Coming Up Roses

Fragrance Not So Pretty For Your Eyes

Èyes Are The Story products are uniquely fragrance-free. So your nose may detect this fragrance-free scent as off. If your nose questions the almost vegetal smell of our products, that is the neutral scent of our fragrance-free formulations.

Floral, candy or cherry smells are common in most products. Those scents are labeled ‘fragrance’ on an ingredient list. Fragrance should not have any place in eye-safe cosmetics.

A broad term in the beauty industry, 'fragrance' can actually be cocktails comprised of 50-200 chemicals, and is typically a proprietary formulation that we cannot decipher. Alas, we cannot determine the exact ingredients and/or verify if they are eye-safe. These chemical cocktails can also be hormone disruptors (which can wreak havoc on sensitive eyes)! A strong floral, rose, cherry, or perfume-like smell is common in products. So, unfortunately, what smells like a rose, in the case of cosmetics, is not always a rose. In addition to fragrance cocktails, an ingredient used that may smell like roses could be the preservative phenoxyethanol. In fact, a strong rose or perfume-like smell is prevalent among many mascaras sold in drug stores, department stores, and natural food stores.

Our products may be gentle as a rose but won't smell like one!

Phenoxyethanol is a trending preservative found in many beauty products, which is used as an an alternative non–formaldehyde-donating preservative. The use of phenoxyethanol is one of the main ways cosmetic companies get around using parabens to cater to the “natural” and “vegan” markets. Phenoxyethanol is allowed in cosmetics up to a concentration of 1.0% in the US market, which, according to Harvard research* one tenth of this concentration is toxic to our eyes.

Although a seemingly rose-scented, non–formaldehyde-donating preser­vative may sound like a good idea, beware of the thorns. Phenoxyethanol can be an eye irritant with potential organ toxicity. So, what smells like a rose in your tube, in this case, is not a rose, it could be phenoxyethanol.

Keep the roses for your bud vase. Keep fragranced beauty far away from your eyes.

*Wang J, Liu Y, Kam WR, Li Y, Sullivan DA. Toxicity of the cosmetic preservatives parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin on human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Exp Eye Res. 2020;196:108057

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