The Dirty Truth about Fragrance

The term ‘fragrance’ seems harmless and the majority of us assume it's an extract added to a product to make it smell nice. But it's actually one of the most misleading ingredients listed on beauty products.

Here is the dirty truth about fragrance.

Beauty companies have to use the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) when listing what’s in a product. This standardized book of ingredient names means that lavandula angustifolia (also known as lavender extract) is always listed as lavandula angustifolia.

But if you put fragrance on your ingredient list you get a free pass—it’s the only ingredient that doesn’t have to say what it really is.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) exempts it from having to be more specific, even though it might contain a synthetic, preservative, or allergy-provoking substances that you might want to know about.

The regulation was designed to conceal ingredients from the eyes of corporate competitors, but now it does the same for a cosmetic consumer who might be inclined to scan the label for parabens, petroleum by-products, and synthetics.

Furthermore, fragrance looks like it’s only one ingredient, it’s more likely a blend of many ingredients. 

The good news? Dirty Blonde only uses essential oils to add scents to our products - and nothing more.  

The solution? When you are looking for beauty products ensure that they specifically state what’s scenting it. On the back of the label, “fragrance” should be followed by a list of ingredients in parentheses.

Or look for a product that uses essential oils instead of “fragrance (parfum).”