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Is Fragrance Bad For Your Skin?
There are many documented cases of
allergic reaction to fragrances. Statistics show that fragrances account for 35%
– 40% of contact dermatitis in cosmetics.  
If fragrance is bad for the skin,
why is it that the first thing almost everyone does when testing any skin care
product is smell it? A product with a wonderful aroma will almost always have
the edge.
The big majority certainly believes that
fragrances can be a positive enhancement in their skin care routine.
The simple truth is that only 1% –
4% of the general population is at risk, and the allergic reactions are
generally described as mild.

Statistically though, the numbers
are considered significant. The fragrance-sensitive population is also steadily
growing, from 1% in 1997 to 4% in 2003. 
It’s 2015 now. How high has this number increased?
If you are
one of those prone to allergic reactions, it is best to look for truly fragrance-free
products. This can be very tricky and challenging.
labeled as fragrance-free may still contain scent-masking ingredients with
potential for irritation. These are usually essential oils that can contain the
very same allergens found in fragrances.
The more commonly
used essential oils with offending allergens are lavender oil (linalool), rose
oil (geraniol), cinnamon and vanilla (eugenol), chamomile (cinnamal),
citronella (citronellol), and citrus (limonene).

DERMAX fragrance-free products
are guaranteed free of fragrance.
These are among the 26 fragrance ingredients in the EU Cosmetic Directive (March 2005) requiring that these be
included in ingredients list at concentrations >10 ppm for leave-on
products, and >100 ppm in rinse-off products.

The bottom line: For the majority, and that means over 90% of the general
population, fragrances in cosmetics need not spell trouble.
If you belong to this
group, and a refreshing lavender-scented moisturizer will relieve you of your
stress, then you should go for it. If you are the sensitive skin type, you
should be careful in choosing the right skin care products that are really
This article appeared in the main section of The
Manila Bulletin, page 3, on February 24, 2015. Fred Reyes is a cosmetic chemist
and scientist, and the CEO of DERMAX and SkinStation, two leading skin clinic
chains in the Philippines. He was awarded the Outstanding Professional in
Chemistry in 2011 by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

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