What are fragrances?
One of the first things you notice about any cosmetics product is their unique smell. Fragrances give skincare and other products their pleasant and very characteristic odor.
Every fragrance is a characteristic blend of different substances and scents – the average fragrance contains 30-50 fragrance ingredients. Fragrance ingredients are natural or synthetic perfumes that can be used individually but are usually combined with others to form a specific fragrance. Natural scent compounds are derived from plants (e.g. essential oils) and/or other natural sources while synthetic ones are created in the lab. However, fragrances are usually mixtures of synthetic and natural ingredients.
Numerous studies show that fragrances increase our well-being and have a positive effect on our minds. Depending on the composition, they can have, for example, a calming or energizing effect. Fragrances make cosmetics (and many other products) smell good and distinctive: They impart pleasant odor, mask the smell of some effective but not nice smelling ingredients, enhance the experience of using the product and help us to express our individuality.
How NIVEA uses fragrances
NIVEA uses fragrances in most of our products. Our fragrances are carefully composed of natural and synthetic ingredients. In line with our principle not to put anything in our products that doesn’t have to be there, we use fragrances in a very controlled manner. To make sure that every fragrance we use is safe and stable, we have created a special list which defines maximum quantities for certain fragrance ingredients and which provides other binding requirements to ensure quality and safety of all our fragrances, going far beyond existing legal requirements. This so-called restriction list for fragrances applies to every one of our fragrance suppliers.
As all other mixtures of substances, also fragrances may sensitize the skin as they contain many different ingredients. Whether these ingredients are natural, derived from natural sources, or synthetic makes little difference. However, this does not mean that persons with sensitive skin should not use NIVEA products containing fragrances! We only use perfumes that exhibit no relevant allergy potential and take great care to monitor the fragrances in our products. Every ingredient we use, including our fragrances has to meet our strict skin tolerability criteria.
While fragrances are very tolerable for most people, it is estimated that 1- 2 percent of the population shows allergic responses to certain fragrance ingredients. This applies to both synthetic and natural ingredients. The European Cosmetics regulation lists 26 substances associated with allergic reactions. If a cosmetics product contains any of these substances above certain limits, they must be declared on the packaging. This disclosure helps you to avoid ingredients you may be sensitized to. If you ever experience allergy symptoms, you should ask your doctor to perform an allergy test. You can thus pinpoint the scent you are allergic to and need not avoid all products with fragrance.