Clean Beauty Series: Lesson #7

It’s well known from extensive research that fragrance is a common sensitizing ingredient for all skin types. Yet, despite this information, fragrance is common in more skincare products than you can imagine.

Many people don’t realize the damage fragrance does to your skin and your body… and if you think you are “safe” because you purchase “unscented” products, think again.

Many synthetic ingredients used in skincare (natural products included, especially water-based skincare) have a horrible odor.

In order to cover up the bad odor, so you will apply it to your face or body, companies will use fragrance (the F-word of skincare) to neutralize the bad odor… odor eater chemicals if you will.

How Your Skin Reacts to Fragrance

The way most fragrance ingredients impart scent is through a volatile reaction. Unfortunately, this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on the skin. In fact, research has established that fragrances in skincare products are among the most common causes of sensitizing and other negative skin reactions.  And this is true for all skin types, not just those with sensitive or redness-prone skin.

So why do manufacturers and brands add these fragrances to their products?

Simply put - to sell more product. As consumers, we LIKE fragrances and they influence our purchasing behavior. Secondly, as mentioned above, fragrances hide what may otherwise be quite an unpleasant odor in the skincare product.

No one wants to use something that stinks. Heck, even natural skincare companies sneak in the tiniest amount of fragrance in their products to mask the stink of their ingredients.

Those who make the rules in the beauty world give fragrance two meanings:

There’s a stinkier reason, too.

Fragrances tug on your heartstrings. When you smell that Bath & Body Works Apple Pie Body Wash, you instantly think of your granny’s delicious homemade apple pie. And off in your cart the body wash goes.

I don’t want your experience to damage your beauty or your health… so I am here to coach you on what to avoid and what to look for.

But first…

You might very well be thinking that because your skin doesn't show signs of being bothered or aggravated by the fragrance in the products you’re using, then it must not be a problem that applies to you.

I wish that were true but it’s still a serious concern because the skin is very good at hiding when it’s really being aggravated. You might not see the damage on your skin’s surface, but it can be silently occurring every day, causing minor problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term.

Think about it like sun damage from not wearing a healthy, natural sun protector. Research shows that sun damage begins within the first minute your unprotected skin sees the sun.

This damage is cumulative and potentially deadly, yet separate from a sunburn or tan, you never feel or see the damage taking place on the surface of your skin. All the destruction is still taking place but won’t show up on the surface of your skin until years later.

That’s why I always suggest using a natural “base layer” of protection that doubles as a potent face moisturizer but made with red raspberry seed oil for its natural SPF of 30-50, antioxidants, and essential fatty acid protection.


There are lots of plant oils and extracts that have remarkable benefits for skin and typically don’t cause skin irritations and health concerns that synthetic and toxic fragrances have.

I want to assure you that at Primal Life Organics, we never add volatile or masking skin-aggravating fragrances of any kind to our products and never have. There are too many amazing ingredients that impart brilliant results for your skin that are completely non-irritating to ever bother with the problematic ones.

It’s part of our mission to rely on what scientific research has shown to be true so you can take the best possible care of your skin—and that means avoiding exposure to fragrance and other toxic ingredients.

From a Clean Beauty Snob who knows the TRUTH.




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