Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Question: What's up with fragrance?

I know that fragrance is bad and something I should avoid on ingredient labels. But, is it bad just because it could be masking phthalates, or for other reasons as well? A couple of products I've recently purchased have "Fragrance (Parfum)" listed on the label. I bought them because the labels also specifically said that the products were free of phthalates. So, my question is, if a product does contain fragrance, but does not contain phthalates, is it safe?

Here's an example of a product that's raising some questions. My general plan is to use up all of my products that I currently have and then replace them with non-toxic products. However, I didn't feel very comfortable with shaving my legs with my normal shower gel. (I feel that shaving, which strips off a layer of skin, makes me more vulnerable to ingredients in my shaving aids.) I purchased Alba Botanica natural very emollient cream shave in coconut lime.

The back of the label says that this contains "no: animal testing, artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl/laureth sufate or sodium methyl sulfate."

I'm pretty happy with this shave cream. It clings to my legs well - I just slather it on, then shave. Usually my shower gels slides off and I use more that what's really necessary. It works just as well as shower gel; my legs are super smooth when I'm done. I checked on Skin Deep and it has a rating of 4... because fragrance is listed in the ingredients.

So, should fragrance always be avoided, even in phthalate-free products?


  1. Interesting post! I just use natural soap to shave my legs and it works great for me :)
    In reply to your question, i didn't have a natural or organic hair gel to use so unfortunately had to use a random one we had in our bathroom cupboard :)

  2. I've actually never thought about that...I tend to just avoid anything that lists fragrance as an ingredient.

    Completely random, but I just tossed a tube of that shave cream that had been hanging around my shower because I noticed it had parabens in it. I guess they must've removed the parabens since I bought it :)

  3. @Katie - I'll have to see if I can find some hair gel around my place because I want to try out your recipe!

    @Caitie - I think Alba just recently removed some of the bad stuff because stores still have the old formulation on the shelf right next to the new one (I also noticed this with Nature's Gate products)