Is Fragrance in Skincare Bad for You?

Fragrance can add to the relaxing, sensory experience of applying products. And many consumers select products based on the scent. However, there is an increasing trend to avoid fragrance products, especially in skincare.

There are many reasons someone might choose to avoid scents in their products: sensitive skin, allergies, or can't handle strong smells. According to the (AAD) American Academy of Dermatology, fragrance is the most significant cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis (skin rash, itch, or dry patches). 

About 2.5 million Americans have fragrance allergies. In addition, people with sensitive skin or with conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea are more susceptible to fragranced skincare. If you have sensitive skin, you know how hard it is to find skincare products that feel good on your skin.


What is Fragrance?

"Fragrance is an umbrella term for a cocktail of ingredients used by the cosmetics industry to scent products, and which may be natural or synthetic," explains Dr. Parisha Acharya, an aesthetic doctor at Waterhouse Young.

natural fragrance is a blend of natural isolates and single odor chemicals extracted from natural raw materials like a botanical plant or flower using the distillation process. These are called natural isolates as they only undergo a physical means for collection and no chemical alteration. Natural fragrances include essential oils, fractions of oils, fractions of essential oils, botanical extracts, and volatile concentrates.

In contrast, a synthetic fragrance is derived from manufactured materials, often in a laboratory. As a result, they invariably contain toxic and potentially toxic ingredients like phthalates, solvents, dyes, and petroleum derivatives. As a result, they are usually listed on products as 'Parfum,' 'Perfume,' or simply as 'Fragrance' or 'Nature Identical.'

According to cosmetic chemist Dr. Shuting Hu, "the biggest problem with fragrance in skincare is the lack of transparency. Due to a lack of regulation, brands can get away with listing 'fragrance' as an ingredient without disclosing what ingredients make up that fragrance."

According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), there are 3,100 chemicals used in the fragrance industry. Fragrance chemicals, like toxic chemicals, can pass from the skin to the blood. So it is alarming when we do not know what's in them or whether they are safe for short or long-term use. And, because manufacturers in the United States are not required to list their fragrance ingredients on product labels, you can never be sure to which potentially toxic chemicals you have been exposed. 

"Both natural and artificial fragrances in high concentrations can irritate the skin", says Paul Bigliardi, MD, a professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. "However, some research also shows that fragrances are the most common cause of allergic reactions to cosmetic products, so it's best to choose products with no scent if you have sensitive skin. Skincare products that you can rinse off, such as soaps, are more tolerable and can have a higher concentration of fragrance in them," Bigliardi says. "But products that stay on the skin, such as creams and lotions, should have decreased fragrance concentrations or no fragrance at all.”

If You Are Trying To Avoid Fragrance 

Understanding the Packaging Can Help 

We know that product language can be misleading, unclear, or incomplete.  Here is some basic terminology to give you a better understanding of ingredient labels. First of all, fragrance-free and unscented are not the same. Fragrance-free refers to the intentional lack of chemicals added to enhance aroma or mask an odor. Unscented means that products lack scent; however, there may be potentially toxic masking agents to eliminate the odor. The product may have been intentionally modified to have no noticeable odor.

Essential Oil Free is straightforward. It means no essential oils are used in the formula, but they might still have a natural odor because of the other ingredients used. It also could still contain synthetic fragrances.

We worked with our Vitali chemist to develop a framework to help consumers understand the Fragrance language and associated potential risks.

At Vitali Restoracell, we are committed to transparency. Our formulas are Fragrance-free, and our peptides combine with organic and natural active ingredients and natural preservatives. We never add masking ingredients of any kind. Our goal is to have Fragrance-free products that have no scent. We believe any product for the face, neck, or eye area, should be as fragrance-free as possible.  

Because we understand even the best ingredients can be questionable for some individuals, we list every ingredient on our package labels so that our customers can be confident in what they put on their skin.


Our Promise

Vitali Skin Care was founded with one idea, to create quality skin care with active ingredients that help optimize the health and beauty of your skin and deliver results regardless of age.

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