What’s the Deal with Fragrance in Skincare?
Lately there is a lot of talk on the Internet about perfume in skin care. I have probably heard more scents in skincare in the past six months than in my entire skincare life (I've had a skincare routine since I was 10 years old and I'll be 40 next year… lol). Scent was always […]

Lately there is a lot of talk on the Internet about perfume in skin care. I have probably heard more scents in skincare in the past six months than in my entire skincare life (I've had a skincare routine since I was 10 years old and I'll be 40 next year… lol). Scent was always something I thought about - if a product had a STRONG scent even if it was the one my nose liked enough, if it was overwhelming, I passed it. Oddly enough, if a product smelled bad, I could suck it up and use it again if I liked the benefits. For example, there was a moisturizer that I had in my routine that had DMAE in it that I loved but smelled like fish. I slapped that fishy moisturizer all over my face anyway… lol. Fortunately, the smell did not persist.

I don't use the moisturizer anymore because I found a cheaper one that I liked better, but you better believe if I didn't I would still use it.

But with all the talk about how scent is supposed to be bad in skin care, why would brands keep putting it in there? Something was wrong with me, so I had a conversation with one of Johnson & Johnson's R&D (research and development) scientists, Paul LaTerra. J&J is one of the largest skin care companies with brands like Neutrogena and Aveeno.

Why do brands add fragrance to products?

The scent isn't added due to a skin benefit, so why are brands adding them to products?

In short: scent improves a user's experience with a product. And as humans, we tend to like beautiful things. I don't necessarily think it's bad for a product to smell good as it might make us more likely to use them regularly in our routine. But scent can be such a personal thing - for me, I can love a product and hate the smell, or I can love the smell and hate the product. And some people have an allergic reaction to perfume.

Why does perfume have a bad reputation?

Scent is often associated with allergens, but there are fragrances that contain little or no allergens. You sometimes hear that line of thinking where it's like "if the perfume has a luck to cause irritation, so don't use anything with perfume ”, and this can lead to the misconception that perfume is the big bad wolf.

Think of it this way: (and I have to thank the R&D scientist for this analogy), you know how intense the precautions must be if someone has a peanut allergy? And how rightly are people allergic to peanuts? We often hear about peanut allergies and what can happen to a person who has them. But if you don't have a peanut allergy, do you avoid peanuts (assuming you're not someone who just doesn't like the taste)?

How to identify what a "perfume" is in a product?

Perfume is often made up of many different ingredients, so instead of listing each one, it may be listed as just "perfume" on the packaging. It is also a way to protect the exclusive property of a brand so that one cannot copy a brand's signature scent. But there are times when the use of the generic term "perfume" is not appropriate for a product because a brand uses only one scent component, so sometimes those components are listed individually. This can be a bit confusing for the average consumer looking at the ingredient list. So what should a consumer do? LOOK FOR IT.

But my caveat here is that when you search for ingredients you look many sources. There are sites out there that will tell you that EVERYTHING is bad… lol. But knowing more about the content of your products is important, especially for those who are more sensitive. It also helps reduce your chances of falling prey to fear.

For example, I posted an article on niacinamide and someone said they are not using something they cannot pronounce (meanwhile, niacinamide is an ingredient that has a small may cause a reaction in most people). Some people often think that ingredients with long names are full of chemicals and that "chemicals" are bad. But everything is a chemical.

Laboratory muffin did a video on her Youtube channel about dispelling some skincare myths and showed what looked like a very complex ingredient list with words that may be difficult for some people to pronounce. The “if I can't pronounce it, I don't want it near me” crowd would probably avoid the “dangerous” element based on its ingredients.

But do you know what the object was?

A PINEAPPLE.

Many things that we use every day without consequences can have very difficult scientific names. Knowledge is power, people.

Fragrance-free vs fragrance-free

This one can trip a lot of us, but R&D scientist Paul LaTerra broke it down by saying to separate the scent from the smell. Everything has a smell. Some ingredients put into a product often have an odor, and some of them can have an off-putting smell. It is also related to the reason why some brands put perfume in the products.

Fragrance-free means that there are no ingredients, whether it's a single component or the number of components listed as "fragrance", in the formula. There is nothing in there whose main purpose is to flavor the product. But a product without perfume can still have a pleasant smell, even a pleasant smell. For example, some preservatives in a product may have an odor, but that product can still be labeled as fragrance-free because that preservative is not there to flavor the product - it is there to prevent the product from spoiling quickly. .

A product may not be odorless, but it can be fragrance free.

Unscented is not such a regulated term. This can mean that the product may contain ingredients whose main purpose in the formula is to neutralize the odor of a product. An unscented product can still contain perfume because the perfume is used to make the product smell like "nothing."

My minds

The allergy to perfumes is real. There is a percentage of the population that has an allergy to perfumes and for those who absolutely must avoid it. What if you are part of that percentage of the population and have a richer complexion like one of my Youtube favorites Dr Alexis Stephens says, "The irritation can lead to inflammation and the inflammation can lead to hyperpigmentation." Those of us with richer skin tones (Fitzpatrick IV-VI) are unique in that sometimes irritation, cut, scratch, burn can trigger our melanocytes and lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Some of us also have other types of health problems that can make our skin more sensitive. We all need to educate ourselves about product ingredients, get tested for allergies, and be diligent about skin test products before we rush to add them to our routines.

But while there may be a small percentage of the population that has a fragrance allergy, that doesn't mean all scents are bad. Today we have access to a lot more information than previous generations, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing… lol. I think we need to be more proactive when it comes to skin care: read labels, learn about ingredients, see a doctor to do allergy tests, test products before blindly adding them to our routines , etc. And here's the thing: there are some ingredients that can be more irritating than perfumes, so it's extremely important for us to take the actions I mentioned above.

Thanks again to Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this article, and of course to Paul LaTerra for being a great source of information on this topic.

Neutrogena offers a variety of products for a variety of life stages (they came up with acne products when I was a teenager and now into adulthood, and I've always loved their sunscreens) and among these products there are fragrance free options. , milder versions for those who are more sensitive, and more.

What do you think of scent in skin care? Tell me in the comments!


We all dream of flawless, glowing skin, but with new products constantly hitting the shelves and the seemingly endless skincare advice out there on the Internet, it’s not always easy to figure out the skincare routine that’s going to work best for you. You know the basics — drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and wash your face, but what about everything in between ? Luckily, there’s no need to shell out tons of cash on any magical procedures or expensive creams to achieve flawless skin.

We spoke with dermatologists and top beauty experts to put together a list of some of the best skincare tips. From choosing the right cleanser for your skin type to the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes, these easy tricks — plus some top-tested product picks from the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab — will help guide you to glowing skin ASAP.

' For oily or acne-prone skin, a salicylic gel or benzoyl peroxide wash works great, ' says Dr. Ava Shamban, a dermatologist in Santa Monica. ' For dry mature skin, use either a moisturizing glycolic or milky cleanser. For skin with brown ateliers or melasma, use a brightening wash, such as an α hydroxy acid cleanser. '

' The best times to moisturize are right after you get out of the shower and right before you go to bed, ' explained Dr. Janet Prystowsky M. D., an NYC-based dermatologist. Avoid lotions with heavy fragrances and make sure you find a moisturizer gentle enough for every day use with zero irritation.

Dr. Tzu says figuring out how to avoid touching your face is very important. It doesn’t just spread bacteria and cause breakouts — it can lead to scarring, an increase in wrinkles, and even the flu or other viruses.

Every skin professionnel we spoke to emphasized the importance of hydration. ' A lack of water means less radiance and more sag, ' says Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist in Connecticut. She suggests choosing products ( cleansing, moisturizing, and anti-aging ) that have hydrating formulas. And, oui, drink around eight glasses of water a day.

Don’t just watch out for the sun — getting too close to heaters and fireplaces can also wreak havoc on your skin. ' It causes inflammation and collagen breakdown. I recommend staying at least ten feet away, ' explains Dr. Debbie Palmer, a New York dermatologist. So next time you’re roasting chestnuts or s’mores over an open fire, take a step back.

' We lose 50 million skin cells a day, and without a little extra nudge, they may hang around leaving the skin looking sullen, ' says Dr. Gohara. tera fight this, you should ' choose a product that is pH neutral so it doesn’t dry as it exfoliates. ' And don’t just stop with your face — the skin on your body needs exfoliation, too.

A balanced diet is important, but there’s more than one way to give your skin vitamins. There are also topical antioxidants, which are serums and creams that contain ingredients that nourish the skin ( think vitamin C serum ! ).

' These can really help to repair the skin from sun damage, ' says Dr. Palmer. Not sure how to use them ? The best time to apply them is right after cleansing so that your skin can soak them in, or they can be layered under your sunscreen for added protection.

Though it’s tempting to grab a coffee the minute you wake up, Joanna Vargas, a skincare facialist in NYC, says choosing the right beverages can be a game changer. ' Drink a shot of chlorophyll every morning to brighten, oxygenate, and hydrate your skin. Drinking chlorophyll also helps drain puffiness by stimulating the lymphatic system, so it’s also good for cellulite. '

If you’re not keen on downing a shot of the stuff, chlorophyll supplements can be found at many drugstores and health food stores. She also advised drinking green juices with lots of veggies in them : ' It will transform your skin in a matter of days — and it helps oxygenate the skin and stimulates lymphatic drainage, so it’s de-puffing, too. '

' Your skin has a natural barrier to retain moisture, and essential to that is omega-3 fatty acid, ' Joanna advises. ' Flax seeds on your salad or even walnuts will be an instant boost to your omega-3, thus increasing your skin’s ability to hold onto moisture. ' And be sure to eat a diet low in foods with a high glycemic index ( simple and complex carbohydrates ).

tera fight épidémie and clogged pores, Dr. Prystowsky recommends washing concealer and foundation brushes once a week. For brushes you use around your eyes, she recommends twice per month, and for any other brushes, once a month is fine.

Here’s how : Put a drop of a mild shampoo into the palm of your hand. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water. Then, massage the bristles into your palm to distribute the shampoo into the brush. Avoid getting the metal part of the brush wet/or the base of the brush hairs because the glue could soften and the bristles could fall out. Rinse the shampoo out and squeeze out the water with a towel. Lay the brushes on their side with the bristles hanging off the edge of the counter to dry.

' Many people feel they only need to protect themselves on sunny days or when visiting the beach, ' says Dr. Palmer. ' But the truth is that we need to protect our skin even when we’re driving a car, flying in an airplane, or running errands. It’s the daily uv exposure that contributes to the visible signs of aging. ' What kind of sunscreen is best ? Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or greater — and remember that it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours.

We’re talking SPF makeup, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats. ' Preventing sun damage is a million times better for your skin than treating it after the fact, ' says Dr. Prystowsky.

' Fad products and fancy ingredients are fun to try, and sometimes they work well, ' says Dr. Prystowsky, ' but usually they’re off the shelves just as quickly as they’re on them. ' Find a cleanser and moisturizer that you know work for you, and keep them at the core of your routine.

It’s not just about getting eight hours a night. Skin will also benefit from regularly using clean silk pillowcases. ' The material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles, ' says Jesleen Ahluwalia, M. D., a dermatologist from Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. ' Silk is also easier on hair — it helps avoid tangles and breakage. ' Better hair and skin while you sleep ? Yes, please.

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