How safe is your perfume for your skin?
While we’re aware of the benefits of natural, organic skincare, fragrance is an area that’s overlooked – yet just as important
When luxury British fragrance house Medeau’s founder, Alli, was pregnant, she looked in vain for a perfume that was non-toxic. After doing some research on the perfume industry, it became quickly apparent that many perfumes, scents and aftershaves contain ingredients that are not safe for the skin. Alli discovered that in order to protect trade secrets, makers of perfumes are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients. Therefore, the consumers can’t completely rely on labels to know what potentially harmful ingredients may sit within their favourite perfume.
While this idea seems deceiving, it is, in fact, completely legal due to a giant loophole in the US Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list ingredients on their packaging, yet explicitly exempts fragrance. These findings are what led Alli, and her husband and business partner, Ed, to search for a new fragrance, and ultimately led them to create Medeau’s debut scent, Origin – a truly clean and safe fragrance for all.
Wondering what’s in your own favourite perfume? Ingredients are listed on the websites of many fragrance brands or you can refer to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website, which is an independent coalition of over 100 groups seeking transparency about chemicals in cosmetics, and has rated a number of well-known perfumes. The luxury market is flooded with synthetic dyes, preservatives and unnecessary plasticisers. Typical nasties to look out for include the carcinogenic benzyl acetate and irritants such as camphor, benzyl alcohol and ethyl acetate. Still unsure? Put your mind at rest with a Medeau fragrance, which contains zero toxic ingredients and is 100% vegan.