I’m in the process of phasing out fragrance from my skincare regime. I will explain why but first lets address what a fragrance is.
Fragrances in skincare come in a few forms. It can be a synthetic (lab-created) fragrance which will appear as “Parfum/Perfume/Fragrance” on the label. Frequently at the bottom of a label you will also see ingredients like “Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene” to name a few. These ingredients are allergens and have to be disclosed on labels if they are present above a certain limit.
Fragrances also come in the form of essential oils for example lavender oil, peppermint and eucalyptus are popular ones. Fragrances, both synthetic and from essential oils are referred to as “allergens” in the cosmetics industry and they can cause sensitisation of the skin.
Now the tricky bit. Just because a product is “unscented” doesn’t mean it is “fragrance-free”! Sometimes companies add fragrances to a product to remove smells, confusing, I know. Also just because a product has a fragrance doesn’t mean it isn’t “fragrance-free”. Some ingredients like shea butter for example have a natural odour which is not allergenic. To overcome this issue when looking at labeling make sure it specifically says “FRAGRANCE-FREE”.
So why should you avoid fragrances? If you suffer from sensitivity, rosacea, eczema, acne, inflammation then you MUST avoid fragrances in your skincare. Fragrances are one of the most common reasons for allergic reactions in skincare so please take a look at the ingredients listing on your products, it may reveal why your skin has been acting up.
Generally if you don’t suffer from the above skin issues it is still safe to use fragranced wash-off products like face-masks and face wash as these don’t come into contact with the skin for a long period of time. For products that you leave ON your skin? Well the jury is still out.
The reason that I have been cutting out fragrance is not because I suffer from sensitivity but I figured there is literally no benefit in having these allergenic ingredients in my skincare routine. Even if they don’t cause a visible reaction, who knows whats happening in the lower layers of my skin. There are some sources which say perfumes can leads to the breakdown of collagen in your skin. Currently there is very little research which supports this and maybe I’m being paranoid, but why take the risk?
What are your thoughts on fragrances in skin care? Have you had any reactions to them? Do you avoid them? Comment below and let me know.