The beauty industry loves it’s buzzwords. Pick up a bottle of dry shampoo; moisturiser or eye cream and you’ll probably find yourself bombarded with talk of rejuvenating vitamins, special proteins and proprietary complexes. Phrases so overused and underexplained that they’re in danger of becoming completely meaningless.
But there are some buzzwords that are worth looking out. Gluten-free is a great example. Especially if you’re sensitive to gluten or suffer from celiac disease. Vegan is another, particularly if you’re keen to live an ethical lifestyle or minimize your carbon footprint.
But most important of all? You guessed it. “Fragrance free”.
For those not in the know, Fragrance free means that your chosen product won’t contain any scent chemicals - artificial or otherwise.
It may have a slight smell of its own; a natural aroma that comes from the active ingredients that help to clean your hair or nourish your skin, but the manufacturer won’t have added anything to alter or tamper with this natural fragrance, and you’ll generally find that the ingredients list is free of things like benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, ethyl acetate or methylene chloride.
Our very own fragrance-free dry shampoo as a great example. Formulated to play nice with delicate or sensitive skin, it’ll soak up unwanted oils and leave your hair with a wonderfully fluffy texture but it doesn't contain any fragrance chemicals. Or chemicals that are designed to mask the scent of its active ingredients.
And that’s important for a number of reasons. Firstly, because some people are actually allergic (or sensitive) to some of the more common fragrance chemicals, which means that using a regular or run-of-the-mill dry shampoo could bring them out in a nasty rash; trigger a migraine or even make it hard to breathe.
There are even reports of people who suffer from life-threatening anaphylactic shocks every time they breathe in a fragrance chemical.
But what if you’re not allergic to these chemicals? Surely that means that you can go on using scented dry shampoo as normal - in much the same way that people who aren’t lactose intolerant can eat cheese, or the way that people who don’t have celiac disease can happily eat bread?
Well, no. Unfortunately not, because we’re starting to discover that a lot of commonly-used scent chemicals have some pretty unpleasant side effects - especially when they’re inhaled or allowed to remain in close contact with your scalp.
Benzophenone is a great example. This chemical is commonly found in dry shampoos because it can enhance or preserve the scent of certain botanicals, but it’s also known to damage your liver, disrupt your endocrine system and increase your risk of developing several cancers. Studies also show that the tiniest amounts of benzophenone can build up in your tissues over time, and this isn’t even the worst of the lot.
So if you’re still on the fence about opting for a fragrance free dry shampoo, here’s 3 reasons why we think you should take the plunge. Preferably today!
Reason #1: It’s better for your skin. Especially your scalp
Fragrance chemicals are often linked to eczema. Now, you might be reading this and thinking “ I don’t have eczema so that doesn't matter to me” but eczema isn’t just the red, itchy rash that you see in adverts and skincare guides.
Eczema is actually a very common skin condition that causes a (wide) variety of different symptoms; from scaly or thick skin, to itchy bumps called hives or fluid-filled blisters that crust over when they’re popped.
Eczema can also make the skin on your scalp flakey and dry, which is probably one of the more common presentations
And if you’re wondering just how widespread eczema is, the American Journal of Managed Care say that approximately 7.2% of adults in the US have it, although many cases do go unnoticed and undiagnosed.
Now, Eczema is often genetic but there are some things you can do to treat the condition or manage a flare-up. Moisturizing is a good example, although it is important to make sure that you use a moisturizer that’s designed for sensitive or damaged skin, because everyday moisturizers can actually irritate eczema-prone skin.
Changing your diet can also help, especially if you eat a lot of inflammatory foods or find that milk, nuts and egg seem to trigger your eczema
But cutting out chemical irritants is probably the best way to reduce your symptoms, and Youtube’s Dr. Dray notes that switching to fragrance free beauty products is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
This is because fragrance-free beauty products - like our very own dry shampoo - are often designed for people with severe allergies, which means that they’re 100% free of the chemicals that often cause allergy-type reactions.
They’re made to meet much higher standards, and they’re formulated to deliver fantastic results without triggering an immune response, which means that they’re also very gentle on eczema-prone skin.
So if you’ve ever noticed yourself scratching at your scalp, make the switch. You’ll thank us for it later!
Reason #2: Your lungs will thank you for it
We know that fragrance chemicals are bad for your lungs. Studies show that inhaling trace amounts of limonene, linalool and 1,4-dichlorobenzene can damage the soft tissues that facilitate oxygen exchange -reducing your lung function by 4 - 10%
Now, it is worth noting that these studies are limited to the chemicals mentioned above, which does mean that other fragrance chemicals may be much safer.
But that doesn't really matter, because manufacturers are under no obligation to disclose the exact makeup or nature of their ‘proprietary’ fragrance compounds. You’ll see ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ listed on the ingredients list but it’s impossible to tell whether any of the aforementioned-nasties are present
Which means that ultimately, the only safe thing to do is to avoid fragrances entirely, and start using products like our fragrance free dry shampoo.
Reason #3: It won’t interfere with your endocrine system
Your endocrine system is a complex network of glands that governs the production of hormones - chemical messengers that allow your body to regulate everything from your growth and development, right through to your mood, your reproductive processes and your sleep/wake cycle.
Unfortunately, a lot of fragrance chemicals can mimic some of your body’s natural hormones; tricking your body into thinking that it’s produced too much (or too little) of a certain chemical, and wreaking havoc with a lot of natural processes.
Studies are now linking fragrance chemicals with certain types of breast cancer; birth defects and immune problems.
And yes, it’s true that some of these chemicals have only been studied at high concentrations. And that most fragrances only contain trace amounts. But we also know that a lot of these hormone-mimicking chemicals can build up in your tissues and honestly, why take the risk? We know that they’re toxic and while industry apologists will often argue that they’re less risky than the science suggests, we’ll always advocate for living the cleanest, most chemical-free life you can manage.
Reason #4: It’ll revolutionize your routine
We think our fragrance free dry shampoo is the bee’s knees. And yes, we may be a little biased but there’s no arguing with our legion of fans, advocates and devotees.
This may look like a product that’s made for a very specific and select group of people (namely people with severe fragrance allergies). But we spent a lot of time and effort developing a product that would work for everyone’s hair: Something that would create tons of texture, and soak up excess grease in a matter of seconds. A product that’d breathe fresh life into tired hair and honestly? We’re really proud of the result. Easy to apply and use, it’s as effective as your everyday favorite. Without any of the nasty side effects.