Products that are free of either synthetic or natural fragrances are gentler on sensitive skins - think babies or people who suffer from dry itchy skin conditions, skin allergies and pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Natural fragrances are derived from essential oils often extracted from sustainably grown plants. Synthetic fragrances however, while being longer lasting and often less expensive are increasingly derived from petrochemicals. While natural fragrances are often thought of as being gentle on the skin, both natural and synthetic fragrances, while smelling beautiful, can irritate the most sensitive skin.
While the use of synthetic fragrances produced as a result of petrochemical byproducts can irritate sensitive skin there is also the environmental impact to consider. Essential oils are highly concentrated and while diluted in skincare products, are potent and have the ability to produce strong therapeutic effects. Some are regarded as unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding and others may interact with certain medications.
It is important to remember that up to 60% of what we apply to our skin is absorbed into our bodies. Our skin is our biggest organ and when products with additional fragrances are applied to the skin our bodies can become stressed with the additional toxic load.
The therapeutic benefit of some essential oils cannot be disregarded but it is important to be aware of the potential reactions and for those with sensitive skin fragrance-free products may be a better choice.