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"Unscented" Body Care Products Full of Fragrance (and Lies, Apparently)

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Gee, your hair smells…like nothing?

For some, fragranced body care products are less than desirable. Whether it's because of an allergy or sensitivity, an aversion, or just because your own darn body smell is superior (am I just assuming, Brad Pitt?), the "unscented" market is huge. Except that it's not. Not unscented, that is.

According to Women's Voices for the Earth, "unscented" does not mean a product is fragrance-free. "It could mean that there are still fragrance chemicals in there to mask the scent of the other ingredients," writes WVE's Director of Science and Research, Alex Scranton. And that can be a big problem for people with skin sensitivities to chemical fragrances.

The organization lists dozens of "unscented" products that contain fragrance as part of its Secret Scents campaign. And Scranton says, "Companies told us that they don’t need to disclose fragrance ingredients because people who are sensitive to fragrance can just buy unscented products to avoid having reactions," which she says is deceptive and confusing, particularly if the product label says it's unscented or fragrance-free in the first place.

They're also calling on consumers to upload images of secretly scented products to their "No More Stinking Lies Hall of Shame" on Facebook so that they can continue to build the list of products and call out the companies for their misleading claims. The campaign recommends checking deodorants, antiperspirants and hair spray, as those tend to be the most common products mislabeled as unscented.

Scranton listed the following secret scent offenders in her post:

Hair Sprays

Final Net Unscented All Day Hold Hairspray Extra Hold

Aqua Net Professional Hair Spray Unscented 3-Extra Super Hold

Aqua Net Professional Hair Spray Super Hold 2 Unscented

Salon Grafix Unscented Super Hold Shaping Hair Spray 8

Salon Grafix Non-Aerosol Shaping & Volumizing Hair Spray Unscented

Salon Grafix Non-Aerosol Freezing Hair Spray Styling Mist Unscented

Vitalis Maximum Hold Hairspray for Men, Pump, Unscented

Condition 3-in-1 Unscented Hairspray Maximum Hold

Consort For Men Hair Spray Non-Aerosol Extra Hold Unscented

Consort For Men Hair Spray, Extra Hold, Unscented

Finesse Extra Hold Hairspray Unscented

Finesse Touchables Hair Spray Aerosol Unscented Extra Hold

Suave Hairspray Non-Aerosol Max Hold Unscented

Suave Hairspray Aerosol Extreme Hold Unscented

Suave Max Hold Hairspray Unscented

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From the Organic Authority Files

Suave Rave 4X Mega Hairspray Unscented

Rave Hairspray 4x Mega Aerosol Unscented

CVS Hairspray for Men Unscented Extra Hold

L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray Unscented Extra Strong Hold

Vo5 Hair Spray Aerosol Unscented Hard-To-Hold 14 Hour Hold

White Rain Classics Hair Spray Non-Aerosol Extra Hold Unscented

Body Wash

Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash Unscented

Walgreens Sensitive Skin Body Wash, unscented

Salon Selectives Spa Body Wash, Unscented Moisturizing ,Sensitive Skin

CVS Sensitive Skin Body Wash, unscented formula


Dry Idea Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Roll on Unscented

Dry Idea Advanced Dry 24 Hr. Antiperspirant & Deodorant Roll-On Unscented

Dove Antiperspirant & Deodorant Invisible Solid, Unscented for Sensitive Skin

Mitchum Smart Solid Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant, Clinical Performance Stick, Unscented

Sure Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Invisible Solid Unscented

Secret Antiperspirant/Deodorant, Invisible Solid, Unscented

Secret Outlast Antiperspirant/Deodorant Invisible Solid Unscented

Right Guard Sport 3-D Odor Defense Antiperspirant & Deodorant Aerosol Unscented

Speed Stick Power Antiperspirant Deodorant, Unscented

Insect Repellent

Off! Family Care Insect Repellent IV Spray Unscented

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Myki Roventine

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