Scented products remain popular – but that vanilla fragrance may not be as sweet as you think. “Fragrance” on a product label could be covering dozens or even hundreds of chemicals under the guise of a trade secret. Unfortunately, some of these secret ingredients can trigger asthma – and worse.

With this in mind, it’s important to be careful with fragrance in promotional personal care products, especially with those intended for health care settings or for children. It’s also worth noting that over one-third of respondents to a nationwide survey said they had experienced headaches or respiratory difficulties when exposed to fragranced products – and more than half said they would prefer that workplaces, health care facilities, hotels and airplanes were fragrance-free.

Studies have shown that fragranced products can contain harmful chemicals, such as benzene and phthalates, that have been linked to adverse health effects such as headaches, itching, dizziness and coughing. But there is no law in the U.S. (unlike Europe) preventing the use of these chemicals in products or requiring itemized disclosure when they are present. Even products labeled “green” or “organic” can contain respiratory irritants.

For distributors working with healthcare, wellness and child-centered organizations, touting the health benefits of fragrance-free promo items such as hand sanitizer or lip gloss can help you establish that you are looking out for the health of your clients and their customers.

As consumers grow more aware of “forever chemicals” like PFAS, getting ahead of these concerns – and keeping up with legislation like California’s Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, passed in September 2020, which bans 24 specific chemicals in personal care products – will help you provide your clients and their customers with healthier products and build your reputation as a forward-thinking marketing partner.

Product Spotlight

This light and creamy Unscented Hand & Body Lotion is made in the USA and suitable for people with fragrance allergies and fragrance-free environments, and the 2-oz. press-top bottle is ideal for kitting or travel. FDA compliant. Supplier HPC Global offers a line of health-minded items, including hand sanitizer, first aid kits, lip balm and more.
HPC Global / PPAI 113506, S3 /