You may have heard the phrase “unscented” or “fragrance free” in recent advertising and wondered why you should want that. Or, maybe you are having skin reactions and trying to find the cause. Whatever the reason you are curious about fragrances, knowing how they affect your body and how to avoid them is important.
What is fragrance free?
Fragrances are found in almost everything we use that touches our body, from lotions and face washes to detergents and soaps. It is very hard to find products that are actually fragrance free. Things labeled as “fragrance free” do not have added chemicals that mask or change the scent of the product you are using. Therefore, these products will smell like the ingredients.
In contrast, “unscented” products still have fragrance chemicals inserted in to mask the scent of the ingredients. This difference is abused in the marketing of products and it is important that you check to make sure your “clean” products are actually clean. Oftentimes, people will see the “natural” or “unscented” marketing and think a product will not be irritating. However, the chemicals used to make the “unscented” illusion are equally as harmful as other fragrances.
So, why should you care?
Skincare is incredibly important, and not just having a 10 step nighttime facial skincare routine. Protecting and caring for the skin on your face AND your body is a major part of staying healthy. Not only do skin irritations cause you to be uncomfortable, your skin is the first barrier to infections and other bodily threats. Your body utilizes this to protect organs and muscles, and to prevent bacteria from entering the body. Damaged skin can mean infections, viruses, and and harmful particles entering your body freely. Furthermore, the chemicals used to make fragrant products often linger in our systems and can cause long term effects.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fragrances are the leading cause of skin irritations and dermatologist visits. Fragrances can cause dermatitis, itchy, red rashes, sensitivity to sunlight, burning or stinging, headaches, asthma, hives, blisters, and allergic reactions. In addition, people prone to eczema, psoriasis, acne, or rosacea may be more sensitive to fragrances in their body products. Even if you do not already have sensitive skin, using fragrance free products can benefit your skin in the long run.
How can you avoid fragrances?
Completely cutting out fragrances from all home and beauty products is hard, so be patient finding verified products. While products have to be certified under law in the United States, fragrances are the only ingredient that gets a pass and is not inspected. This means the general population has to look for and dissect these ingredients ourselves. Always check the labels for things categorized as fragrance or parfum. In addition, make sure to check for common fragrance ingredients like eugenol, citronellol, cinnamal, limonene, or geraniol. Also check for essential oils used as fragrances, as these can be very irritating to the skin.
Check out our favorite fragrance free products beneath here, in store, or online at themustardseedonline.com !