Fragrance has been gaining more attention lately, causing brands to reconsider the kinds of products they’re releasing to capitalize on this interest. For many people, an enjoyable scent is one of the main factors to consider when purchasing a skincare product and adds to the self-care experience. Though the role of fragrance in skincare can be controversial, it’s essential to understand the type of fragrances available and how they might work for you.

Natural vs. Synthetic Fragrance

With clean beauty on the rise, it’s not uncommon for brands to avoid certain ingredients in their product offerings. When it comes to fragrance, one way to remain “cleaner” is opting for natural fragrance, which can be gentler for skin and generally more environmentally friendly as well. Natural fragrance comes from a natural source. In other words, these fragrances aren’t developed in a lab setting as is the case with synthetic. Even though natural fragrance may not last as long as synthetic, a key benefit to natural fragrance is the lack of question marks. Always remember it’s important to check expiration dates before applying any skincare.

Is fragrance-free skincare better?

For those who are allergic or sensitive to fragrance, it may be better to stray away from it altogether in skincare. But for others who do not experience any irritation to fragrance, you might still be wondering if opting for fragrance-free is recommended. According to cosmetic chemist, Shuting Hu, Ph.D., “Transparency is the key to navigating fragrance in skincare. If fragrance is listed as an ingredient, it should be followed by a list of ingredients in parentheses … Just because a skincare product is fragrance-free does not make it better than one that does contain a fragrance.” At the end of the day, you are the judge of what works best for your skin. If your skin isn’t reacting well to a product, it’s best to speak with a dermatologist to pinpoint the cause.

The addition of an appealing scent is a common marketing tactic used by brands to increase a product’s appeal, and fragrances can be a powerful factor in influencing customers to purchase an item. After all, pleasant aromas can draw people in and make a product more enticing. Incorporating fragrance into your skincare routine isn’t something to fear – you might just have to do your research before deciding if it’s the right option for you. A good rule of thumb to follow is the shorter the ingredients list, the better.

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