What’s wrong with fragrances?

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A movement has begun, you’ve probably heard of it. It’s the move toward fragrance-free products. What’s so wrong with fragrance though? It makes everything smell nice and leaves you with a clean scent.

The move against  fragrance is because of the findings that it can  cause side effects in those with chemical sensitivities. The fragrance-free movement is also part of the move toward more natural products, as many fragrances are man-made chemicals.

The issue is referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and according to WebMD it can cause:

headache,fatigue, dizziness, nausea, congestion, itching, sneezing, sore throat,chest pain, changes in heart rhythm, breathing problems, muscle pain or stiffness, skin rash, diarrhea, bloating, gas, confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems, and mood changes.

The triggers for these symptoms can be caused not just by chemical fragrances but also tobacco smoke, insecticide, chlorine, new carpet, and auto exhaust fumes.

According to WebMD, although these symptoms are very real, the American Medical Association does not consider Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to be an illness. Although there is disagreement in the healthcare community as to whether this is an illness, chemicals are still an issue for people who are very sensitive to them.

Why fragrance-free?

As mentioned above, there are a growing number of people who develop symptoms like nausea, sore throat, and more, who attribute it to chemicals like fragrances.

If you have sensitive skin already, it may be best for you to start using fragrance-free products. Those with rosacea, dermatitis, eczema, and acne are at increased risk of sensitivity to chemical fragrances.

If you try a product with a fragrance and find that your skin becomes itchy or irritated, it could possibly be due to the chemical fragrance.

What are fragrances?

Fragrances are chemicals and can be found in everything from laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets to perfume, body spray, and air fresheners.

If you plan to go completely fragrance-free, you should be checking the following products:

  • Deodorant/Anti-perspirant
  • Aftershave
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Shaving cream
  • Makeup
  • Creams & Lotions
  • Hairpsray, hair products
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soaps
  • Perfume, cologne
  • Sunscreen, tanning oil
  • Insect repellent
  • Laundry cleaning products
  • General cleaning products (surface cleaners, carpet deodorizers, window cleaner, etc)
  • Air fresheners (including air sprays)
  • Candles and Incense
  • More

How to go fragrance-free

If you want to go fragrance-free, know the difference between products with that label and those that say unscented. Unscented products can contain fragrance that just have no scent.

Fragrance-free products will contain no fragrant ingredients. You may also want to look for labels that say “for sensitive skin” as these items tend to not have chemical fragrances.

When you’re buying a new product, double check to make sure it truly is fragrance-free.

You can also look at the ingredient list for any of the following:

  1. Amyl cinnamal
  2. Benzyl alchohol
  3. Cinnamyl alcohol
  4. Citral
  5. Eugenol
  6. Hydroxy-citronellal
  7. Isoeugenol
  8. Amylcin-namyl alcohol
  9. Benzyl salicylate
  10. Cinnamal
  11. Coumarin
  12. Geraniol
  13. Hydroxy-methylpentylcyclohexenecarboxaldehyd
  14. Anisyl alcohol
  15. Benzyl cinnamate
  16. Farnesol
  17. 2-(4-tert-Butylbenzyl) propionald-hyd
  18. Linalool
  19. Benzyl benzoate
  20. Citronellol
  21. Hexyl cinnam-aldehyd
  22. d-Limonene
  23. Methyl heptin carbonate
  24. 3-Methyl-4-(2,6,6-tri-methyl-2-cyclohexen-1-yl)-3-buten-2-one
  25. Oak moss and treemoss extract
  26. Treemoss extract

List provided by European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety.

Let’s hear from you!

Have you gone fragrance-free? Is it difficult to find products without fragrances? What are your favorite fragrance-free products?

Let us know in the comments below.

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