Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself someone with sensitive skin, you should always review the ingredients in any skin care product before buying it. Deciphering ingredient lists can get pretty complicated as names get longer and as brands use proprietary terms for the fragrances they produce, but neglecting to ever do so could make it more difficult to pinpoint the culprit of skin reactions. Review why fragrance-free products are the most suitable for all skin types.
Fragrance-Free vs. Unscented Products
Note that product packaging that displays the phrases “fragrance-free” and “unscented” aren’t referring to the same thing. Stating a product is “fragrance-free” means that it doesn’t contain any fragrance materials, whether synthetic or natural. On the other hand, “unscented” skin care products have that word on their packaging because it’s intended to convey that the product doesn’t have an obvious fragrance. The active ingredient(s) in a particular product may not have a pleasant smell, and the brand may decide to add fragrances to the product’s formula to mask any unappealing scents.
Risks of Skin Irritation
Why do skin care brands do this? In general, most consumers want skin and hair care products to smell nice, and this could even impact their decision to purchase the product or not. Though you may also prefer a lightly scented moisturizer over traditional perfume, fragrance can aggravate the skin and cause invisible damage that won’t be noticeable in the short term. Fragrances are imparted in skin care products via a volatile reaction, which almost always invokes a sensitizing reaction in the skin.
How to Find Hidden Fragrances in Skin Care Ingredient Lists
If you’re intent on avoiding hidden fragrances in your skin care products, you should avoid anything labeled “unscented,” in addition to watching out for ingredient lists containing the following:
-Essential oil blend
The FDA only regulates manufacturers’ responsibility to be transparent about the chemicals within their products. When it comes to fragrances, these are treated as a “trade secret” so that brands’ fragrance formulas aren’t revealed to competitors. Fragrances included in ingredient lists aren’t always so specific, which is why it’s important to watch out for any confusing language on the label.
The professionals at The Dermatology Clinic can help you find gentle, effective products suited to your skin type or condition. Schedule an appointment at either of our locations in Baton Rouge or Walker to speak with a doctor about your biggest skin concerns.