The Difference Between Essential Oils & Synthetic Fragrance

Smell is a wonderfully powerful sense. It can impact our mood or recall a long-dormant memory. It can be evocative or soothing, attractive or intriguing. That’s why so many beauty products are infused with fragrance… we’re drawn to enchanting aromas. But beauty products are not naturally fragrant, so scent is added in one of two primary ways: through essential oils or synthetic fragrance.

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Essential oils are natural products extracted from plants. They contain aromatic properties, and some have added benefits to address common skin issues. That is why we only feature scented beauty products with essential oils on

On the other hand, synthetic fragrances are often a blend of various chemical compounds, many of which are common allergens or have links to hormone disruption. And to make matters even worse, most manufacturers’ formulations are treated as trade secrets. If the manufacturers are left in the dark about which chemicals are used to make up their signature fragrances, so are you.

Natural Me Beauty™ and Beautycounter™ believe you should know exactly what’s in your personal care products, and are committed to disclosing all fragrance components.

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) of 1967 requires companies to list a product’s ingredients, but cannot force them to disclose trade secrets. This dubious distinction allows companies to simply use “fragrance” or “parfum” as a placeholder for any combination of ingredients used in formulations. Recently, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) published a list of nearly 3000 known ingredients that can go unreported to consumers because of this loophole.

The Story Behind Beautycounter™ Essential Oils

Beautycounter™ handpicks every ingredient that goes into their products using their industry-leading screening and testing procedures. They apply this same rigorous selection process to every fragrance additive, including essential oils.

They use responsibly sourced extracts that have been cold pressed (a method of extracting oil without applying heat), steam distilled (a process that uses hot steam to extract aromatic molecules) and CO2 (a method that uses pressurized carbon dioxide extraction). And they only source essential oils from trusted suppliers. That means their cosmetics are scented with natural ingredients instead of synthetic fragrances with unknown components.

At Natural Me Beauty™ our mission with Beautycounter™ is to get safer beauty products into the hands of everyone. That’s why they’ll never use ‘trade secret’ formulations to avoid disclosing product ingredients. Transparency, education and advocacy are key to creating a healthier beauty industry, which means sidestepping loopholes instead of exploiting them. So, we’re always happy to share our Ingredient Lists because we want to ensure that it’s easy to purchase the best, healthiest products for you.

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