The use of fragrances in beauty products can be harmful, depending on the type of fragrance and the individual using the product. Synthetic fragrances, which are chemical compounds created in a laboratory, are often used in beauty products to give them a pleasant scent. These fragrances can be irritating to the skin and potentially harmful to health, especially for people who are sensitive to them. Some examples of synthetic fragrances include:
These fragrances are often listed on ingredient labels simply as "fragrance" or "parfum," so it can be difficult to determine if a product contains synthetic fragrances. To avoid synthetic fragrances, it's best to choose products that are made with natural fragrances instead. Natural fragrances are derived from plants and are generally considered to be safer and less irritating to the skin.
Unlike synthetic fragrances, which are created in a laboratory, natural fragrances are extracted from plants using methods such as steam distillation or solvent extraction. Some examples of natural fragrances include:
Essential oils: These are concentrated, highly-aromatic oils that are extracted from plants. Examples include lavender oil, peppermint oil, and rose oil.
Absolutes: These are concentrated, highly-aromatic plant extracts that are obtained using solvent extraction. Examples include rose absolute and jasmine absolute.
CO2 extracts: These are concentrated plant extracts that are obtained using supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. They are considered to be among the purest and most potent forms of natural fragrance. Examples include rose CO2 extract and lavender CO2 extract.
Natural fragrances are often used in organic and natural beauty products, as they are considered to be safer and less irritating to the skin than synthetic fragrances.