NoahJenda needs to know…I’ve been looking for a good unscented body wash, and recently decided to try Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash. The front of the bottle clearly labels it as “unscented” so I decided to buy some. I looked quickly at the ingredients, but didn’t read them closely enough in the store. When I showered with it that night, I noticed that it did not seem to be unscented but had a light, perfumed smell. Checking the ingredients carefully, I was discouraged to see “fragrance” listed. I wrote to Dove and asked them why something labeled as “unscented” had “fragrance” listed among the ingredients. This was their reply: ”In the personal care industry, an unscented product can contain a masking fragrance to mask the aroma of the ingredients.” How does a “masking fragrance” work? My nose tells me it covers up the aroma of the ingredients with its own fragrance. How that can be considered “unscented” seems like a specious argument to me.
The Beauty Brains respond:
What’s the difference between unscented and fragrance free? We were always that it taught like this:
- Unscented is designed to have a neutral scent but the product may contain fragrance.
- Fragrance free, on the other hand, can not contain any compounded fragrances. (In other words, fragrance can not appear on the ingredient list.)
However, it is our understanding that both unscented and fragrance free products can contain “masking agents” which can be a component of a fragrance (an example is ethylene brassylate) or essential oils (such as rose oil or lavender) as long as those additives have are not there for the sole purpose of making the product smell good.
To put it another way, you can have a fragrance free product that smells like roses because it contains rose oil because of its alleged antioxidant properties. But that’s not really a “fragrance.” Confusing? You betcha!
Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash Ingredients
Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil or Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Lauric Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Sodium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Tallow Acid or Palmitic Acid, Sodium Isethionate, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylisothiazolinone, Etidronic Acid, Titanium Dioxide.
Image credit: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/
NoahJenda (that’s a clever screen name!) is looking for a truly fragrance free body wash. If you know of one, help him out by leaving a comment.