Decent Sounding Hypo-Allergenic Rosin

February 27, 2019, 8:47 AM · Hi! Fairly new member here. So I'm an advanced violin student, (I've only been playing 2.5 years but put in 5+ hours a day of practice and have an extensive musical background on other instruments).

Recently I've come across an issue however. I've always had a mild allergy to rosin, where before if any got on my skin I'd get a slight rash, or when playing I'd have slight discomfort from it. I've tried at least 10 different high end rosins hoping to find one that plays nicely and doesn't cause me to react as such. However all of them I had at least some reaction too, and I just stuck with the one that bothered me the least.

I also tried a number of hypo allergenic rosins but all of them sounded and played horribly. Recently however I'm at the point where playing for more than 15 minutes, due to the rosin dust that even in very small amount becomes airborne, my tongue starts to swell and I end up having breathing difficulty. So now im stuck absolutely needing a hypo allergenic rosin. Not sure what component it is specifically that I'm allergic to in them though.

Any suggestions as to one that may work? I desperately don't want to have to give up the tone if I can avoid it of a nice rosin

Thanks again everyone!

Replies (10)

February 27, 2019, 8:53 AM · How much dust are you getting? The amount of powder should be nigh-negligible. If you're getting a lot of powder, you are using far too much rosin. If there's enough dust for you to breathe, you are using too much rosin. You should be cleaning your strings with a dry untreated microfiber cloth after every practice session.

Try Jade, which is an excellent rosin that happens to be hypoallergenic:
https://www.potterviolins.com/product/jade-hypoallergenic-rosin/

February 27, 2019, 9:19 AM · Oh I'm not really getting any visable dust. None on my violin at all. So it's not a matter of too much, just being extremely sensitive. Thanks I'll give that one a try!!
February 27, 2019, 10:49 AM · Motrya Gold is a fantastic rosin that just happens to be hypoallergenic. It has a lot of grip, use sparingly.
February 27, 2019, 11:19 AM · Guillaume is a great one to try. Beautiful tone, nice grab, and according to some sources-including a bow maker on this site-also hypoallergenic. It is no longer expensive, and apparently good throughout the year. Have been using it for 4+ years (I may be wrong on the exact time), and do not feel compelled to try any other, no matter how shiny or special it's claimed to be.

Since I am likely not allergic to rosin dust myself, I cannot scientifically verify the claims of any rosin maker towards hypoallergenic properties of their products.

I agree rosin shouldn't accumulate regardless chosen brand/model, though a few are more prone to being more "dusty". What's more important is the positive impact on your playing, which is subjective to the player, bow, and violin.

February 27, 2019, 2:24 PM · Which Rosins have you tried so far? Also, how do you remove the rosins that do give you allergies? If you don’t clean the rosins that give you allergies thoroughly they are still there mixed up with whatever new rosin that you are trying on top and may still induce an allergic reaction, giving you the false impression that you are also allergic to the new rosin when it may not be the case. Also, how often do you apply rosin? I for one apply rosin perhaps twice a month, practicing 2hrs a day and playing with the orchestra once a week, so it doesn’t take much. Last, how diligent are you cleaning the strings and instrument?
February 27, 2019, 3:28 PM · As an experiment you might try wearing a dust mask to confirm that the rosin is the problem, though I don't know what else it might be.

And I apply rosin about every 2-3 hours, but I do it sparingly. Down bow, up bow, 3 times, in other words six strokes. My first violin teacher, who was really more of a fiddler, taught me to way over do the process, and it took me a while to realize that it made no sense to do that.

February 27, 2019, 3:46 PM · I haven't tried very many expensive rosins, but one thing to watch out for is the additives. Metal ions (gold, etc.) can make the allergy or immune reaction worse. I think the technical word is adjuvent. Some rosins have beeswax.
February 27, 2019, 4:54 PM · For cleaning bow between rosin types, the local violin shop actually does it for me when I buy a different rosin. I've also had my bow rehaired in there too. Terms of application amount I apply when it feels and sounds like needed. Usually every 15-20 hours of play.ive tried all the off the shelf ones from my local violin shop and the ones at long and mcquade. I'm going to order the motrya and the Guillaume and see how they work out!
February 28, 2019, 11:36 AM · Let us know how these are working out for you. Just curious, have you tried Magic Rosin? As it is sold at Long and McQuade you probably did.
February 28, 2019, 5:48 PM · Although no rosin dust issues here i added a cake of Magic rosin to my collection and was surprised that it worked so well and is one of my favorites now.

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