When choosing beauty products, the fragrance is often an important factor in the decision-making process for both men and women. How a product smells makes all the difference to the likelihood of somebody buying an item and whether or not they will purchase it again in the future. However, not all the ingredients that make the fragrances in beauty products are actually good for your skin and this is particularly true of synthetic ingredients.
What Are Synthetic Fragrances?
Synthetic fragrances are usually formulated using chemicals, such as petroleum, or are natural products that have been chemically modified. These are often made to replicate the aroma of natural fragrances.
What Are Natural Fragrances?
Natural fragrances are usually derived from plants through the means of expression, extraction or distillation. These include essential oils, distillates, extracts, volatile concentrates, isolates and exudates, such as resins.
Problems Associated with Synthetic Fragrances
The reason you should avoid using beauty products containing synthetic fragrances is due to the many health problems they may cause. The first area of concern is the potential effects of using products with harsh chemicals on the skin. Although your intention in using the products in the first instance is likely to be to benefit the skin, added fragrances made from chemicals can actually cause irritation, rashes, dryness increased sensitivity and skin allergies.
Those products that contain phthalates are also associated with a disruption to hormone activity. This can affect both men and women and can directly impact on the skin. Other potential problems related to the disruption of hormone activity include reproductive malformation and a reduced sperm count.
There are also a number of other health issues that have been linked to using cosmetics that contain synthetic ingredients. These include liver cancer, breast cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Furthermore, studies have shown that fetal exposure to phthalates can increase the risk of ADHD, neurological disorders, and autism.
Environmental Benefits of Natural Fragrances
In addition to being better for your skin than added fragrances made from
chemicals, natural fragrances have the extra bonus of being more eco-friendly. While synthetic fragrances are often made using processes that are potentially harmful to the environment, natural fragrances do not do the same damage. Furthermore, they are often harvested from sustainably grown plants.
Telling the Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Fragrances
It is only a highly trained nose that can identify the source of fragrance ingredients by smell alone, so you may have to spend some time reading labels when making purchases. Look for any information about whether the product contains only natural ingredients. Avoid items that are scented with ingredients including parabens, phthalates or synthetic musk.
However, cosmetic companies are not obliged to list all the ingredients included in their product and manufacturers often simply list ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ as an ingredient. So, just because synthetic ingredients are not listed on the item, it does not necessarily mean that the beauty product does not contain them.
When all this is taken into consideration, it is well worth thinking about the ingredients of beauty products you buy in the future and the effects they can have on your skin and general health. You will find that while synthetic products may have a negative impact on your skin, beauty products containing only natural ingredients are likely to have only positive effects.