Sunday, 18 September 2011

Skincare Chemicals to Avoid: Fragrance

It has been a while since I did my last post on Skincare Chemicals to Avoid here, and thought it was time to expose another nasty chemical hiding in our everyday skincare routines. Today I will be discussing something (seemingly) without a scary chemical name, something that sounds so everyday and even lovely: Fragrance
Fragrance in our skincare is also referred to as parfum or perfume, again not sounding so scary. What is scary however, is that because of trade secret laws, the manufacturers are not required to disclose what exactly hides behind this 'fragrance' term. Fragrance is added to a product to give it a unique and pleasant aroma. However, it could be anything from essential oils (relatively harmless, but nevertheless can be skin irritants, and a person needs to know if a specific oil is present if they are allergic to it) to much nastier things that may have nothing to do with scent, such as preservatives and phthalates. In fact, manufacturers are allowed to cover over 200 chemicals behind 'fragrance'. It can be seen as a special dark box where manufacturers can hide potentially harmful and controversial ingredients, without having to disclose them.
The advice I myself follow is to avoid any product that simply states 'fragrance' or 'parfum' without disclosing what it consists of. This may be especially important for people with sensitive skin, there is a higher risk of something hiding behind the term that may be a skin irritant. Overall it seems that as consumers, we should be entitled to know exactly what goes in the product that we put on our skin that will get soaked into our system. So, no mystery fragrances for me please, no matter how lovely they may smell. 


  1. I hope you're not bored of my comments;) seriously,why producers put sooo many toxic in our cosmetics?profit only?If that's the case so,can you tell me how is UK law about this?I heard that Europe has a better law regarding cosmetic products compared to US.Some ingredients are already banned in europe,but not in US.And,is it for the whole europe or just EU members?

  2. Haha, not bored at all of course!! I really can't understand why they put such awful things in products. I think its because they are cheap to use and also make the shelf-life of products longer (e.g. the case with parabens).
    As far as I know, it is the EU countries regulation. And it is definitely much stricter than the ones in the US, where over 200 chemicals that are used in the US are banned in the EU. But still there are some that are used in the EU that are not exactly amazing either.... Anyway, its good that people from all over the world are becoming aware of it! Thanks so much for your interest in the blog! Also my email is feel free to contact me there!

  3. Thanks:)i'm glad to know bloggers all over the world who care about safe cosmetics:)maybe this customers cares arround the globe should be applied into a group like that one in US environmental working group(EWG)or an idea..
    I see.I thought that regulation is also applied to UK.Sure,i'll check this blog often and will contact you soon!:)