Many of us have become more conscious about what we put on our bodies. We now understand that what we slather on our skin does indeed gets absorbed. This is the whole premise of using various kinds of patches, such as contraceptives, hormonal balancing products and nicotine patches.
Many of us have become more savvy consumers; we are no longer willing to buy products without doing some research. We now realize the importance of educating ourselves about the properties of skin care ingredients. Gone are the days of mindlessly slathering on creams and lotions without a thought as to whether or not a product is safe. Walk into almost any drug store these days and you will find a myriad of "natural" products that were previously only found in health food stores. Even huge companies that have become household names have jumped on the "natural" bandwagon by sprinkling a few botanical extracts into their products.
While finding more naturally based products is more convenient than ever, a challenge still exists for those with sensitive skin, or for individuals who simply prefer fragrance free products. Have you noticed how many natural skin care companies routinely use essential oils in their products? It is not that they are inherently bad, but they can pose a problem for some, particularly on the face since where skin may be more sensitive.
Essential oils are distilled from the aromatic parts of a plant, such as the flowers, leaves, roots and barks, and has been used for aromatherapy since antiquity. Its main purpose is to improve psychological and physical well-being through scent. Essential oils have been used to treat colds, migraine headaches, indigestion, etc.
Take a whiff of some of the face creams found in major health food outlets; some smell predominately of lavender, others have a lingering scent of peppermint, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil. A single product could contain several essential oils. So, why do these companies rely so heavily on essential oils? One of the main purposes is to add a "natural" fragrance to the product. Another reason is that essential oils may provide benefits for the skin. For example, some may help to control oily skin, while others may be more beneficial for dry skin.
However, some essential oils are known sensitizers. For example, lavender can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Other essential oils can cause irritation, rashes, blotches or itchy skin. Stronger essential oils which may be problematic for some sensitive skin types include peppermint, menthol, and eucalyptus and tea tree oil. Hydrosols, which are less concentrated than full strength essential oils, may be more suitable for sensitive skin. These include rose hydrosol and lavender hydrosol. While these products still contain a "natural" fragrance, they may be gentler on the skin.
We should always have choices when it comes to purchasing quality skin care. And while many people do like scented products, there seems to be a growing segment of the skin care market that prefers fragrance free skin care.