The Truth About Natural Ingredients and Fragrance Free Cosmetics

Natural ingredients like essential oils used for aromatherapeutic, antioxidant, or holistic uses can cause allergic reactions to people with sensitive skin. The problem might be the fragrance used in these natural products. Herbs in their natural state may not have a pleasant scent so fragrance have to be added to improve the aroma. Even if a product is marked as “unscented” doesn’t mean that a fragrant additive wasn’t used. Unless you have a nose like a bloodhound chances are you wouldn’t pick up on the scent.

Image by IconArchive.com

Image by IconArchive.com

What is a girl to do? Experts recommend starting with a product that is marked “fragrance free”. Vermen Verallo-Rowell, a dermatologist, dermatopathologist and founder of VMV Hypoallergenics, recommends looking for the shortest list of ingredients and be aware of fragrances or dyes which may start with the prefix FD&C and parabens. Test new cosmetics on your inner arm and wait 24 hours to see if there is any reaction.

According to the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, of the 2,800 fragrance ingredients in their database, at least 100 are known allergens. Many of these ingredients are used in the manufacturing of cleansers and facial moisturizers.

If you haven’t heard about a company called YES TO, they make all natural, body products. Their products are made with fruits and vegetables. They make everything from facial cleansers to towelettes. YES TO was formed by two gents who met while playing soccer. The minute I saw that they played soccer I was interested. Anytime I find someone in America who can play soccer (my 2nd favorite sport) they’ve got my attention.

Does YES TO use fragrance? According to their faq page their fragrance is a mix of essential oils, natural aromatic chemicals and other synthetic ingredients that are approved by RIFM (Research Institute for Fragrance Materials). The synthetic ingredients are used when there are no natural alternatives to create the current scent.

YES TO was formed in 2005 and incorporated in 2006. They are located in San Francisco Ca.

Cosmetic chemist Ni’kita Wilson, warns that common labeling terms like “hypoallergenic,” “gentle,” “fragrance free” and “dermatologist-tested” are just marketing terms.

Another alternative would be Tom’s of Maine, the first time I used their product was in Maine at a B&B. Since then I love it, they use absolutely no fragrance in their products. I guess that is as natural as it gets.

Check out some of the products by YES TO and Tom’s of Maine.

If you use any products from these companies, please share your experience. I’d be interested to hear what you like or didn’t like and what you wished they had more of.

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