One of the most discussed subject in cosmetics, is undoubtedly “fragrance”. No other subject in cosmetics has been more discussed, argued about and researched.
In order to give you – my readers – some clarity on this subject, here’s my personal opinion.
In order to discuss this topic, it is important first to define, what fragrance exactly is. In cosmetics, fragrance is a substance, or a mixture of substances, meant to perfume the product OR to mask unpleasant odors from (active) ingredients.
So, this means a fragrance can be used for marketing purposes, but also to make a product acceptable for its consumers. Because, what you should know, is that many cosmetic ingredients do NOT have a nice smell. This goes for NATURAL es well as SYNTHETIC ingredients.
This also means that “NATURAL” as well as “CLASSIC” cosmetic brands, use fragrance in their products in order to make them pleasantly smelling to their public.
Fragrance can also be used to “neutralize” odors. A product that “has no smell” could very well be fragranced !
Fragrance can be both natural (ex : essential oils) or synthetic, and can also be a mixture of both.
Now let’s come tot he crucial point : is fragrance BAD FOR SKIN ?
In my opinion (shared by many skincare experts, I’ll just cite Caroline Hirons), the answer is : NO, unless you have an ALLERGY to the product.
I personally DO NOT believe that fragrances can lead to skindamage (like Beautypedia tells us) or are harmfull in any way. It is only bad for you if YOU are allergic to ONE (or more) fragrance ingredients.
The EU has made up a list of 26 fragrance ingredients, that are considered to be more “suspected” when it comes to the frequence of allergic reactions. Again, this means : only for those who are allergic to the said substance.
A few examples, like they are mentionned on the INCI (Ingredients) list :
- Amyl cinnamal
- Alpha isomethyl ionone
- And more …..
The ONLY WAY to know what you are allergic to(be it a fragrance or some other type of ingredient), is to have it TESTED & CONFIRMED by a DERMATOLOGIST. Since we live in an era of “contains no parabens, synthetic fragrance and blabla blabla”, it has become very “fashionable” to have some self-invented allergies (or “highly sensitive” skin).
The funny thing is, that most of the “suspected” allergens are from NATURAL sources, being the essential oils. Meaning that natural-led products are more likely to give you allergies than the synthetic ones. Surprising, isn’t it?
In my personal opinion, fragrance should not be a problem when used in acceptable dosage in skincare products.If you are, however, allergic to a certain fragrance ingredient (or group of ingredients), you will have this black on white from your doctor and you can read ingredient lists in order to select your cosmetic products.
Although a nice fragrance in a product has nothing to do with its purpose (namely : skin care), it can add an extra dimension to the product. What would a luxury cream be without a nice smell !!
Fragrance is absolutely not a necessity(unless the product would smell bad because of certain ingredients), and if you want to avoid, there are plenty of unfragranced products on the market.
Remember also that fragrance is not the only culprit when it comes to allergies and that cosmetics are often made of complex formulas in order to meet our skincare needs.
THE BOTTOM LINE : LET’S ENJOY OUR FRAGRANCED PRODUCTS !