It’s well known from extensive research over the ages, that fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, is a common sensitizing agent for all skin types, more so in the current times. In fact, research has established that fragrances in skincare products are among the most common cause of sensitizing and other negative skin reactions. And this is true for all skin types, not just those with sensitive or redness-prone, inflamed skin.
Have you noticed how majority of skincare treatment for troubled skin is labelled 'Fragrance-Free' ? Ask your dermatologist for advise on handling irritated skin, and the products that are prescribed will invariably be without fragrance and aroma. By the time you finish reading this, you'll know why this is so.
How does it happen ?
You must be thinking that because your skin doesn't show signs of being aggravated or disrupted by the fragranced products you’re using, maybe this does'nt apply to you. I wish that were true. This vast organ, called the Skin, is very good at hiding it's aggravation. You might not see the damage on the skin’s surface, but it can be silently occurring every day, causing minor problems in the short term and maybe worse problems later.
It's similar to when we expose ourselves to the sun without wearing a sunscreen. Research shows that sun damage begins within minutes of your un-protected sun exposure! All the damage is taking place, but won’t show up on the surface of skin until years later. This is different from sun burn and sun tan.
Why are Fragrances used in Skincare products ?
That's a simple answer !
It’s because most people like their skincare and haircare products to smell nice and strong, so they can smell nice. Cosmetic companies understand the power of fragrance, like so many others that have something to sell, and how that influences a consumer’s decision to buy.
Another reason is that it helps cover up a product that naturally does'nt smell very good without the help of a fragrance. A beautiful scent helps overcome even the most difficult customer to use a product that he / she would'nt normally buy or use.
Fragrance also helps hide the unpleasant smell of a packaged skincare product that's been kept way too long, more so if the ingredients are all natural. Packaging causes ingredients to degrade fast because once you open it, the delicate ingredients are exposed to air and the bacteria from your fingers from dipping into the product and from exposure to sun and humidity. That is why, at Skinsense-Natural Luxury, we advice all our customers to use a clean spoon when using a product and to always refrigerate any product that's not being used very regularly.
Essential oils are no exception to this. They are also composed of chemicals, albeit natural, but are still very volatile on our skin. The type of oils used, the amount used, the combination used and it's storage conditions all contribute to it's having a beneficial or negative effect on the skin. It is for this reason that , at Skinsense- Natural Luxury, we keep our essential oil composition in the products to a minimum optimal level, where you feel it's benefit and is also safe for your skin in the long run.
'Shopping with your nose' is one of the factors that's helping drive economy - The power of Fragrance ! But you know better. Opt for Fragrance-Free products or products minimally fragranced by natural essential oils for a calmer tomorrow.
Aging, March 2012
Chemical Immunology and Allergy
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008