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What Does the Ingredient Fragrance Actually Mean?

You’re being diligent and looking at the ingredients in your baby's skincare and bathing products. You see the term “fragrance” listed. Seems innocuous, right? It actually isn’t. When a product lists the term “fragrance” on its ingredient list, it essentially means that a horde of chemicals are added to the product to give its scent. Deep down, you knew that “Ocean Breeze” isn’t beachy air bottled up. It’s a chemical concoction.

Look at your hand soap, creams, deodorant, hair products, perfume, household cleaning products, air fresheners, candles… it’s likely that they all list this mysterious “fragrance” as an ingredient. Fragrance is in everything!

Even we, founders of this all-natural, organic plant-based baby skincare company, gleefully used holiday pine scented hand soap from a supposedly eco-friendly company before we were educated on this subject. The current set of laws doesn’t really protect us consumers in this case.  The Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to list the ingredients, chemical or otherwise, that comprise a product’s fragrance. It’s essentially a loophole that protects companies from having to divulge trade secrets. Here is the truth: there are thousands chemicals that don’t have to physically listed on the list ingredients if they’re part of the product’s fragrance. Most of these chemicals have never been tested for safety and a lot of them are known to not be good for health.

If you think this is messed up, you’re in good company.  We believe that if you’re considering applying a something to your child’s body (or your own) that you have every right to know exactly what’s in the product. If your hiding behind some law, you’re probably hiding something.

So what can you do? Don’t use products that have “fragrance” or “parfum” (fancy French word for fragrance) as an ingredient. While it's important not to use products with "fragrance" on your little one, consider what you're putting on yourself as well. Your child is frequently nuzzled up against you so whatever you're wearing is surrounding him or her. 

Interested in learning more about this subject? There is an informative documentary called “Stink!” that you can stream on Netflix that covers this in greater detail.


Content from the Little Love Organics website and blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.