Lotions come in a wide variety of options for all skin types. Many body and face lotions contain perfumes. Are these perfumes safe for your skin?


Feedback From the FDA

The FDA in the US does regulate scented lotions used for cosmetic purposes. While companies do not have to have FDA approval prior to selling perfumed lotions on the market, companies are required to ensure all ingredients are safe on humans when used as instructed on the bottle. However, the FDA does not check to make sure this is always the case. It is important to note that the FDA does not require the ingredients used to create a fragrance to be listed on the label as they are considered trade secrets vital to the success of the company. A company is simply required to use the term flavor or fragrance rather than to list each chemical or ingredient used to develop the formula.


Potential Risks

Because the ingredients of these perfumes are not required to be listed, many medical professionals believe that excessive use of perfumed lotions may be linked to various skin issues. Before you try a new lotion, be sure to test it on a small patch of your skin before using it all over your face or body to determine whether or not you are allergic. If you breakout or have a reaction after using a perfumed lotion, be sure to try a fragrance-free lotion and hypoallergenic products.


The Environmental Working Group has publicly stated that many fragrances contain 12 or more synthetic chemicals that are potentially hazardous to human beings. They also tested a number of fragrances and revealed a direct correlation to allergies and a disruption to hormones. Some of these chemicals have been linked to low sperm counts and even found traces in breast milk after using such skincare products with fragrances containing toxic chemicals.


Unfortunately, until skincare companies are required to label each ingredient in a perfume or fragrance, it is difficult for experts to determine the exact risks of using scented lotions. More and more organizations are pushing for greater transparency in skincare products, so perhaps the laws will change one day for the health and safety of consumers. For now, it might be best to try out hypoallergenic lotions that do not use scents or perfumes.