The Skincare Ingredient You'll Want To Skip On For Winter Weather

There's nothing worse than the feeling of irritated and flaky skin, especially when you put in the work to achieve a dewy, dreamy look. The winter weather elements can be tough. With strong winds and cold dry air, it can often seem like your skin is more sensitive than ever. According to Medical News Today, the chill and frigid temperatures during the winter are a common cause of dry skin and irritation.

Keeping a consistent routine at home throughout the winter is essential to protecting your skin barrier, and giving your body some much-needed moisture. There's no better feeling than pampering yourself with a honey face mask or floral-scented oils for your self-care routine, but you could be unknowingly irritating your skin. Everyone loves a deliciously-scented product, but the ingredient has stirred up a lot of debate in the beauty community on whether or not it should be used in the wintertime.

Why should fragrance be avoided?

Fragrances are often linked to eczema and are also a cause of skin irritation, inflammation, redness, flaking, and itching — especially for those with sensitive skin. Dr. Alison Ehrlich, the Director of Clinical Research of the Department of Dermatology at George Washington University, tells The Dermatology Times, "The frequency of sensitization to fragrance allergens is seen in 1% to 2% of the general population and in 8% to 15% of contact dermatitis patients."

Both natural fragrances and synthetic ones like those in essential oils or those derived from plants can cause irritation, so it's best to completely remove fragranced products from your skincare routine and switch to those that are fragrance-free instead. It's difficult to tell whether fragrance will cause irritation to your skin as anyone can develop an allergy or sensitivity to a staple of theirs that's been part of their routine for years. If you find yourself suffering from sensitive skin or have noticed your skin is more inflamed lately, it might be time to cut the popular ingredient out and make the switch to fragrance-free.

Skincare products to use instead

If you're on the hunt for skincare brands that are free of fragrances, you might have a hard time finding the right products. Due to a lack of regulations, brands aren't forced to disclose individual fragrant ingredients to consumers and can put "fragrance" or "parfum" on their ingredients list freely (via Refinery29). Clean beauty has become a popular label for brands to use on their products to promote healthier ingredients, but "clean fragrance" might not be the best option. Dr. Camille H-Verovic, a New York dermatologist, tells Nylon, "In reality, consumers should be aware that there are no standardized or regulatory guidelines to validate 'clean fragrance' as an official trustworthy cosmetic label."

You'll want to keep an eye out for "fragrance-free" products. While products that are listed as "unscented" can still contain chemicals that mask other odors, anything labeled "fragrance-free" doesn't have ingredients like that. Don't be fooled by the scent of a product and always read the labels carefully. Anything with a hypoallergenic label can also be a great swap to make.