All About Fragrance – What Fragrance in Your Personal Care Items Really Mean

Perfume Ingredients

You have heard us talk about the serious issues with fragrance and parfum in makeup and personal care items time and time again. We have discussed some of the details behind the fragrance ingredient, but have never dug into a bit deeper. It would simply be too much to talk about in a review post. Therefore, we have decided to put together an article that does discuss what fragrance truly is and why it is one of the most dangerous ingredients in your products.

Fragrance can be found in just about anything you have in your home. Makeup, skin care products, soaps, candles, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, detergents are just some examples of items with fragrance/parfum. These industries use  “fragrance” on their ingredient list and don’t have to disclose any of the chemicals that make up whatever their fragrance is – this is a huge problem for people looking to avoid harmful and toxic chemicals. Essentially, you are not getting the full disclosure on what is actually in that product and thousands of chemicals can be luring in that bottle unbeknown to you. In fact, there are over 3,000 possible chemicals that are included under the term fragrance.

So, what can fragrance do to your body? In 2010, the Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics did a study on the most popular fragrances on the market. The study found that there were numerous toxic fragrance chemicals in the small amount of samples they tested. They found endocrine disruptors, phthalates, diethyl phthalate, which can damage men’s ‘sperm count, more than 24 chemicals that are known to cause headaches, rashes, dizziness, terrible coughing, skin irritation, hyperpigmentation, and more. Many of the chemicals they found have also been linked to birth defects, cancer, and chronic and deadly diseases.

Furthermore, most of the chemicals included in fragrance have not been tested for safety and actually deemed safe for humans to use in and around their bodies. This poses a huge issue because if we don’t know if an ingredient is even safe for us to be near, why are we allowed to use it all over our bodies, our family’s bodies, our children’s bodies? There is so much we do not know about fragrance and the safety of the ingredients used in synthetic fragrance, so it is best to avoid fragrance all together and make sure you are buying product scented with essential oils and plant extracts. There is no need for any kind of synthetic fragrance in your personal care and makeup products.

Below is a list of the many common chemicals found in synthetic fragrance, and this list does not even scratch the surface. You can take a look at what each ingredient is and the dangerous associated with the ingredient, here.

  • Acetaldehyde
  • Benzonphenone
  • BHA
  • BHT
  • Benzyl Salicylate
  • Benzyl Benzoate
  • Butoxyethanol
  • ButylphenylMethylpropional
  • Methyl Chloride
  • Dichloromethane
  • Formaldehyde
  • Oxybenzone (BP-3)
  • Propyl Paraben
  • Resorcinol
  • Styrene
  • Synthetic Musks
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Dioxane

This article was last updated on November 15, 2022 .

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