• Fragrances in cosmetics


    fragrances in cosmetics and makeup

    Many types of fragrances are used in cosmetics. Unfortunately this is also the main ingredient that causes most of the skin irritations or allergies. Fragrances can be natural (derived from plants, essential oils) or synthetic – made up of chemical compounds. Both can create the same type of skin reactions and problems because of the incompatibility with most of the other compounds found in cosmetics. In combination with other ingredients, fragrance can have bad reactions on the skin or even in its deeper layers, thus causing serious irritations. 

    Natural fragrances, the essential oils derived from plants, are largely used in the “natural” products but because of the perishable nature of such products, more preservatives are required to extend the expiry date and the shelf life. However, a high concentration of preservatives will cause other unpleasant cosmetic reactions and allergies especially to those with sensitive skin. It is important to remember that a natural perfume is not totally harmless either; the essential oil, though natural, can create the same sensitizing reactions an artificial ingredient causes to your skin.
    This explains why most of the products designed for sensitive skin are “fragrance-free” first and foremost, and then free of harmful ingredients of other type (preservatives, color etc). Fragrance proves to be a difficult ingredient in a skin care formula.


    How can you know if a product is good for you? First check the label for any ingredients that you are allergic to. Finding other allergies that you don’t know of would require any product to be tested on a small portion of the skin before applying it on extended areas. Make sure you apply the formula in a less visible area and allow up to one day to see the potential effects.
    Some fragrances, especially in smaller quantities, can be well tolerated by almost any skin type but if this isn’t your case, then the “fragrance-free” products are the suitable alternative.

    So do we need fragrance in our cosmetic products? Most of the times, the fragrance is used to cover the unpleasant odor of some other chemicals used to create the formula. Sometimes, it is used simply for the scent, as it is known that most of the people prefer the cosmetics with a nice smell. Used in moisturizers, shampoo, body lotions, foundations, the fragrance adds a nice smell to the skin and maintains the fresh scent throughout the day. If you’re not sensitive to fragrance, you can use products containing such ingredients, in moderation. 

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