Monday, 16 May 2011

My Reads: Why Avoid Fragrances?


This is the continuation ariticle from My Reads, taken from my favourite Marie Veronique Organics blog:

Why Avoid Fragrances?

Most products, particularly body lotions, are loaded with fragrance, and most of the time it is synthetic fragrances, described on the label as either “fragrance” or “parfum”, or on occasion, both. It is best to avoid fragrances. Even if you are not concerned about potential neurotoxic or endocrine disruption effects, fragrances are also the number one cause of allergic dermatitis.

If you are plagued with skin rashes the first place to look would be your body care products’ label. Switching to a fragrance-free product may make a big difference. However, searching for a product that is truly fragrance-free can be problematic, since fragrances and trade secret formulas are exempt from the FDA requirement that all ingredients contained in a product be listed on the label.

A distinction also needs to made between “unscented” and “fragrance-free,” An unscented product may still contain a masking scent, so it is important to read labels carefully in order to avoid harmful chemicals found in synthetic fragrances.

Some companies use essential oils (volatile liquids extracted from plants that retain the smell and taste of the original plant) and/or hydrosols (the liquid obtained from the steam-distillation process used to extract the oil) to obtain a pleasant scent. Essential oils are not hazardous to health, some of them in fact have beneficial properties for skin.

However, essential oils are not for everybody. Some people are allergic to certain essential oils, with some of the most common allergens being chamomile, lemongrass and lavender. If you know you are allergic to a certain essential oil by all means avoid it. Citrus essential oils and bergamot can photo-sensitize skin and should be avoided.

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