From lotions to foundations, quite a few skincare products contain fragrance. But you might have noticed that there are also gentler blends that are “fragrance-free.” What is the benefit of going fragrance-free — and is it something you should consider, too?
What Does Scent Do to Your Skin?
On an obvious level, scent can cause skin problems. Scent can cause hives, itching, acne, and rashes. Scents are always an additional ingredient, and they can be quite harsh. Scents have to be reactive; they need to disperse themselves into the air. Usually, they react to the warmth and oils of your skin. Because they are reactive, they are more likely to react to your skin. Even if you don’t notice the scents doing something to your skin, they can dry it out over time. Additionally, many scents are made from essential oils or other refined oils, which people can easily be allergic to.
Why Else Would People Avoid Scent?
In addition to being concerned about skin problems, people will often avoid scents because they have sensitive noses. Have you ever smelled something that made you start sneezing? A lot of scents can make people around you feel sick or dizzy. Further, if you’re using a lot of cosmetic products, you’re going to have a lot of competing scents. You might prefer a fragrance-free solution so that you can concentrate focus on your perfume or a single scent.
With that in mind, why do so many companies insert scents in their products? It’s because it feels more appealing when something has a bright, fresh scent. People naturally find scented products attractive, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your skin or for your health. Even naturally scented products could have issues; something that is naturally scented with mint, for instance, might be unnecessarily astringent for daily use.
How Can You Determine Whether You’ll Have a Reaction?
Not every product with fragrance will give your skin a reaction. But you should always do a “patch test” first with any new product, even if it’s fragrance-free. Place the product on a one-inch by one-inch square on your inner forearm and then wait to see if you have any sort of reaction. You should wait a full 24 hours before you start using the product.
At the end of the day, the fewer unnecessary products you use on your skin, the better. Since fragrances are just for appeal and not for healing or restoring, they usually shouldn’t be included. For more information about what makes the best skincare products (and what you should look for), follow the experts at James Anthony Skincare.