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“Fragrance-free” products

The official website of the New Zealand dermatologist’s association has this to say about “fragrance free” products:

“Be wary of product that are labeled “fragrance free” or “unscented” as these terms may not necessarily mean they do not contained fragrance chemicals, they just imply the product has no perceptible odour. These products may contain a masking fragrance that is used to cover up the odour of the other ingredients.

Note that clothes washed in scented laundry detergent can be a problem with prolonged skin contact of the garment in the presence of moisture and heat. It would be best to use fragrance-free laundry detergent.”


Some products are advertised as "fragrance-free" or "unscented", but a close look at the ingredients will reveal a "masking agent" that may be as bad for our health as fragrance.  (The basic ingredients of many products - various oils and solvents -  aren't not very good-smelling, so to make them attractive to consumers the smell of the ingredients has to be masked in one way or another.)

The only way to be sure whether a product contains any dubious ingredients is to read the label.  

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