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‘Parfum’ in Skincare – Is it really bad?

Very often we read the word ‘parfum’ in the ingredients list of cosmetic products but how much do we really know about fragrances?

Fragrance can either be used to enhance the sensory appeal of skincare products or to mask the scent of certain ingredients in skincare to make it more appealing. Either way, it causes a lot of concern amongst those looking for the best products for their skin as many people are sensitive to fragrance. While synthetic smells can be overwhelming and cause migraines/nausea, natural fragrance usually provides a more calming sensation.

Synthetic vs natural fragrances

A natural fragrance, such as an essential oil and extract, is an aromatic raw material that is physically obtained from plants or natural origins. Synthetic fragrances, on the other hand, are man-made chemicals that are not naturally derived but may contain some natural elements.

Fragrance ingredients are more likely to cause skin reactions to those susceptible are called allergens. There is a common misconception that synthetic fragrance causes more allergic reactions than natural fragrance does. This is not true as they both contain allergens. In fact, 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.

Which is best?

When selecting skincare, choosing the very best formula for your specific skin type and concern should always be at the forefront of your decision. The skin is the largest organ in the body, what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream and has an impact on your health which is why when choosing your products, it is important to consider all aspects of what you smell, how it makes you feel, and what you see.

Essential oils can be potent and should be used with understanding of the ingredient. Some react if not used carefully and some essential oils are dangerous for pregnant women and babies. Whilst essential oils have beneficial qualities, research the ingredient thoroughly because natural ingredient does not always mean good ingredient.