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Afbeelding van mensen op het strand

Facts about perfume and the sun

Summer is the season of abundance, and the heat brings out all the scents even stronger and richer. Think of the bursting flowers, the dusty dryness of dry vegetation and sun-burnt soil, or the scent of sun screen on a warm skin after a long day. Perfumes also come more to live in the heat and can really capture those sweet summer memories.

But did you know that UV radiation from the sun in combination with perfume ingredients can irritate your skin? We give tips on how you can optimally and safely enjoy your perfume in the sun.

What is important to know when you go out into the sun wearing perfume?

If you go out in the sun, like on the beach or a sun-drenched terrace, be careful about using perfume. Especially on those parts of the skin that are directly and fully exposed to sunlight. Certain ingredients, that are also used in some perfumes, can cause hypersensitivity to UV light and give permanent pigment spots.

Lavender and citrus essential oils in particular can cause irritation. Even when these ingredients are used for example in skincare such as massage oil. Below we have included information from the Dutch Cosmetics Association about sun and cosmetic use.

How do you use perfume safely?

If you want to enjoy your perfume in the summer, it is best to spray perfume in places that see little to no sun, for example under your clothes or under your long hair, there are even special hair mists. But also think about your shawl, towel, or on clothes. Be careful with delicate fabrics such as silk and non-colorfast fabrics: perfumes can leave stains on them. This way you can enjoy your favorite scent while enjoying the sun.

Pierre Guillaume - Sunsuality

Explore Sunsuality by Pierre Guillaume

Hello summer! Sunsuality by Pierre Guillaume is silky citrus. A very delicate, sunny, citrus fragrance. The Kumquat-Santal accord seems infused with sunlight, which provides a creamy, soft and at the same time fresh scent.

If you love the smell and feel of sun-kissed skin, warmth, sheerness and a relaxed fragrance – this is for you!

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Which products can cause skin irritations when sunbathing?

Personal care products are composed with the utmost care. There is a (very) small chance – every skin reacts differently – that you get a reaction when using a product and go out into the sun. Products that can cause a reaction when used in the sun are medicines, certain ingredients, and certain UV filters in sunscreen. But also certain products against mosquito bites, some essential oils (for example bergamot, orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, lavender), as well as certain plants (such as hogweed, celery, parsley, dill or St. John’s wort), may also cause a reaction. In skincare products, the concentrations of these substances are usually too low to cause skin irritation in combination with sun exposure.

In these cases, it is a photo-allergic reaction, an allergic reaction to a substance if there is also exposure to UV light. As opposed to contact allergy when there is an allergy to the product itself. In addition to the concentration, the chance of a photo-allergic reaction also depends on a large number of other factors, such as solar power, the amount of the product that is applied, the skin of the wearer, and so on.
Regardless of the cause, get out of the sun if your skin reacts strangely, such as a rash, itching, or very rapid burning and consult your doctor if necessary

Source: Nederlandse Cosmetica Vereniging