Wonder Balm from Vemel

Did you know fragrance is the only ingredient protected by law to not have to be disclosed? This is because companies, whether it be in skincare, hair care, candles, pretty much any product with a scent, are allowed to hide the ingredients used under the guise of it being a ‘trade secret’. And when it comes to skincare, products we not only apply to our skin, but have been proven to be present within our bodies far beyond just the outer layers of our skin, not having this information can be pretty detrimental to the health of our skin and body. The freedom of protection when it comes to synthetic fragrance means it’s no surprise to find that cheap yet toxic ingredients are being put in products just to draw in the consumer. Toxins like benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene and phthalates all feature heavily in skincare products to merely enhance the appeal through fragrance, whilst undermining the quality of the product itself. The good news is there are alternatives, and we at Vemel are committed to doing things differently.

Uncovering What Hides Behind Scent

All too often fragrance is used to cover the smell of less appealing synthetic ingredients, and our skin is bearing the brunt of it. Numerous studies have shed light on the consequences of consistent exposure to fragranced skincare products. Because despite what we’re told, just because the skin does not immediately react badly to something, does not mean it isn’t reacting badly. Slow and steady exposure has been proven to lead to increased reactivity, with the skin becoming more prone to irritation over time. In fact, a study by Cynthia Amerongen (2021) on Contact Dermatitis found not only are women significantly more exposed to fragrance (from fragranced skin and hair care products used day to day, to perfume and candles) than men, but ‘scented leave‐on products, may enhance the prevalence of contact allergy to fragrances’. You might be wondering how and why slow exposure leads to reactivity. Well, Amerongen goes on to explain that ‘scented products contain low‐molecular‐weight chemicals that may have the potency to induce skin sensitization and subsequently, at sufficient exposure levels, cause allergic contact dermatitis’. So it’s no surprise that whilst the majority of customers say they have been using fragrance in skincare for many years without problems, slow exposure explains why we are facing a global pandemic in skin sensitivities.

A Universal Experience

When it comes to skin sensitivity and fragrance, this issues applies to any and every age, and is not limited to just the obviously vulnerable categories like delicate baby skin. Whilst we’re all used to, and mostly seek out fragrance-free products for our little ones, the impact on teenagers hormonal skin, mature skin and every age in between is also significant. For teenagers already dealing with a change in hormones, adding fragranced skincare into the mix can lead to acne, or exacerbate any already active acne. For mature skin, the damage of fragrance in skincare can be increased irritation and dehydration in the skin, giving an overall dull look to the complexion. And while these visible changes might not happen immediately after application, over time they can appear. Dermatologist Dr Sophie Shotter explains that ‘even if you think that your skin isn’t reacting to a fragranced product, it will still be causing inflammation on a cellular level. You may not notice these changes immediately, but over time they will start to appear. It’s similar to what happens if you don’t wear sunscreen when you are younger – years later sunspots, pigmentation and other skin damage starts to appear’. Which is why at Vemel, we make no compromises in our ethos – to provide high quality, waterless products that are not only free of synthetic fragrance, but also essential oils, which can be just as damaging. This is a stance we have held since the inception of Vemel, and one that will remain. Because there is simply no justification for subpar product that risks the health of the skin. When there are alternatives, even if they are more costly to manufacture, it is our responsibility to provide customers with products that do what they say they will. Which is why in many of our products, you’ll find subtle notes of natural scent, all completely derived from our earth to make your skincare routine that little bit more enjoyable. Whether it’s our Marigold Nectar that will indulge your senses in delicate swirls of floral notes, Vitamin Rich Face Butter delicately scented with sweet  Sea Buckthorn,  Advanced Protective Serum with the delicate aroma of plum kernel and amaranth, or our greatest scent breakthrough thus far, our Winter Spiced Vanilla Bath Oil which leaves your bath with the gorgeous scent of winter spiced vanilla – each and every product is scented only with raw, natural ingredients so your skin is always put first. Not only is your skin something we aren’t willing to compromise on, the impact synthetic fragrances can have on our planet is not something we are willing to budge on either.

How Scent Impacts Our Planet 

The production and disposal of synthetic fragrances contribute significantly to environmental degradation. Firstly, the manufacturing process involves the use of various chemicals, some of which can be harmful to the environment. The extraction and synthesis of fragrance compounds can create pollutants which find their way into air and water sources, ultimately impacting ecosystems and wildlife. When we then use products containing synthetic fragrance, these fragrance chemicals are sent down the drain as we shower or wash our faces, allowing the chemicals to enter water systems, and water bodies – which can disrupt aquatic ecosystems, affecting the health of marine life. Being mindful of our carbon footprint and overall environmental impact is our responsibility, not only as a brand, but as a human. Which is another reason we not only eliminate the use of synthetic fragrance, but also opt for more environmentally conscious practices. For instance our choice to use CO2 extraction when extracting our ingredients both enhances the quality of our product, but also CO2 extraction is a clean technology that mitigates environmental issues and enhances extraction yields – making it the obvious choice for skincare with a conscience.

Ultimately, we believe our planet and our skin are always in sync – when one is being looked after, so is the other.

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