Many product labels use the generic term “fragrance,” but consumers are typically not aware of the chemicals that may be included under this umbrella term. Turns out that 3,194 chemicals are currently classified as “fragrance” on the labels of common products, such as soaps, lotions, shaving creams and hair care products. And just as the chemicals in a nicotine or birth control patches penetrate the skin to deliver a substance, many of the chemicals from these products readily penetrate your skin’s surface and enter your bloodstream.
As reported on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Enviroblog last year, the the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) published a list of the chemical ingredients that are currently hiding behind the ingredient “fragrance.” And of these 3,194 chemicals, (up from 3,163 when the EWG covered the story last year), 25 scored a “10” on the hazard scale in the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database:
Nano titanium dioxide
Nano zinc oxide (20-60nm)
PEG-3 Sorbitan oleate
PEG-6 Sorbitan oleate