Is fragrance in Skincare such a Bad Thing? Let’s find out.

Is fragrance in Skincare such a Bad Thing? Let’s find out.

  • By Anindita Biswas

Fragrance in skincare isn’t the worst thing in the world. There are far more harmful bits and pieces in skincare.

When it came to purchasing a skincare product, the fragrance or scent was second only to the packaging in terms of enticing customers to purchase in retail stores. Brands consciously added fragrance to skin care to make it more desirable for the users and consumers. However, a new craze for "clean skincare" has emerged, and brands are promoting "fragrance-free skincare," which has stoked anxiety among consumers. When it comes to cosmetics, the question is whether or not fragrance is harmful. So, let's find out the actual truth behind the fragrance.

Why do people fear fragrance in their skincare?

Fragrance in skincare is a tricky business because there isn't a single ingredient that qualifies as "fragrance." In reality, it's a catch-all phrase for a wide range of ingredients. There are around 300 fragrance ingredients in this umbrella term. Although not all of them are harmful to your skin, it's nearly impossible to tell which ones are.

It's also possible to develop allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) when the skin's immune cells (t-cells) come into contact with an allergen, causing a type of rash. Not just fragrance, but some people are also allergic to Hyaluronic acid! In all honesty, no ingredient is completely safe for those who are allergic to it. ACD can occur even in fragrance-free products.

Why do brands add fragrance to their skincare products?

To make a product smell better and be more marketable, fragrances are typically used in one of two ways: to mask the smell of other ingredients or to make the product itself smell better.

We at Foxtale have always been outspoken when it comes to the ingredients we use. We've included fragrance in the products because we believe in the energizing, calming, and even relaxing effects that come from a sensory experience. The purpose of fragrance in skincare is to make your daily skincare routine and your journey to better skin a little more enjoyable. After a long, hectic day, you should reward yourself with a few minutes of solace and Foxtale is here to provide that experience. Along with that, we've made sure to use ingredients that are effective, safe, and accessible to everyone. This is why we advocate for the use of fragrances that are free of allergens.

Allergen-free skincare: What allergens to avoid in skincare?

Only 1.7 to 4.1 percent of people are allergic to fragrances found in personal care products, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. But what if those people want to use fragranced products for a sensorial experience? Allergen-free skincare is the answer for that. Allergen-free skincare is the best bet and the safest option for everyone, those sensitive to fragrance and those who aren't. As implied by the name, these are fragrances that cause zero to very few allergic reactions, making them far safer to use. A few fragrance ingredients that you must steer clear from in your skincare products (as per the EU) to be on the safer side are as follows:

  1. Amyl cinnamal
  2. Amylcinnamyl alcohol
  3. Benzyl alcohol
  4. Benzyl salicylate
  5. Cinnamyl alcohol
  6. Cinnamal
  7. Citral
  8. Coumarin
  9. Eugenol
  10. Geraniol
  11. Hydroxycitronellal
  12. Hydroxymethylpentyl-cyclohexenecarboxaldehyde
  13. Isoeugenol
  14. Anisyl alcohol
  15. Benzyl benzoate
  16. Benzyl cinnamate
  17. Citronellol
  18. Farnesol
  19. Hexyl cinnamaldehyde
  20. Lilial
  21. d-Limonene
  22. Linalool
  23. Methyl heptine carbonate
  24. 3-Methyl-4-(2,6,6-trimethyl-2-cyclohexen-1-yl)-3-buten-2-one
  25. Oak moss
  26. Tree moss

When in doubt about whether or not to use fragrance in your skincare, start by patch testing new products to see whether you have an adverse reaction to them. Based on user feedback, we have reduced the percentage of fragrance from 0.6% to 0.4% at Foxtale. However, if your skin is reacting badly to our products due to fragrance, it's best to consult with an allergist or dermatologist to identify the source.

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