Perfume and cologne have been around for ages. At this point in time they have become part of many women’s and men’s every day morning routines. Fragrances and added perfumes are not always a good thing though. Having these ingredients incorporated into your skin care products can create skin issues with some pretty negative outcomes.
Fragrance is a sensitizing ingredient
Fragrances, whether natural or synthetic, are a common sensitizing ingredient for all skin types, not just those with sensitive or redness-prone skin. A sensitizing ingredient is a contact allergen, defined as one causing contact dermatitis. Dermatitis is characterized by a red itchy rash. Despite this information, fragrance components can be found in more skincare products than you can imagine.
If fragranced products commonly react poorly with all skin types, why are they used in skin care products today? Wouldn’t fragrance-free skin care products be a great step toward having a more gentle skin care routine?
How sensitizing ingredients affect the skin
Fragrances may cause harm without benefit to the already sensitive skin on the face. The inflammatory response to an allergen can make oily skin even more vulnerable to breakouts. Continuous use of irritating agents heightens the occurrence of bumps and rashes, worsening oily skin.
Dry skin may also respond badly to the harmful effects of sensitizing agents in skincare products. These ingredients negatively affect the ability of the skin to retain the moisture necessary for healthy skin, making the skin look dull and dehydrated. They can contribute to a rough texture.
Certain alcohols may be associated with fragrances and are another skin ingredient group that can take away the moisture from facial skin. When buying skin care ingredients, make sure you are reading the label to see the type and amount of alcohol added. If it is a large percentage of the product, then this is most likely one you should stay away from. Ones to avoid in high percentages are all forms of ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol and SD alcohol.
Ingredients to avoid
Here is a short list of some key things that you should look out for when purchasing skin care products:
-Soap bars and cleansers that are made for the body are usually too harsh for use on the face. Be sure you are purchasing separate cleansers for your face that are specific to the needs of your facial skin.
-Watch out for skin toning products that have high alcohol contents. They may be old formulations, so check their ingredient list to make sure any alcohols are of the moisturizing variety.
– Look out for products such as witch hazel and menthol. Both of these are sensitizing agents that are used in some skin care products and they may dry your skin significantly.
– Stay away from any artificially scented products. They were shown to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), many of which are harmful.
Why do so many products contain fragrance?
Most people like their skincare and haircare products to smell nice. A nice smell to a product can be the difference between someone buying the product and someone passing on the product. Cosmetic companies understand the power of a pleasing fragrance and how that impacts a consumer’s buying decisions. A nice smell will also affect their experience while using the product in their daily lives.
Fragrance also helps to hide the unpleasant smell of a packaged skincare product you’ve kept too long. This is especially true if the ingredients are all natural. Jar packaging causes ingredients to degrade faster because once you open it, the delicate ingredients are exposed to air and bacteria from your finger repeatedly dipping in. Many essential oils and fragrant plant extracts do have beneficial properties for skin. However, their unpredictability when they are releasing their aroma is not good for skin.
Some fragrances are good for the skin
Some natural ingredients have a pleasant fragrance and cause no irritation. Some can even be great for the skin. Examples include melon, vanilla, cucumber, aloe vera, almond, mango, coconut, cocoa butter, shea butter, and cucumber. You might recognize a lot of these because they are such popular scents of skin care products. The addition of these natural ingredients can actually benefit the skin in a major way. For instance, the use of cucumber on the skin can be very soothing and at the same time it naturally smells great. Almond oil is moisturizing. Aloe vera is anti inflammatory.
Many beneficial skincare ingredients have a natural fragrance. This shows that you do not have to question every product that has a fragrance to it. Like anything in skincare, the basic information is on the ingredient label on the product itself. Be sure to be reading the labels on the products you are purchasing and researching any ingredients that are likely added fragrances.