The Truth About Fragrance-Free Products
Our skin is precious, yet stronger than we give it credit. It touches substances every day, such as chemicals, allergens, pollutants, toxins, jewelry, and fabrics. It fights for us all the time.
Some of our personal care products can carry skin irritants, mainly from fragrances. If anyone has atopic dermatitis skin or sensitivities, fragrances can bother the skin.
Dermatologists define skin inflammation as dermatitis that is a direct result of something with which our skin has come into contact. There are two key classes of contact dermatitis: allergic and irritant.
"A fragrance is defined as a combination of organic compounds that produce a distinct smell or odor. Fragrance was declared the Contact Allergen of the Year for 2007 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS)," explains DermNetNZ.
DermNetNZ also says, "There are more than 5000 different fragrances that are in use today. The 8 listed are the most common allergy-causing fragrances that are used across many products for their fragrant and flavoring properties.
Cinnamic alcohol, Cinnamic aldehyde, Eugenol, Isoeugenol, Geraniol, Alpha amyl cinnamic alcohol, Hydroxycitronellal, Oakmoss absolute."
When a product lists, "fragrance" or "parfum," it can mean numerous fragrances, not only one.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) states, "If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor. Here’s why: FDA requires the list of ingredients under the Fair Packaging and Labeling ActExternal Link Disclaimer (FPLA). This law is not allowed to be used to force a company to tell “trade secrets.”
On the same note, fragrance-free and unscented are not equals. Yet, most companies never clarify that — slightly sneaky marketing.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains, "Some products may have the terms fragrance-free or unscented on their packaging. Understanding the differences between these two terms is important for consumers and purchasers looking for products without fragrances. Fragrance-free means that fragrance materials or masking scents are not used in the product. Unscented generally means that the product may contain chemicals that neutralize or mask the odors of other ingredients."
Geraniol is a common fragrance ingredient in nearly all consumer products from beauty, cleaning, and food. So, what is it — A natural, oily liquid that is colorless and odorless being either synthetic or natural geraniol.
Wikipedia explains, "It is the primary component of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil. In addition to rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil, it also occurs in small quantities in geranium, lemon, and many other essential oils."
"2,6-OCTADIEN-1-OL, 3,7-DIMETHYL-, 2,6-OCTADIEN-1-OL, 3,7-DIMETHYL-, (2E)-, 2,6OCTADIEN1OL, 3,7DIMETHYL, (E), 3,7-DIMETHYL- 2,6-OCTADIEN-1-OL, 3,7-DIMETHYL-2,6-OCTADIEN-1-OL, and GERANIOL."
In an interesting, in-depth study of geraniol, PubChem found, "A report of a 32-year-old female patient working in a company for baking ingredients, who had been handling grated lemon peel and lemon oil for several years, developed allergic contact dermatitis of the fingers of both her hands. The material responsible for the dermatitis was identified as geraniol in both lemon peel and lemon oil and it proved to be the only source of the allergic reaction."
Some people have questioned why phthalates are in consumer products. Although some people don't mind them, others prefer clean skincare (without phthalates and sulfates).
"Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in hundreds of products. The phthalate commonly used in fragrance products is diethyl phthalate or DEP. DEP does not pose known risks for human health as it is currently used in cosmetics and fragrances," states the FDA.
So, is organic life better? It depends on our body's allergies and sensitivities. I go organic, when possible, but always use clean skincare because I know the quality of the ingredients is higher. By all means, this is dependent on the company's standards and how the ingredients are sourced. Rescue Skin serum uses high-quality ingredients through a clean and transparent process.
The same standards that we expect from skincare brands that present themselves as clean should apply to hypoallergenic and natural skincare. Yet skincare with those labels could be lurking with toxic ingredients.
The FDA states, "There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term "hypoallergenic." The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean. Manufacturers of cosmetics labeled as hypoallergenic are not required to submit substantiation of their hypoallergenicity claims to FDA."
Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, unscented, or natural skincare do not equate to toxic-free. Choosing what is best for your skin comes down to being a knowledgable, responsible, and curious consumer. We should always question and research a brand and its products for ourselves.
Rescue Skin is full of potent, clean ingredients that work. The brand is clear about its product in every way. You can see it for yourself. If you're not satisfied after 30 days, return it and get a full refund.
Everything can affect how our skin reacts, but fragrances are the biggest culprits, especially synthetic fragrance cocktails. They serve no purpose, except to give a pleasant odor. I know that we all have our favorite scents. And that's fine, as long as you don't suffer from rashes for the sake of nice smells.
Most legitimate skincare may not cause a permanent skin disorder, but we sure don't need any more irritants in our lives.