If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve heard something about fragrances in products. "Fragrance" is a broad term that encompasses a lot. Each company produces their variations differently. Some can be harmless, while others should raise some red flags. We’re here to give you some background information on whether or not fragrance-free products are right for you.
What Are Fragrances?
Fragrance is an umbrella term that can refer to anything that gives your cosmetic, skin, or hair care products their scents. They are made from thousands of different ingredients, sometimes in compound mixtures. Some of these ingredients are naturally derived from flowers and herbs, and many are harmless. Others are created from complex combinations of chemicals and should be approached with caution.
What Are the Reported Effects of Fragrances?
With so many fragrances and so little information, it’s difficult to point directly at a product and predict how a person will react. However, reactions reported include irritated skin, hormonal imbalances, asthmatic and respiratory issues, and other allergic reactions. This is not to say that all fragrances are harmful or that any scent will give you one of these issues. These are just a few of the commonly reported reactions.
What to Avoid in Your Products
Companies use the term fragrance loosely because of a piece of legislation passed in the 1960s. This law protected a fragrance's composition as a trade secret. That means it can be tough to distinguish between harmless scents and potentially dangerous chemicals. Since most of the chemicals hide behind the word fragrance, it’s hard to produce a useful list of terms to avoid. If a label does disclose any of the following you’ll want to steer clear:
- Benzene derivatives
- Synthetic fragrances
If you’re looking for more information on what else, besides fragrances, to avoid in your skin care products, check out our article on that topic.
One imperfect technique for avoiding the harmful fragrances is to research the company selling the product. If you trust in the ingredients they use, their methods, and their mission, it’s more likely they’re adding fragrances that won’t harm you. This method is far from perfect, but doing your research on brands is always important. Another approach would be to avoid them entirely.
There’s a whole bunch of great fragrance-free products out there on the market. You can find fragrance free body wash, shampoo, soap, to name a few. If you’re ready to try a fragrance-free underarm product, we’re proud of our Fragrance-Free deodorant.
This deodorant is made from botanical and floral ingredients like hyssop and clover and is perfect for sensitive skin. While not all fragrances are harmful, if you’ve chosen to go the ultra-cautious route, there are plenty of terrific fragrance-free products out there!