An estimated 3% of the population is allergic to some of the spices commonly used for food processing. Turmeric, vanilla, clove, rosemary, ginger, pepper, lavender, anise, nutmeg and sesame all form part of our menus. But they are also used to make cosmetics of all kinds for our skin.
A study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) warns that spices are not regulated by healthcare authorities in the USA and EU. Consequently, they are not always listed as ingredients on the label and so are difficult to identify and avoid by people allergic to them. According to the ACAAI, the current boom in natural cosmetics, also called green cosmetics, entails an increase in the use of spices in product formulae. Therefore, it is forecast that the associated allergies will tend to increase in the coming years, especially among women, the primary users of cosmetics.