One whiff of alluring perfume can leave you breathless. But what if you can’t catch your breath?
It can be easy to overlook, but it's not uncommon for people to have reactions to certain scents or perfumes. In fact, over 30% of people report irritation in response to fragrances, according to one study.
The range of reactions can vary from person to person, but one bad experience is enough to make someone start asking questions. After all, this is how Skylar got started! At just 4 months old, our Founder and CEO’s daughter had a less than ideal reaction to her favorite fragrance. This led Cat on a journey to learn more about the ingredients found in perfume and what causes sensitivity to fragrances.
Perfume Allergy or Perfume Sensitivity?
Before we let this rain on your parade, there are a couple more questions we can ask. Are we allergic to our perfumes? Or do we have a sensitivity to certain ingredients? Depending on the severity and type of reaction, we are able to determine whether we need to steer clear of perfumes altogether or make the switch to a fragrance with less questionable ingredients. Aren’t too sure? Your doctor will be able to help clarify and lead you in the right direction.
If you find yourself experiencing sensitivity to certain perfumes, your irritation can be alleviated by avoiding certain ingredients and choosing fragrances with cleaner and shorter ingredient list.
Why Are Fragrance Allergies So Common?
As mentioned, nearly a third of people experience negative reactions to fragrances. That’s a large enough number to raise some eyebrows and prompt a Google researching spree. This statistic still begs the question, how can ingredients that are bad for us end up in perfumes and colognes?
The answer has to do with an interesting legal loophole. In 1973, the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973 was passed, which required cosmetics manufacturers to clearly list the ingredients in their products. Fragrance makers, however, were made exempt from this law so they could keep their formulations secret.
That’s why, if you look at a bottle of perfume, the ingredient list might just say ‘fragrance.’ Unfortunately, that word can be the veil that covers not only a fragrance maker’s trade secret but any ingredient that manufacturers don’t want to disclose to their consumers. One study by the Environmental Working Group found 14 secret, unlisted chemicals lurking in the average bottle of fragrance. With so many unknown and untested substances in the mix, it’s no surprise that we as consumers are confused when we find ourselves allergic (or sensitive) to conventional fragrances.
Hope Beyond Fragrance-Free
Just because you’re struggling with a perfume allergy or sensitivity doesn’t mean you have to give up fragrances! The key is to find a clean perfume that won’t irritate you or those around you.
So what’s a perfume-lover to do? Next time you’re shopping for a new fragrance, keep your eye out for a formulation that is hypoallergenic. If a fragrance is hypoallergenic, this means that the ingredients have been tested and approved so that you don’t have to worry about experiencing harsh reactions or irritations.
Skylar fragrances are not only hypoallergenic, but they are also vegan, cruelty-free and derived from natural ingredients. With our fragrances, you can take on your day with confidence that your perfume won’t cause any trouble. And most importantly you’ll be smelling fabulous all day long!