‘Parfum’: the sweet-smelling disguise that hides a multitude of sins

Last week’s ‘How to Read a Cosmetics Ingredients List’ post briefly touched on Parfum, but as many of you sensitive-skinned beauties will know it’s not an ingredient to gloss over.

‘Parfum’ is a bridging term for the countless cosmetic ingredients that ostensibly contribute to a product’s unique scent.

While these ingredients may include essential oils and synthetic fragrance, they can also legally include ingredients that have nothing at all to do with aroma, such as phthalates and preservatives.

Shockingly, current UK cosmetic legislation allows over 200 different chemicals to be covered by the listing ‘Parfum’.

The term itself was originally created to protect perfumery scent formulations, which were considered a closely guarded trade secret.

These days however it has become more of a labelling ‘loophole’, through which manufacturers can hide some of their potentially controversial or irritating ingredients.

No matter why a brand may choose to use them, as a sensitive skin sufferer I would never buy a product with the words ‘parfum’ or ‘fragrance’ on the ingredients list.

This is simply because I can’t be 100% sure what it contains and whether I may or may not be allergic to it.

In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, you will never find ‘parfum’ on a Pai product.

Instead we choose to list each and every ingredient in plain English so you know exactly what’s in the bottle and are able to make an informed buying decision.

What do you think? Is ‘parfum’ a misleading term, or simply a logical way of keeping ingredients lists short?

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