Fragrance in Beauty Products

The sense of smell is a very powerful thing. Let's face it, most of us love the scent of a good body wash, facial moisturizer and even the "baby scent" from products used on babies. In fact many of us won't even purchase a product that doesn't smell amazing. But do you know the differences in fragrance in beauty products? But do you know what you are actually buying?

Natural Fragrance Fact
 Natural fragrances are derived from organic/non-organic essential oils.
+ Essential oils are extracted by cold pressing or distillation from plants, herbs, flowers, fruit skins, seeds, bark and are very concentrated.
+ On a label you will see the actual name or the Latin name for the essential oil. Example: canaga odorata flower oil is actually ylang ylang oil.
+ As with any ingredient natural or otherwise if you are allergic, sensitive or reactive to a specific plant or fruit you could absolutely still have a reaction. + Essential oils have therapeutic properties to the senses and health. + Essential oils can be used topically, ingested, bathed in and inhaled.

Fragrance in beauty

Synthetic Fragrance Facts
+ Synthetic fragrances are made in a laboratory and are made to mimic a natural scent.     + 95% of synthetic fragrances on the market are derived from petrochemicals.
+ They do not have any therapeutic properties. (Maybe besides reminding you of an ex you want to forget!) + The FDA requires them to simply be labeled fragrance, perfume or parfum. + A trademarked scent is protected in this FDA loophole and is not required to list any actual ingredients/chemicals used. It all falls under the ingredient "fragrance."                        + According to the Environmental Working Group in over 70% of fragrances there is an ingredient called "phthalates." (pronounced thal-ates). However, you generally won't see this on an ingredient list. It is an ingredient within an ingredient. You guessed it, hidden in the word "fragrance!"

More about Phthalates
Definition of Phthalates: A chemical substance used to stabilize the volatile components of perfume. They are used to make the fragrance last longer. Since the skin is the largest organ, products are absorbed into the bloodstream. Studies have shown that phthalates mimic estrogen. In women they have been linked to breast cancer and ovarian cysts. In a recent study it suggest it can even cause a hormonal imbalance in women pregnant with baby boys. This can lead to abnormal development of the male reproductive system and even lower birth rate. It has also been linked to testicular and liver cancer. They also are known to trigger asthma attacks and allergies. Ekkkk!

Unscented vs. Fragrance Free
Many people assume unscented and fragrance free mean the same thing. The terms are often used interchangeably, but definitely there is a big difference between unscented and fragrance free products.

Unscented = No scent was picked for the product. This doesn't mean a light fragrance hasn't been added to cover up the natural scent of the ingredients that may not be super appealing to most.

Fragrance Free = No synthetic fragrances are added AND no natural scents are added to mask the natural scent of the ingredients. The trick to know if a product is truly fragrance free is you see no essential oils added to the ingredient list.

This means that if you are truly trying to avoid fragrance in a product fragrance free is the way to go.

Sensitivity to Synthetic Fragrance
Many people with sensitive skin end up using fragrance free products and see an improvement in their skin health. The reason being is that fragrance is a known irritant to the skin. How do you know if you are sensitive? For one your moisture barrier won't be intact.You may feel dry, dehydrated, tight and pink/red. Specifically people that already have inflammation going on with conditions such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and acne should absolutely stay away from these types of products. It will just make them worst. If you notice new breakouts, redness and eye irritation you also may be sensitive to fragrance. And an even simpler test, if being around someone that clearly has applied too much perfume/cologne and it makes you cough, sneeze or feel a tightness in your breathing you should probably avoid fragrance.

Fragrance in beauty

What are synthetic fragrances in and Why?
Synthetic fragrance is in almost everything unless otherwise advertised or stated on the package. Even things you may not even think about because it has become the "normal" for society. They have been added because to put it simply, they are cheap and last a long time. A company can purchase vats of synthetic fragrance to add to any product for relativity cheap. This is of course in comparison to the much more labor intensive process of extracting essential oils.

+ Dish Soap
+ Laundry detergent, Fabric Softeners & Dryer Sheets
+ Hand Soap & Hand Sanitizer
+ Body Wash & Body Lotion
+ Skin care & Sunscreens
+ Shampoos, Conditioners & Hair Products
+ Makeup & Makeup Removing Wipes
+ Men's grooming & Shaving Products
+ Scented Tampons & Maxi Pads
+ Baby Products including Wipes
+ Deodorant
+ Candles & Air Fresheners
+ Many "fruity" smelling medications
+ And of course Perfume/Cologne & Body Spray

Baby Products
I am going to step on my soap box for a moment here. With all the evidence against artificial fragrance I can not even fathom using these types of products on a freshly born baby with their brand new immune system! The famous number one brand of baby products that we all know has synthetic fragrance or parfum in their products. In fact that is their signature scent! No! No! No! There are plenty of completely natural, green and healthy baby lines of products out there.

How to buy Safer
Avoiding synthetic fragrance doesn't have to be difficult. It will just take a bit more research and knowledge when reading labels. A lot of people have a great experience using aromatherapy or fragrance free products. Most even a positive improvement in their skin health. For example, a creamy facial cleanser made with chamomile essential oils will calm and soothe skin. Plus, smell fantastic without the synthetic fragrance in it! You can even purchase fragrance free products such as dish soap and laundry detergent and add your own essential oils to make your own custom scent. I currently have lemongrass dish soap!

If you are sensitive I would recommend switching out everything in your life to fragrance free. Personally I am in the process of making the switch with everything in my life. So far I switched out all my cleaning products, laundry detergent, dish soap, body wash and lotion, skin care and deodorant. This doesn't mean I don't enjoy the occasional pumpkin candle around Fall time or a spritz of Chanel on my clothes for a date night. It just means everything in moderation and minimizing your risks and applications.

+ Read labels! Avoid products with fragrance, parfum or perfume on the label.
+ Look for products that say "phthlates free" posted on the label.
+ Look for the actual essential oil names on the label.
+ Be careful with the brands that deem themselves "natural." Surprisingly they still could contain synthetic fragrance.

Fragrance in beauty

These are a few of my favorite aromatherapy lines that do not contain any synthetic fragrances!


100% Pure has a huge line so there is something for everyone and they also carry an array of baby products.

Babe on a Budget: Nourish Organic

Everyday Shea has some really great body washes, body lotions and baby products.

Free free to go on a rampage of your bathroom and read labels now that you have my two scents! Your'e welcome.