Synthetic fragrance can be found in just about every beauty product, used to make products more appealing and entice us to pull out our wallets. After all, what woman doesn’t want to smell like “Amber Sky” or sweat out “Pure Seduction” (whatever that may be)? However, using synthetic fragrance may come with a price. The fragrance has been associated with skin allergies, breathing difficulties, and even neurotoxicity in mice.1,2,3 The Environmental Working Group rates fragrance as a high toxicity substance.4 Thankfully, with a little research and extra time you can find great products that are fragrance-free. I’ve never been blessed with a great complexion and taking care of my skin has always been a hassle. I’ve tried just about every product out there but have finally nailed down the perfect blend of products that don’t include any irritating fragrance. Here are some of my personal favorites.
Acure Facial Cleansing Gel This face cleansing gel has a naturally wonderful and fragrant smell. Made with ingredients such as organic acai, blackberry, and pomegranate, this face wash still provides a refreshing wake-me-up scent. As somebody who has oily skin, I also appreciate a gel cleanser that appeals to all skin types as opposed to a cream. I use this in the morning and the evenings before I go to bed.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Made from natural calcium bentonite clay, this product is as earthy as it gets. You can mix this clay with either water or apple cider vinegar (a scent you won’t soon forget). It is a great alternative to harsh acne scrubs. It starts off wet and tightens your skin as it dries, so I always finish off my mask treatment by applying coconut oil afterward to keep my skin from drying out. Whenever my skin needs a little extra attention, I smear on this mask for about ten minutes and wake up to find my blemishes have magically disappeared.
Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads These small pads are great for wiping off makeup quickly without having to rinse. I’m not a huge fan of wipe-off products that don’t require rinsing after use, but these pads are made with kiwi fruit water and leave a non-greasy feel. This product is made with 99.5% natural ingredients and has a faint fruity smell. They even remove waterproof mascara, which isn’t an easy task.
Thayers Unscented Witch Hazel Witch hazel is my favorite toner because it doesn’t leave your skin dry when it evaporates, yet keeps oil production at bay. Its alcohol-free formula is infused with aloe, which is what makes this product stand out from your basic drug store brand. If you haven’t tried witch hazel, it can be used for oily, irritated, blemished, inflamed, and burned skin. In other words, it’s pure magic in a bottle.
Natur Sense Aloe Vera Gel After I wash my face, remove excess eye makeup, and apply toner, I top it off with Natur Sense’s Aloe Gel to lock in hydration. Made from cold-pressed Aloe barbadensis, this product is charcoal filtered for purity and is also food grade. This isn’t like your regular aloe; it has a smooth and thin consistency that makes it perfect for application. A little dab goes a long way, so one bottle will last you a long time. Thankfully, this aloe even has a 2-year shelf life.
We encounter synthetic fragrance every day even when we aren’t thinking about it. It’s in the candle burning at the restaurant dinner table, the antibacterial spray at the gym, and in the soap at the car wash. Our exposure to fragrance is inevitable, but we do have a choice of what we put on our body. Your skin is your largest organ, take good care of it!
1) Fragrance Allergy in Consumers. The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products for Consumers. http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/sccp/documents/out98_en.pdf. Published December 1999. Accessed February 2, 2018.
2) Kumar P, Caradonna-graham VM, Gupta S, Cai X, Rao PN, Thompson J. Inhalation challenge effects of perfume scent strips in patients with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1995;75(5):429-33.
3) Anderson RC, Anderson JH. Acute toxic effects of fragrance products. Arch Environ Health. 1998;53(2):138-46.
4) Fragrance. EWGs Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702512/FRAGRANCE/#.WnTpQGaZPq2. Accessed February 2, 2018.