Synthetic fragrance in your everyday products. If only everyone knew what we know.

Synthetic fragrance in your everyday products. If only everyone knew what we know.

As someone who helps to formulate skincare, I don’t see why would anyone purposely put their health in danger just to use cream or a toner? If the general public knew what we do they would steer clear. 

When it comes to beauty and personal care products, we all want to look and feel our best. Ironically, did you know that some of the ingredients in these products can actually be harmful to your health and will make you look and feel your worst? One of the most common offenders is synthetic fragrance

Synthetic fragrances are made from a mixture of chemicals, many of which have been linked to serious health problems like headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, and cancer. In fact, the European Union has banned over 1,300 chemicals used in synthetic fragrances because of their potential health risks.

In addition, synthetic fragrances can also trigger allergies and asthma attacks. 

Formaldehyde is added to fragrance as a preservative. IARC has listed acetaldehyde as a "probable human carcinogen". Formaldehyde exposure can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, coughing, and wheezing. High concentrations of formaldehyde can also irritate the skin and cause dermatitis. Some people may be more susceptible to the effects of formaldehyde, such as those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

While the levels of formaldehyde in cosmetics are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it's still important to be aware of the potential risks associated with its use. If you're concerned about formaldehyde in your skincare products, look for products that are labeled "formaldehyde-free.”

And because brands are not required to list their ingredients for their “fragrance” on product labels, it can be very difficult to know what’s in them.

So why are synthetic fragrances still used in so many products in the US? The simple answer is that they’re cheap to produce and they make products smell nice. But at what cost?


There are plenty of great natural alternatives that are just as effective, and far safer for your health. Look for brands who are transparent about their ingredients. Read the back label and actually look up the ingredients that you don’t know. But be informed before getting scared.

Misdiagnosing ingredients is also quite popular. An ingredient can be harmful when used at a 10% level but not harmful when used below 1% level just like most things. One drink can be a fun time but a bottle of vodka may not be so great. 

Fortunately, more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of synthetic fragrances and are choosing to avoid them. If you’re looking for a safer option, look for products that are fragrance-free or made with natural essential oils

Essential oils are natural and effective, they have a variety of uses and can be tailored to your needs. Essential oils are natural compounds that come from plants, and they have a range of beneficial properties. Some essential oils are known for their antioxidant effects, while others are antibacterial or antiviral. 

Your health (and your nose) will thank you! 

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