Perfume is something that most of us wear on a daily basis as it makes us smell and feel great. Although we all like smelling nice, perfume isn’t always good for your skin. Perfume is made up of oils and chemicals that can be harmful to us and some people even suffer from fragrance sensitivity. This can have negative effects on your skin and general health. A book titled “The case against fragrance” found that one in three people who are affected by fragrance sensitivity can experience symptoms such as asthma, rashes, and headaches. A lot of Fragrances and perfumes have led to mild allergies like watery eyes and sneezing. Moreover, around one in ten people are estimated to have continuous allergic reactions to fragrance.
How many chemicals are in perfume?
Not many people know this but there are actually more chemicals in perfume than in cigarette smoke. Every cigarette smoke has 250 chemicals whereas perfume and cologne can have around 3000 different chemicals. The campaign for Safe Cosmetics in partnership with the Environmental Working Group found that in 2010 there were 14 potentially harmful chemicals found in fragrances that weren’t listed on product labels.
How can you test out a fragrance?
In order to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction to perfume, you need to test it out. Before purchasing a perfume, drop a small drizzle of the perfume on your skin and see whether you have any reaction to it. If you start to feel sick or begin to feel some irritation then you should stay far away from that perfume. If not, continue enjoying the aroma of your new found purchase.
What chemicals in perfume cause irritation?
There are various ingredients in perfume that can cause irritation. Here are some examples:
- Acetone is known for drying up your skin but it can cause nausea once inhaled
- Benzaldehyde can cause skin irritation and nausea
- Benzyl Acetate can cause irritants to the eyes because of its vapor
- Camphor can irritate the nose, throat, and eyes
- Ethanol in high dosage can burn the skin
95% of the chemicals being used in perfumes and other fragrances are synthetic and are derived from petroleum. They are known to be toxic sensitizers and can be dangerous to you.
Along with allergies, perfume can cause your skin to age, even if you have an anti-ageing skincare routine! Perfume can be aggressive and skin that has been covered in perfume can become more vulnerable to ageing pigmentation and sun damage. In order to tackle this, wear facial sunscreen that contains a high amount of UVA.
All this being said, perfume has been around for thousands of years and isn’t all harmful. Keep yourself aware of what chemicals are in those products you’re using and continue to smell fabulous.