A program of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

fragrance products

Fragrance

Fragrance, perfumes, and other fragranced cosmetics may contain any number harmful chemicals of concern, including those linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities. To protect yourself, choose brands that are fully transparent about what’s in their fragrance, or choose products without “fragrance” on the ingredient label. Use our Red List of chemicals to avoid so you know what to look for on labels.

Science

BCPP’s 2018 report Right to Know: Exposing Toxic Fragrance Chemicals in Beauty, Personal Care and Cleaning Products found that fragrance chemicals made up most of the chemicals linked to harmful chronic health effects in the beauty and personal care products we tested. Any product containing “fragrance” – a word representing a secret mixture of up to hundreds of ingredients – may contain sensitizers, allergens, respiratory irritants, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals, or environmental toxicants. Even products labeled as unscented may have fragrance added to mask the smell of other ingredients. Consumers looking for fragrance free products have limited options. Hair product choices, in particular, are especially problematic: more than 95% of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products contain fragrance.[1] Without required fragrance ingredient disclosure, consumers can’t choose to avoid problematic ingredients, and researchers and regulators can’t understand the full universe of ingredients being used to formulate cosmetic products.

Read the Report >


[1] Scheman, A., Jacob, S., Katta, R., Nedorost, S., Warshaw, E., Zirwas, M. and Bhinder, M. (2011) Hair products: Trends and Alternatives: Data from the American Contact Alternatives Group. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 4(7), pp. 42- 46.

Campaign

The CSC-authored California Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020 (SB312-Leyva) passed into law, making California the first government in the world to require the public disclosure of hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients.

The CSC-supported Safer Beauty Bill Package in U.S. Congress includes the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act. Because, while California has taken the first step toward ingredient transparency, we all have the right to know what’s in our products. Take action to make beauty and personal care products safer for all!

Take Action >

Products of Concern

  • Fine fragrances and perfumes
  • Personal care products containing fragrance

Chemicals of Concern

Tips

  1. Read Labels: Check ingredient labels to avoid the above chemicals of concern found in body care products.
  2. Simplify: Choose products with simpler ingredient lists and fewer synthetic chemicals. Select products that fully disclose their fragrance ingredients by skipping products with “fragrance” on the label.
  3. Minimalist: Using fewer products is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce your risk by minimizing your exposure to harmful chemicals in cosmetics.
  4. Use an App: Get Clearya or Think Dirty to find out whether products are toxic as you shop.
  5. Look Beyond: Since the beauty industry is largely unregulated, there are no legal standards for personal care products that are labeled “clean,” “pure,” “natural,” or “organic.” Look beyond false marketing claims by reading ingredient labels.
  6. DIY: Many products are easy and fun to make yourself. Plus, you can customize your recipes to match your specific beauty concerns and favorites. Make your own moisturizer, sugar or salt scrub, body oil, and more using simple, organic ingredients.

Explore other products

Looking for a Safer Alternative?​

Use Clearya’s app to find non-toxic products! Clearya alerts you to toxics and helps you find safe products.

clearya

Visit Clearya >

FILTER BY:

Get the Top 20 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid PDF FREE!

Get the Top Toxic Chemicals Found in Black Beauty Products PDF!

Get the Top Toxic Chemicals by Black Beauty Product Category PDF!

spreadsheet icon

Get the Full Red List Spreadsheet!

PDF document icon

Get the Full Red List PDF!

Get the Asthmagens, Allergens, & Irritants PDF!

Get the Emerging & Harmful to the Environment PDF!

Get the Ortho-Phthalates PDF!

Get the Formaldehyde Releaseing Preservative PDF!

Get the PFAS PDF!

Get the Do Not Use Chemicals Linked to Health Outcomes of Greater Concern to Black Women PDF!

Get the Do Not Use Chemicals of Concern for Everone PDF!

user guide icon

Get the User Guide PDF!