FRAGRANCE – Is it really that bad?

We want to talk about the new F-Word that’s been used a lot recently: fragrance. There’s been lots of articles on why you should avoid it and with new brands coming out with ‘fragrance free’ skincare lines we wanted to dive into if it really is that bad for you and why we seem so scared of it!


Many high-performance (active) ingredients just don’t smell that great. You may think that won’t bother you BUT trust us, the reality is you will probably stop using the product if the smell is off-putting! Or if you don’t use it often enough due to the smell then those powerful ingredients will just be put to waste as they need to be used consistently to be effective.

A lot of products are listed a ‘fragrance free’ but in actual fact they have fragrant ingredients in them such as natural fragrances as opposed to synthetic fragrances. There’s a common misconception that synthetic fragrance causes more allergic reactions than natural fragrance does. This is not true as they both contain allergens! The truth is almost all essential oils contain allergens and using mixtures of various essential oils can result in an increased number of allergic reactions than with the use of products containing synthetic fragrances.

Is it really bad?

There’s a lot of fear mongering with regards to fragrance but we’ve found that it’s very hard to make a general claim about whether they are indeed bad for you or not as the FDA does not require each fragrance to be listed individually. Even if a product doesn’t list an added perfume or specific fragrance, chances are good that one of the items in its ingredient list is providing a scent, even if that scent is a preservative to keep the product fresher longer. So, if you’re applying a product you believe to be unscented and not having a reaction, it’s just because the scent ingredients it contains are safe and non-reactive for your skin.

So what's the Tea?

Bottom line is people that suffer from overly sensitive skin have to take a more minimalistic approach to their skincare because every ingredient has the potential to cause a reaction.  Avoiding fragrance is just one of the ways people can reduce any negative reactions. If you like a product and it has fragrance, but you haven’t had any adverse reactions there’s no harm in continuing with it! When choosing your products, it’s important to consider all aspects of what you smell, how it makes you feel, and what you see. Do your research, because natural ingredients doesn’t always mean good it’s a good ingredient!

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