We need to talk, about what’s inside the bottles of products we put onto our faces every day. I think it’s important to know what may or may not be in those creams, oils, and scrubs. My goal is of course to educate but in a super easy way. Ingredient labels are long, and scary, and often look like they’re written in a foreign language. So let’s dive in and get to the truth behind the words we can’t always pronounce!
Good to Know: The higher on any ingredient list, the more of that ingredient is contained in the product.
It’s important to note that for some secretive reason, Phthaletes will often not appear on product labels. And because 1,4 Dioxane is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, it is also not required (by our very own FDA) to be shown on product labels. Sketch.
What about fragrance? Have you heard that it’s bad for your skin? Me too. And my goodness is this a tricky one. Here’s what you should know:
Here’s where that gray area comes in: There are no regulations around the term “fragrance-free.” According to the FDA, ”fragrance-free” falls into the same category as marketing words like “natural,” “non-toxic,” “clean” and “safe”—they have no official or legal meaning when it comes to cosmetic labeling. On the FDA’s own site, it states that “even some products labeled ‘unscented’ may contain fragrance ingredients. This is because the manufacturer may add just enough fragrance to mask the unpleasant smell of other ingredients, without giving the product a noticeable scent.” Additionally, the FDA does not require each fragrance to be listed individually. Even if a product doesn’t list an added perfume or specific fragrance, chances are good that one of the items in its ingredient list is providing a scent, even if that scent is a preservative to keep the product fresher longer. Then there’s a whole category of “masking scents.” According to Dermatology Times, “the goal of a masking fragrance is to give the perception that the product is unscented. Thus, unscented does not mean fragrance-free, but rather smell-free.” What’s more, masking scents aren’t required to be listed on a label. Confused?! Me too! Bottom line is if you’re applying a product you believe to be unscented and not having a reaction, it’s just because the scent ingredients it contains are safe and non-reactive for your skin. And your “fragrance free” products may actually have fragrance in them! Oy!
Is your head spinning after all the technical jargon? I hope not! I wanted this to be easy enough to also be useable. Just as much as we should watch what we put into our bodies, we should watch what we’re putting onto our skin!
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