Five Reasons to Avoid Fragrance in Your New Mama Skincare Routine
We’ve discussed how important it is to avoid fragrance during pregnancy, but did you know it can be just as important to choose fragrance free products as a newly postpartum mama as well?
Fragrances can contain harmful substances that may have detrimental effects on our health. Some common fragrance ingredients, such as phthalates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), have been linked to hormone disruption, reproductive health issues, respiratory problems, allergies, and skin irritations. Unfortunately, these ingredients are often undisclosed on product labels, making it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions. Phthalates in particular can often be found in various products, including cosmetics, personal care items, and cleaning products.
Fragrance-free products are those that are formulated without any added scents. "It is prudent to avoid unnecessary chemicals or fragrances in cosmetic products, including cleansers, moisturizers, toners, and serums," board certified dermatologist Dr. Amelia Damse suggests. She further recommends looking for products that include natural ingredients that you've heard of before, like coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, and Vitamin E, moisturizing ingredients that are safe for breastfeeding like glycerin, shea butter, and jojoba oil, and non-comedogenic (non acne-causing), gentle, fragrance-free products.
With that in mind, we've created these five reminders as to why you want to avoid synthetic fragrance in your skincare as a new mama, especially when breastfeeding:
1. You’ll Avoid Toxins:
Some skincare products contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin and may pass into breast milk. Even if you aren’t nursing, the close contact you have with your baby means they can be exposed to these toxins during skin to skin contact. Using fragrance-free products helps minimize the risk of exposing your baby to unnecessary chemicals.
2. Your Baby’s Sensitive Skin Might be Irritated by Fragrance:
Fragrances and harsh chemicals in skincare products can irritate your baby's delicate skin when they come into contact with them. Opting for fragrance-free products ensures a gentle touch for your little one.
3. You’ll Reduce the Risk of Skin Irritation for You:
Postpartum skin changes can make your skin more sensitive. Especially if you are breastfeeding, the hormonal changes necessary to make breastmilk can deplete your skin of hydration, leaving it more sensitive. Fragrances and certain ingredients can make this worse and cause discomfort.
4. You’ll Reduce the Risk of Allergic Reactions for You and Your Baby:
Fragrances, artificial dyes, and certain preservatives are common allergens and can be hormone disrupters. Using fragrance-free skincare reduces the likelihood of triggering allergic reactions in both mama and baby.
Hormone disruptors can cause major disturbances in our bodies throughout all stages of life, including prenatal development, puberty, fertility, and menopause.
5. You’ll Ensure Baby’s Acceptance:
Fragrances can interfere with your natural "mommy scent", potentially affecting your baby's ability to recognize and latch onto the breast.
What You Can Do as a Consumer:
Shockingly, a product can legally list "fragrance" as a single ingredient, even though it may consist of a dozen to hundreds of undisclosed chemicals. This lack of transparency makes it challenging for us to know what we're really putting on our skin. As a consumer, you can look for terms such as DBP, DEP, DEHP, and DMP to recognize potential phthalates in products.
An especially amazing resource for moms like us is the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. The database is a way for you, as the consumer, to check the safety of your skincare products and determine whether it poses a threat to you and your baby.
What being Fragrance-Free means for us at Matrescence:
This is why our promise to you, mama, is peace of mind: access to safe, clean, fragrance free and plant-based skincare that can be used at every stage of motherhood. As a proud Environmental Working Group (EWG) partner, our products rank highly in the Skin Deep database.
In fact, our Rose Glow Purifying Cleanser is even EWG Verified on the database, meaning that it meets EWG’s strictest standards for health and safety, avoids any of the ingredients on EWG’s “Unacceptable List” and provides full transparency of ingredients, including fragrance.
There's a long list of things to stress about as a new mom. We make sure what you put on your skin isn't part of that list.