How to Prevent Aging and Cancer (Synthetic Fragrances)

Q:  I am really sensitive to perfume and fragranced body products (especially soaps and lotions).  I get a rash and I cough when I spray on perfume or am near someone wearing heavy cologne.  What’s in them that is so irritating? ~ K.A., Huntington Beach, CA

Artificial fragrances are common allergens and irritants
Artificial fragrances are common allergens and irritants

A: Artificial fragrances are synthetically-derived substances used solely to impart an odor.  They are a common offender of adverse allergic reactions.

In a study by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, fragrances were the number one cause of allergic and irritant reactions to cosmetics.  (Preservatives were the second most common cause of cosmetic allergies.)

Does This Smell Good To You?

Fragrance manufacturers are exempt from disclosing ingredients
Fragrance manufacturers may use any raw material in fragrance formulas

Pre-market approval of fragrance materials is NOT required.  With the exception of color additives and nine prohibited ingredients, fragrance manufacturers may use any raw material in a fragrance formula and are exempt from disclosing the chemicals on their label.

Fragrance ingredients need only be listed on the label as “fragrance” thereby limiting the FDA’s surveillance and actual authority over the fragrance industry.

Fragrance Free or Unscented…..Are They Really?

Fragrance freeThere are no official government definitions for “fragrance free”, “unscented”, or “natural fragrance”. In short, manufacturers can formulate their own interpretation of such label claims.

Commercial “fragrance free” or “unscented” products are rare and may only mean they have no discernible scent. Companies may add a masking fragrance to a product to conceal the odor of its raw ingredients without adding a discernible odor to it.   Continue reading “How to Prevent Aging and Cancer (Synthetic Fragrances)”