All your questions about fragrance in skincare, answered

It can be a bit of a minefield out there in the beauty and skincare industry, and one such question that often gets people stumbling is whether or not to avoid fragrance in skincare.

As with anything, it’s not as simple as just making a decision to go clean and avoid all uses of fragrance, because the likelihood is that you won’t be able to find the products you want for certain uses without some sort of fragrance within.

Instead, try to be alert and know what to look out for in ingredients lists. Opt to go with skincare products that house natural fragrances as opposed to synthetics, and stop using fragranced products if you have inflammatory skin conditions or reactions.

Generally, fragrance doesn’t have to be the enemy, so we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked scent questions below to set your mind at ease.

Let’s dive right in!

Why are skincare products fragranced? 

The bottom line is that many products and ingredients that are good for us, quite frankly, smell awful. Fragrance is used in skincare (even the cleanest and greenest ones out there) in order to make the product more appealing to use and wear. It can be used to mask medicinal smells, for example, which is offputting and the opposite of therapeutic. Speaking of therapeutic, too, there’s often a reason why a particular skincare has a particular fragrance and it might be that it’s supposed to be calming, for example, and therefore needs the uplifting and calming fragrances that come within it.

What is often used for fragrance in skincare?

Let’s start with the fact that there are two different types of fragrances used in skincare: natural and synthetic. Synthetic fragrances contain chemicals and ingredients that are not of natural origin, whereas natural fragrances are derived from natural ingredients within the world, generally a combination of essential oils.

Is unscented skincare better for us?

There is a lot of truth in the fact that fragrance can be the cause of skin irritation, but it should also be noted that, for many people, certain fragranced products are absolutely fine. It’s important to remember that just because something is seen to be clean and ‘free from’ doesn’t necessarily make it any better. And it’s also important to note that there are incredibly strict regulations around ingredients, therefore many fragranced products have passed with flying colours and are perfectly safe for your skin. The best approach to take is to be aware of what does and doesn’t work for your skin, and avoid fragrances if irritation occurs.

Should we be looking for particular fragrances when it comes to skincare?

In many of the good and clean fragranced skincare products, the scents come from essential oils or natural ingredients that are healing as well as making the product smell better. Scent affects mood, so if you are looking for a skincare product that is energising, you might want the uplifting scent of peppermint or tea tree. Likewise, if you want a calming effect from your skincare product, you may want some lavender within the fragrance make up.

Should we ever avoid fragranced skincare?

If you suffer from allergies, particularly allergies to lots of skincare products, then it’s usually best to avoid scented skincare products. Fragrance in skincare is often the cause or trigger for an allergic reaction after using a new product. Unfortunately, it tends to be the case that people with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, or rosacea see their condition worsen with fragranced products.

Where should we be looking to know if the fragranced skincare is okay?

Get used to reading labels and understanding what you are putting on your skin. Here at Natural Spa Factory, we are incredibly transparent about all the wonderful, natural ingredients that go into our products, so you can always know exactly what you are getting. We also don’t put any nasties within there, so you can rest assured that any fragrance is coming from a sustainable and clean source.

What sort of ingredients are clean and green fragrances within skincare?

Ingredients such as essential oils or coconut oil, cacau, and tea tree are generally seen as being better for your skin, but it’s worth remembering that, despite being cleaner, essential oils can still irritate sensitive skin.

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