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Why scented skincare probably won’t work for your skin

Especially if you have skin that becomes easily irritated.

Dr Alain Khaiat, president of the Cosmetic Toiletry Fragrance Association of Singapore (CTFAS), and vice-president of Technical and Scientific Affairs ASEAN Cosmetic Association; gives The Beauty Gazette the low down.

  • Fragrances do not irritate the skin; their level in skin care products is low, usually below 0.2 per cent to cover the smell of the formula and give a pleasant odor on the skin.
  • However, some have developed an allergy to fragrance ingredients. In Singapore, data from the National Skin Center shows that five per cent of the allergic population is sensitised to fragrance. In general, the percentage of the allergic population is about 10 per cent of the total population (or 0.5 per cent of consumers in general) may have an allergy to one fragrance ingredient.
  • They will react to most fragranced products, so their best choice is “fragrance-free” brands.
  • Do not make the mistake of thinking that natural fragrance oils or essential oils are different. The odorous ingredients that are responsible for some of the allergic reactions are natural. For example geraniol (geranium oil), cinnamal (cinnamon) or eugenol (clove oil). The reaction would be the same!

Photo: Katarzyna Parejko

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