No question: we all love good smells. The smell of fresh rolls at the bakery, the air after a warm summer rain, the aroma of a freshly brewed coffee in the morning... In short: without smells, we are missing something in life.
The pleasure of good smells is also used purposefully in the cosmetics industry: many manufacturers use fragrances and perfumes to give their products a very specific scent – and thus cleverly entice us to buy them. Another useful side effect of fragrances is that they often mask the unpleasant odours of certain active ingredients.
But is it actually a good idea to choose products according to their scent? What is behind the seductive scents and why should you give fragrances a wide berth? That's what we're going to explain to you today.
How does the fragrance get into your care product?
Whether with a gentle almond scent, exotic coconut aroma or fruity strawberry note: the choice of care and cosmetic products is large – and we ourselves decide which scent we want to wrap our bodies in. But what exactly gives our body lotion or sun cream that specific smell? Exactly: it is the fragrances used that determine the smell of the product.
Roughly speaking, we distinguish between synthetic and natural fragrances:
Natural fragrances have a plant or animal origin, are obtained from natural raw materials such as flowers, leaves, wood or roots and are often found in natural cosmetics. They are also essential components of essential oils, which, however, themselves consist of chemical compounds and are therefore not considered "natural".
Synthetic fragrances, which are predominantly found in conventional cosmetics, have their origin in the laboratory. Here we know nature-identical fragrances, which are chemically produced but are oriented towards natural fragrances, and fully synthetic fragrances, which are completely created in the laboratory and are characterised above all by a long shelf life. Synthetic fragrances are difficult to degrade and can accumulate in the environment as well as in animals and humans.
By the way: even if the name suggests it, natural fragrances are not necessarily "better" or better tolerated than synthetic ones – for sensitive skin, all fragrances pose a risk of developing allergies, irritations and intolerances. But more on that in a moment.
Caution, allergy risk: Why fragrances are problematic
Fragrances in skin care products do not have a caring effect on the skin, but at first glance they still seem to be a good thing: They envelop us, often for many hours, in the fragrance of our choice, accompanying us through the day and making us feel fresh.
But now comes the other side of the coin: because fragrances and perfumes can trigger intolerances, irritations or allergies, especially on sensitive skin.
This is what it looks like: Sensitive skin that is repeatedly exposed to a certain allergen reacts (delayed after a few hours or even days) with redness, pustules or itching, often even with headaches or shortness of breath. This means that the body becomes sensitised, the immune system classifies the actually harmless fragrance as dangerous - and develops a contact allergy that lasts a lifetime.
And this happens quite often: In Germany alone, the skin of more than one million people reacts to certain fragrances with pimples, redness or pustules. This puts fragrances in second place behind nickel as the most common cause of contact allergies. Regardless of whether the fragrances are of natural or synthetic origin.
According to a study by the Federal Environment Agency, fragrances can also cause allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or coughing in rare cases when inhaled.
Particularly strong allergens include:
Evernia Prunastri Extract (oak moss extract)
For us these are all good enough reasons to completely do without fragrances in care and cosmetics. And we newkee have consistently pursued this idea.
Manuel: "When we talk about our ingredients, it's because we are special, but we still keep it simple: We are microplastic-free, we are vegan – and we are fragrance-free, of course. That was very important to us."
Caution with products that remain on the skin
Fragrances are not equally dangerous everywhere: especially with facial care products that remain on the skin, one should be careful with perfumes. This is because the skin on the face is usually particularly stressed and sensitive due to the many external environmental influences – as a result, the natural skin barrier is often stressed and reacts particularly sensitively to potential allergens.
Products such as shampoo or shower gel, which are washed off the body after only a short time, pose less of a threat – but perfumes and fragrances do not offer the skin any added value in terms of care. So why not do without them directly?
Well hidden: Which fragrances must be declared
The world of fragrances is huge: there are between 2,500 and 3,000 fragrances, most of which are combined with each other in a targeted manner by manufacturers – this results in countless possibilities to give care and cosmetic products a characteristic scent.
And how do you find out exactly which substances are in your product? In the worst case, unfortunately, you can't: often the packaging only says "perfume", "aroma" or "fragrance". This is because the fragrances are usually contained in such low concentrations in the product that they do not have to be indicated at all. In drastic terms, this means that we have no chance of finding out which fragrances are in our product - a reason to lose confidence in the manufacturer and the product.
Angie: "It's important for me to have confidence in the products I wear on my skin every day. And I personally never compromise on that, because if something is on my skin, I have to stand behind it one hundred percent. With newkee, I'm 100% confident that it's exactly what my skin needs."
The good news is that for some years now, manufacturers in the European Union have been obliged to specifically name certain fragrances in the list of ingredients of their products as soon as they exceed a certain concentration.
These are currently fragrances that have proven to be particularly allergenic in the past.
By the way: Not only in conventional cosmetics and skincare, but also in pure natural cosmetics, which are often praised for their particularly skin-friendly composition, numerous fragrances are found in many cases – often in the form of coumarin, citral or linalool. Here, too, it is worth taking a look at the ingredients.
No cheating, no compromise: No fragrances at newkee
And now comes the good news: at newkee you will not find any fragrances or perfumes. Because we have decided to do without fragrances in our products - as well as all dyes and preservatives according to the cosmetics ordinance.
We are sure that your own personal body odour is always the best – and you certainly don't need perfume to feel fresh.
Manuel: "Because I used to have a lot to do with allergies myself, it was important to me that our products are 100% fragrance-free. Especially in the cubicle, it is also important to me that I am not exposed to 1000 fragrances. With newkee it doesn't smell like many different fragrances, but we are showered, we feel fresh and can thus start the second session with new energy."