Fragrances in Skincare 101

Fragrances in Skincare 101 | An Interview with Skincare Formulator Merve

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Did you know that your skin absorbs 70% of what you put on it? 

It is commonly assumed that any product labelled “all-natural” is good for you, whereas any product made of “chemicals” is bad.  Some green beauty brands are also guilty of using fear-based marketing tactics to get you to buy products. All-in-all, it’s enough to get you suspicious of making the switch to natural. That’s why today on the blog we are going to be picking Merve’s brain, (Head Formulator at ManukaRx) to get down to some real fact-based green fragrance tips.

Hi Merve, can you tell us a little bit about your role at ManukaRx?

At ManukaRx, I formulate all of the brand's restorative skincare. I am responsible for creating the formulations for our natural products and ensuring the safety and quality of the existing products.

Fragrances in Skincare 101


When a company lists ‘fragrance’ in their product ingredient list, what does this actually mean? 

When a company lists 'fragrance' in their product ingredient list, it generally means that the product contains a combination of various synthetic or natural aromatic compounds that are used to give the product a specific scent or odour. However, the term 'fragrance' is often used as an umbrella term that does not specify the exact ingredients used in the product. This is because fragrance formulations are considered trade secrets and companies are not legally required to disclose the specific ingredients used in their fragrance blends. 

What does it mean when a company says that a product is ‘free from chemicals’?

When a company says that a product is 'free from chemicals,' it is a marketing term that generally refers to the absence of synthetic or artificial chemicals in the product. However, this term can be misleading as everything, including natural ingredients, is made up of chemicals. Therefore, it is important for consumers to understand that just because a product is labelled as 'chemical-free,' it does not mean that it is completely free from potentially harmful or irritating ingredients. Additionally, it is important to note that some natural ingredients can also cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivities, so it is always advisable to read the full ingredient list and research the safety of individual ingredients before using a product. Overall, the term 'free from chemicals' is not a regulated or well-defined term, so it is important for consumers to do their research and make informed decisions when choosing products. Also, we should never forget even water is a chemical from the chemistry point of view.

When reading labels, how can we tell if a fragrance is natural or artificial? 

Unless stated on the product packaging, unfortunately there is no way to tell if a fragrance is natural or artificial.

What are some common myths being marketed to consumers about fragrances in skincare?

Fragrance is harmful! In general, fragrance ingredients are safe when used in regulated limits. The cosmetic industry is required to follow strict regulations and guidelines established by regulatory bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) to ensure the safety of fragrance ingredients in cosmetic products.

Is it possible for fragrances to be 100% natural? 

Yes, there are natural fragrances available.

An Interview with Skincare Formulator Merve


Can you explain the process you take when it comes to choosing fragrances for ManukaRx skincare?

Our perfume is developed in France by parfumiers according to COSMOS regulation which is a reputable naturalness certification. We have tried 16 different perfume samples and created a panel testing to choose the most appealing one for our customers. This process took us 3 months to finish but we are so happy with the result!

Lastly, what’s your personal favourite fragrance to use in skincare? 

In a parfum, the version of a perfume that has the highest concentration of fragrant essential oils, I like the notes of earthiness and sweet. Lucky enough the new parfum that will be soon included in the ManukaRx Pro-Aging collection has this scent profile.

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