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Article: Everything to Know About Synthetic Fragrances in Cosmetics

synthetic fragrances in cosmetics
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Everything to Know About Synthetic Fragrances in Cosmetics

When browsing the aisles of your local beauty shop, you’ll quickly notice that many cosmetics products contain synthetic fragrances.

Although fragrance isn’t anything new, in fact, perfumery has been around for centuries, it’s only been in recent decades that cosmetics brands have started to use more synthetic fragrances than natural.

But what are synthetic fragrances, and are they really that bad for you?

Today, we’ll be talking about the history of clean beauty fragrances and trying to get to the bottom of what makes them so bad in cosmetics products.

Tell me what synthetic fragrances are?

Synthetic fragrances is the name used for any type of perfume that’s created in a lab using ingredients like petroleum and other gas byproducts. They are used to make cosmetics smell more pleasant but are very different from the natural fragrances that have been used for centuries.

Perfume is thought to have originated in India, where people used mixtures of oil to create beautiful scents that could be applied directly to the skin. Then the perfume industry started to expand to Europe, which is when other ingredients like alcohol and solvents, started to get added.

Soon, the percentage of pure oils (known as attar oils) was mainly phased out in favour of inexpensive synthetic additives by many cosmetics companies. Now whenever you see fragrances in cosmetics, it’s always synthetic

synthetic fragrances in cosmetics

Explain why brands use fragrance allergens in cosmetic products?

Many cosmetics brands now use fragrance allergens in their products because it’s a lot cheaper than natural alternatives, which helps them to maximise their profit margins.

Brands also like synthetic fragrances because they have a stronger initial smell than natural oils, however, they are nowhere near as long-lasting. Many synthetic fragrances are packed full of alcohol which can make fragrant oils evaporate quickly.

Natural attar oils are also more expensive than synthetic counterparts, so many companies will avoid using them to keep their costs as low as possible.

Are there any negatives of using synthetic parfum fragrance in cosmetics?

There are plenty of negatives of using synthetic parfum in cosmetics products. Mainly that they are not as long-lasting, have a shorter shelf life and can cause skin irritations.

Here are just some of the main negatives of synthetic fragrance:

Evaporate quicker

The alcohol in synthetic fragrances can make scents evaporate quicker. Meaning that if you want the scent of your cosmetics product to last all day, you’ll have to keep reapplying.

Shorter shelf life

Most synthetic fragrances have a shelf life of 6-18 months, which is much shorter than pure attar oils which can last years.

Can cause skin irritations and rashes

Many people with sensitive skin can be very prone to irritations and rashes when using cosmetics products that contain the alcohol and solvents found in synthetic fragrances.

Can cause dry skin and premature ageing

Alcohol can be extremely drying, so really you want to avoid it as much as possible in your cosmetics products. The dryer your skin is, the more likely you are to start noticing premature wrinkles.

Do I have a fragrance sensitivity?

Many people have reactions to fragrances, but the symptoms can show up differently for everyone. Some of the common symptoms include a rash, dry skin, or a burning sensation.

Some of the main symptoms of fragrance sensitivity include:

  • Dry or scaly skin

  • Itching

  • Hives

  • Patchy, red skin

  • Blisters

  • Burning sensation on your skin

Top fragrance sensitivity awareness tips?

If you notice that you are particularly sensitive to synthetic fragrance, the best thing you can do is cut out any products that contain it out of your beauty routine.

The next time you’re at your local beauty store, take a bit of extra time to look out for products that have ‘fragrance-free’ on the label. Sometimes they may say things like ‘unscented’ or ‘no added fragrance’ so you might have to check the ingredients list yourself to see what the product contains.

clean fragrance

Is it better to use clean fragrance like attar oils?

Yes, it’s much better to use clean fragrances like attar oils. This is because, unlike synthetic fragrances, it’s very rare to have a reaction to pure attar oils, they’re also more hydrating and of better quality.

Just a small amount of natural fragrance can go a long way in cosmetics products. A few drops are all it takes to create a subtle scent that lasts all day. Not only do attar oils smell better and last longer, but they also have natural hydrating properties that are much more gentle on the skin.

You also have peace of mind that the products you’re putting on your face and body aren’t going to irritate your skin, unlike synthetic fragrances that could contain all sorts of man-made ingredients.

Tips for buying the best alcohol and fragrance-free moisturizer

It may seem like it’s hard to find the best alcohol and fragrance-free products, but if you read the label of your products and make sure to check the ingredients list, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Here are our two main tips that will make it easier for you to find clean products at the beauty store:

Read the label before buying cosmetics products

It should be clear straight away whether a product contains synthetic fragrances or not, but it never hurts to read the label just to make sure.

Most products will state it on the front of their packaging, but if it doesn’t, you can look out for the following in the ingredients list:

  • Fragrance

  • Parfum/Perfume/Aroma

  • Linalool

  • Citronellol

  • Cinnamal

  • Limonene

  • Geraniol

  • Eugenol

Research fragrance-free products online

If you want to find fragrance-free products you can conduct research online, check out online forums and read other peoples’ reviews. This will help you figure out if a product is really fragrance-free or if it contains synthetic fragrances.

There should be in-depth information on a brand’s website, but you can also find plenty of other information online from people who, like you, are looking for fragrance-free products who are always sharing their latest finds.

The best fragrance-free face serum

For the best fragrance-free face serum, we love our White Lotus Activated Jade and Tourmaline Serum, which is an all-natural product that uses a range of botanicals to lift and enhance your skin.

We love using face serums in our skincare routine, but you want to make sure that the powerful active ingredients are able to do their job effectively – not being masked by synthetic fragrance.

At White Lotus, we let our ingredients do the talking – not the product’s scent. Our serum is free from any additional alcohol and fragrances that do nothing for your skin.

best fragrance free face serum

The cosmetic ingredient hotlist

If you don’t know what ingredients you should be looking for in your skincare products, there’s no need to worry! Here are some of the ingredients you should avoid:

  • Parabens

  • Phthalates

  • Sulphates

  • Detergents

  • Silicones

  • Ethanolamines

  • synthetic fragrances

  • Preservatives

  • mineral oil

  • Petrolatum

  • palm oil

  • synthetic colours

 To learn more about the White Lotus range of fragrance free skincare products please follow the link

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