In the skincare world, there are many things that most consumers tend to avoid. Fragrance is one such thing.
To avoid that, many companies would put essential oils in their products to get around that.
But is it truly better?
To answer that, let’s talk about fragrance in skincare today: What is fragrance? What are essential oils? Why do beauty companies use them? Should we avoid them? What is the best option for us to use?
What Is Fragrance In Skincare?
Fragrance is a combination of chemicals that gives some skincare products their scent.
Fragrance is considered a trade secret. What it means is that a fragrance may include ingredients made from petroleum or natural raw materials. In addition to “scent” chemicals that create the fragrance, it could also contain ingredients that are solvents, stabilizers, UV-absorbers, preservatives, and dyes.
The tricky thing: Companies don’t have to disclose to consumers these chemical components.
So basically, the word “fragrance” on a skincare product is just a placeholder. And in reality, it could be made up of any amount of ingredients, at any concentration. It could hide any number of fragrance chemicals from a group of more than 5000 used in the beauty industry.
This could be dangerous, because a fragrance could include irritants and allergens, but we wouldn’t know to avoid them – unlike the case with other ingredients on the list.
Is Fragrance Regulated in Any Way?
The fragrance industry is predominantly self-regulating.
This could be a bad thing because it may seem like there’s no third-party to watch over it.
However, most global fragrance suppliers belong to the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). The IFRA develops and implements safety practices used worldwide to protect the consumer and the environment.
These are based on the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) – which is made up of toxicologists, pharmacologists, and dermatologists who have no commercial ties to the fragrance industry. RIFM publishes its findings and conclusions in a peer-reviewed and accredited scientific journal.
This is not a perfect solution, but it’s the best solution we have right now.
Here’s something interesting: Essential oils still must follow rules and regulations. If a company decides to include essential oils in their products, they are required to list every ingredient. And there are limits to how much they can use in their formula.
Why Do Companies Still Use Fragrance, If It’s Risky?
Simple: We like things that smell good.
Skincare is part of self-care. And self-care includes doing things that make us feel good.
The reality is, for many of us, skincare is part of a ritual that allows us to be in the moment and just indulge ourselves. It’s a moment that allows us to just relax and forget about the stress of the world. And adding a scent into a product is part of that sensorial experience.
The scent of roses in the garden. The scent of fresh tangerines and coffee. The scent of vanilla just like your favorite birthday cake.
These are all things that make us happy. And a scent has the power to evoke these emotions.
In fact, a report discloses that 89% of consumers think that scent makes their experience more pleasant. So that’s saying something.
Another reason why fragrance is included in so many skincare products is because lots of these products don’t smell good naturally. And certainly, nobody wants to use a product that smells bad – doesn’t matter if that product is beneficial or not.
Remember how we hated taking medicine as children, even though we know we should?
It’s the same thing.
So, About Essential Oils…
Essential oils are oils naturally derived from plants, flowers, barks, and resins.
The reasons why some people or companies might prefer them is because they do smell good. And we actually know the exact oil that we’re dealing with (as opposed to the non-disclosed components of fragrance).
However, essential oils also have the potential to irritate the skin at certain percentages. And so, they are highly regulated. And depending on what type of oil it is, they are regulated differently. One oil might be allowed to be formulated at a 0.01% concentration, while another might have a limit of 0.5% concentration.
Luckily, a little goes a very long way, and products don’t need a lot of oil to smell nice.
On top of that, some essential oils also provide extra skin benefits. For example, rosemary essential oil is great for those with acne. Lavender oil is known for its calming scent and ability to induce a state of calmness.
You can find some of our essential oil blends in All Over Soap, Aloe Milk Cleanser, Fullmoon Serum, Intimacy Oil and Green Cream.
However, even though essential oils are generally more trustworthy than synthetic fragrance, some people might still have an allergic reaction to them.
What About Fragrance-free and Unscented Products?
You might think that, with all the potential risks fragrance can bring, why not use fragrance-free products?
It’s actually not that simple.
Sometimes skincare products don’t smell nice naturally. So to combat that, a company could also choose to add fragrance ingredients to cover up those smells. The end-product doesn’t have a smell. And that’s what fragrance-free or unscented means.
You see what I mean?
Even though the product doesn’t have a “smell” per say, it may still include a “fragrance”. Crazy, huh?
Now Let’s Talk About Fruit Extracts!
Here at Graydon Skincare, we care about skincare holistically.
We understand that our customers might enjoy products that just smell nice, adding to the overall sensorial experience. After all, skincare is self-care. And when you use our products, we want you to enjoy the experience to fullest.
And at the same time, we care about your actual health. And we always try to include ingredients that add actual benefits to your skin.
So we arrived at a conclusion: Fruit extracts!
Fruit extracts are, obviously, ingredients that are derived from fruits. Different fruit extracts would have different effects. For example, apple fruit extract has antioxidant properties. Kiwi fruit extract can reduce hyperpigmentation. Papaya fruit extract can stimulate collagen production.
And of course, they smell good too!
What’s the Bottom Line?
We say, do whatever works for you.
Not all skincare products are created equal. And not all scents are created equal. It all depends on the ingredients and the formulation of each product. And it also depends on how your skin reacts to each particular ingredient.
And like we said, skincare is also about self-care. And sometimes, that means doing whatever makes you feel good.
So there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
At that end of the day, as long as something works for you, then you should keep using it.
To learn more about some of Graydon’s great smelling products formulated with aromatic fruit extracts have a look at her Fullmoon Serum infused with pineapple, apricot, banana and jasmine to nourish and delight your senses as well as her Matcha Mint Shampoo studded with vanilla, cocoa and peppermint to take your hair washing ritual to the next level!.