Fragrance Free

Label Lingo

Brian Underwood November 26, 2010

It's estimated that 5.72 million people in the U.S. are allergic to fragrance. If you're one of them, you may think buying a product labeled unscented or fragrance-free puts you in the clear. Not necessarily. According to the FDA, these terms have no legal definition and mean nothing more than that a product has no perceptible odor. A better bet: Have your dermatologist do a patch test to see which chemicals affect you. Then scour ingredient lists to avoid them. If a label simply says "fragrance," call the manufacturer for a detailed listing. Or apply a small amount to the bend of your arm twice daily for a week to make sure the product won't harm your skin before you rub it all over.



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