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Love the Fragrance in Your Skin Care Products?

use all of lavender instead of lavender essential oil, the lavender picked to infuse oil in slow botanicals skin care products for sensitive skin

Want To Know How Fragrance Treats Sensitive Skin?

I have self-proclaimed sensitive skin. Reading through a research paper that referred to people like me, stating we should proceed with caution when using skin care products, hair care products and even household products that contain fragrance - well I was definitely interested to learn more. This is something I already knew, instinctively, but I won’t deny it feels good to have this verified by good, solid, scientific research. Makes me feel smart to be right 😁 Makes me think I should keep on trusting myself 🥰 Makes me feel relieved I already avoid fragrance altogether 😅 So, why should people with sensitive skin avoid fragrance? Here’s a list of excellent reasons: 🧴 dry skin 🧴 fragrance-contact allergy 🧴 photosensitivity 🧴 photo-allergy (yes allergic reactions to the sun 😭) 🧴 immediate-contact reactions (where you react instantly) 🧴 contact dermatitis (includes being itchy and getting a rash) 🧴 scalp dermatitis (dermatitis=inflammation of your skin, in this case your scalp) 🧴 irritated eyelids Researchers also say that anyone who has any of these reactions should completely avoid fragrance (while saying at the same time, they know this is impossible!) There’s one more reaction to fragrance: 🧴 sensitive skin And so, I more than wonder, if you, with sensitive skin, should outright avoid fragrance, and like me, embark on a process of cleaning out your medicine cabinet, bathroom counter, travel bag, and utility closet of each and every product containing fragrance? You can do this slowly, like I did, or you can do it all at once. Depends on your personality! (Do you have eczema and wonder how you're impacted? Fragrance doesn’t cause eczema, but it does appear to make your eczema flares feel worse).

fragrance free products by slow botanicals that are natural and pure and don't cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin

Do You Know the Ingredients Included in Fragrance?

What are these fragrances made up of that irritate our skin? I don't actually know! The truth is, few people get to know. The Environmental Working Group estimates there are over 3000 different chemicals included in the simple label of “fragrance”. Labeling laws don't requite manufacturers to disclose the identity of these chemicals that give you your fragrance. Companies certainly aren't volunteering. Proprietary reasons, for sure. And maybe they don't want to court bad publicity?

In the European Union, there are 26 fragrance ingredients that must be included on the ingredients label. How many are required in the US? None! It doesn’t appear that Canada requires labeling, either. How does this make you feel?

Is Essential Oil Better For Your Skin?

It’s not only artificial fragrances that are to blame. Many essential oils cause harm, too. (Especially in children. Essential lavender oil appears to be a Major Culprit. And, it's in everything!) This includes essential oils found in prescription skin lotions and in your favourite natural care products.  For instance, the terpene geraniol is one of the most frequent cosmetic culprits for your rashes, dry skin patches and itchiness (called contact dermatitis). Where do you find geraniol? You'll probably be surprised: geraniol is naturally contained in the essential oils of geranium, rose, citronella and lemongrass. Plants use their essential oils to protect themselves from threats, such as pests. Plants don't intend for their essential oils to be healing. But us humans, we love how they smell, so we separate them out and lose the balance of botanical healing. I completely understand if you're thinking “I use these products all the time and I’m fine. I love the way the these scents lift my feelings”. I understand! Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who will never develop a reaction? That’s fantastic! Yay for you! But be forewarned, contact dermatitis from fragrance doesn’t usually happen overnight. It sneaks up on you and you suddenly discover you’re reacting. Once you develop contact dermatitis, skin health researchers claim it can never be cured. Science says your only hope is to avoid the cause - you have to avoid the fragrance. (The exact scientific wording: “Sensitization persists for life”).

fragrance free skin cream with lavender and rose that does not contain essential oil and dermatitis

Love the Fragrance in Your Skin Care Products?

Is it Better to Stop Using Fragrance Now Before You're Fully Sensitized?

Since your reaction gets worse and worse over your lifetime of exposure, until you can't use them at all, I propose you avoid fragrances altogether. Remember how researchers declared it's impossible to entirely stay away from added fragrance? I liken my skin care to the foods I eat. In my day-to-day, I stay away from processed foods and white flour and sugar. This means I'm preventing diseases such as pre-diabetes, diabetes and chronic digestive issues. I give myself wiggle room so that I can indulge once in a while, without fearing any horrible consequences. Same goes for my skin. I use products without added scent. When I'm out washing my hands in public? I'm not afraid that one time wash will cause my sensitive skin to break out in a rash. I won't be distracted by itchy hands. This also leads me to the question: can contact-fragrance dermatitis be cured, by avoiding the use of fragrance in your body care products? I suspect it can. Or at least, lessened in severity. I've seen it happen. But I'm not asking you to take my word on this! Admittedly, my anecdotal evidence is not good, believable science!

How to Be Fragrance Free

"Love your products!  I kind of feel like a kid sometimes when I take a shower using your products.  I have been putting chemical filled products on my face and body for so long and now my nose is rejoicing!  I feel like my respiratory system is opening up.  I am no longer smelling chemicals and my body appreciates it on all levels!  Your products go deeper than skin level!" TC, Boston, MA

All Slow Botanicals products are free of any added fragrance and perfumes, including essential oil. Because, as I said, this is something I want for myself. For my list of favourite household products that are fragrance-free, watch out for an upcoming newsletter where I'm going to share a list with you of my favourite fragrance-free products for your self-care and home. You can also download the list. Why for your home, as well? Because dermatitis is the least of the evils of fragrance. What are other reactions you want to avoid? Organ damage, carcinogens, lung issues, and more. I'll leave elaborating on that for another day! Wishing you the best! Thanks for being here, Chwynyn


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