lubricants, Etc...
In place of WD-40, people have recommended the following, depending on where the lubricant is needed. These items are not necessarily non-toxic or fragrance free, but are ones that are tolerated by those who recommended them:

bar or liquid soap
graphite (such as Lock-Ease, used on locks, squeaks, and sliding door/window tracks)
mineral oil
sesame oil
sewing machine oil


Shoes may sound like an odd thing to list. But for those of us who can't walk into a shoe store because of the overwhelming outgassing of the leather dyes, rubber soles and synthetics used in all parts of the shoe, it's a no brainer...

Gaiam - request the Harmony and other catalogs and shop online and by phone



Miscellaneous Products

Felt-Tip Markers: Try washable markers made for children, such as Crayola®'s line of washable markers that come in various tip sizes. Useful for flip charts, name tags, and other uses around chemically-sensitive people.

Dry-Erase Board Markers: Try Crayola® Color WipeOffs Broad Line Markers, or Trend Enterprises' Wipe-Off Markers T-598.


A Note on Unscented and Fragrance-free
These terms may not mean what you think they do. Just because a product doesn't smell like it has a fragrance or scent to it , it may indeed contain one or more chemicals that are in fact fragrances, used in that product to mask fragrances, neutralizing them. The problem is that while this neutralizing may be fine for someone who is not chemically sensitive, or not sensitive to the particular chemical(s) used, to those individuals who are more sensitive to that chemical(s), even if they cannot smell it (and many can), it may bring on symptoms common to chemical exposures. If you work with the public and wear a product that you cannot smell, even if it says "fragrance-free", you may be making people around you very ill.

Rather than relying on the product manufacturer's marketing department and advertising firm's decision as to whether the product is "fragrance-free", check the list of ingredients for one of the over 1500 Fragrance Chemicals.


Related Articles

Management of Chemical Sensitivities in CFIDS

Housing Resources for MCS

Cosmetic Labeling




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