Scent is a powerful thing. It has the power to evoke memories, soothe you when you're sick, or even make you hungry. For many of us, it is a deciding factor in some of our purchases, from candles, food, even body lotions. It's common knowledge that people with sensitive skin need to avoid fragrance. However, more and more research is showing why fragrance can be an irritating chemical that many should avoid. If you're wondering if avoiding fragrance in your beauty routine is really worth it, then read on.
Perfume or fragrance can have as many as 200 ingredients. Since these blends are considered proprietary, manufacturers are not obligated to disclose the ingredients, despite the fact that they may include phthalates, allergens or sensitizers, neurotoxins, and synthetic musks (possible hormone disruptors that have been found in the cord blood of newborns).
The reality is that consumers have no way of evaluating the safety of products that list fragrance as an ingredient. Even products that seem to possess no smell at all can have a series of chemicals used to cover the smell of other chemicals used in the product.
You may not have a sensitivity now, but because many chemicals used in synthetic fragrance are known to be sensitizers, not having a skin sensitivity now does not mean you won't have one later. Repeated exposure to sensitizing chemicals can cause a change in your immune system, resulting in lifelong sensitization to that chemical.
If you do develop sensitivities to fragrance, it's crucial that you avoid the irritant. However, there's no way of knowing what that irritant might be if the products you are using have perfume or fragrance listed in the ingredients and this makes treating conditions like contact dermatitis and eczema extremely difficult.
A report issued by Women's Voices for the Earth indicates that lotion, along with deodorant and perfume, is one of the most common products to cause sensitization. Ironically, lotion, 83% of which have fragrance, is often the first line of defense for skin reactions, potentially leading to further irritation and damage.
Ready to begin avoiding fragrance in your beauty care routine, but not sure where to start? Start with some of the samples offered by Real Purity, which you can try on any skin type before purchasing the full size. All Real Purity’s products are free from parabens, phthalates, triclosan, synthetic dyes, fragrances, and other irritating ingredients.