What is the Difference Between Natural Fragrance and Added Fragrance in Baby Products?
May 15, 2024

What is the Difference Between Natural Fragrance and Added Fragrance in Baby Products?

When it comes to choosing baby products, from lotions and shampoos to baby wipes and creams, parents are faced with a plethora of choices. One aspect that often prompts questions is the difference between natural fragrances and added (or artificial) fragrances in these products. Once you understand these differences, you will be able to make informed decisions for your baby's health and well-being. 

What Are Natural Fragrances? 

Natural fragrances in products for infants are derived from natural sources, such as plants, flowers, and fruits. These fragrances are obtained through cold pressing, distillation, or extraction. Because they come from natural sources, they often carry the intrinsic benefits of their original plants, such as calming or soothing properties. 

Benefits of Natural Fragrances: 

  • Gentle on Skin:

    For babies with sensitive skin, natural fragrances are less likely to irritate compared to synthetic alternatives. 
  • Therapeutic Properties:

    Some natural fragrances offer therapeutic benefits, like lavender, which is known for its calming effect. 


  • Allergies:

    Some babies may be allergic to natural ingredients. It's important to monitor for any adverse reactions. 

What Are Added (Artificial) Fragrances? 

Added or artificial fragrances are chemically created scents designed to mimic natural smells or to create entirely new scents. These fragrances are formulated in labs and can be composed of various chemicals. 

Benefits of Added Fragrances: 

  • Consistency:

    Products with artificial fragrances maintain the same scent over time, providing consistency across batches. 
  • Diversity of Scents:

    Artificial fragrances can create a wide range of scents that might not be achievable with natural ingredients alone. 


  • Skin Sensitivity:

    Synthetic fragrances are more likely to irritate sensitive skin, causing reactions such as rashes or redness. 
  • Health Concerns:

    Some studies suggest that certain chemicals in artificial fragrances could have negative health effects over the long term, though more research is needed. 

Making the Right Choice for Your Baby 

When deciding between baby products with natural or added fragrances, consider the following tips: 

  1. Know Your Baby's Skin:

    If your baby has sensitive skin, opting for fragrance-free or naturally scented products might be the best choice. 
  2. Read Labels Carefully:

    Look for products that specify "natural fragrance" or "fragrance-free" if you wish to avoid synthetic scents. 
  3. Patch Test:

    Before you use any new product on your baby, do a patch test by applying a small amount on their arm or leg to check for any adverse reactions. 
  4. Consult a Paediatrician:

    If in doubt, consulting with your child's paediatrician can provide personalized advice based on your baby's specific health and skin needs. 

Whether you choose baby products with natural fragrances, added fragrances, or no fragrances at all depends on your preferences and your baby's skin sensitivity. Being informed and cautious can help ensure that your choices support your baby's health and happiness. 


Is Fragrance Safe for My Baby? 

When it comes to the safety of fragrances in baby products, the answer is not entirely straightforward. Fragrance safety depends on several factors, including the source of the fragrance (natural vs. synthetic), the specific ingredients, and your baby's skin sensitivity. Both natural and synthetic scents may cause skin irritation or allergic responses in some newborns. The best approach is to choose products formulated specifically for infants, as these are typically tested for sensitivity and are less likely to contain harsh chemicals. Additionally, choosing fragrance-free products with mild fragrances can be a safer choice, especially for babies with sensitive skin or known allergies. Always conduct a patch test on new baby products and check with a healthcare expert if you have any concerns about your baby's skin responses. 

Is Natural Fragrance Better Than Synthetic Fragrance? 

The term "better" can be subjective and varies depending on what factors you consider most important. Natural fragrances in baby products often come directly from ingredients that inherently have pleasant scents. For example, an organic rose water uses rose petals as its fragrance. This means the aroma you experience comes directly from the natural ingredient itself, without adding isolated or synthetic fragrance compounds. These fragrances are perceived as closer to nature and potentially safer due to their organic origins.  

On the other hand, synthetic fragrances offer consistency and longevity of scent but might contain chemicals that concern some parents. They can be less expensive and provide a wider range of scents, including those that cannot be derived naturally. Whether natural fragrance is better than synthetic depends on individual preferences and your baby's skin sensitivity. 

What Does It Mean When a Product Says Natural Fragrance? 

When a product labels its fragrance as "natural," it is derived from natural sources such as plants, flowers, fruits, or essential oils. These ingredients are obtained through methods like distillation, expression, or extraction without the addition of synthetic chemicals to modify the scent.  

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