Why you should think twice before packing your favorite perfume on your next beach vacation

We all want to smell like a summery dream—but here's why experts say perfume and sun don't mix...

Three colorful glass bottles of perfume in the sun/ against a pink background and in a pastel pink, white and grey sunset scene
(Image credit: Getty Images/5second)

Heading on vacation? While your best sunscreens for your face deserve a spot in your suitcase, here's why you might want to leave your best perfumes at home...

If you've got a sunny getaway booked and are beginning to compile your traveling essentials—from your capsule wardrobe staples to your go-to non-comedogenic foundations—it's only natural that you'd want to pack your signature floral perfumes or fave date night scents.

Vacays are the best excuse to get all dolled up and part of that is smelling like a beachy dream, but here's why the experts say perfume in the sun is a no-go...

Why you should avoid perfume in the sun

Much like how you shouldn't keep perfume in the bathroom, experts warn that the sun can have an adverse effect on the formula of our favorite scents—and can even cause irritation on our skin!

Re-Founder of Commodity, Vicken Arslanian explains: "Sunlight and heat can break down a fragrance’s composition, which turns the juice faster," so resist the temptation to stow your favorite spring perfumes in your beach bag. 

With sunnier days ahead, Arslanian adds: "If your fragrance sits on a vanity or dresser, make sure it isn't next to a window or exposed to direct sunlight. 

"I’d recommend protecting any fragrances you keep on countertops by leaving them in their original boxes. Or, go one step further and keep your fragrances in a cool, dark place, such as your closet."

Holly Hutchinson, founder of Memoize London also noted that: "Perfume is a substance which is affected by heat and light. This can change the smell, color and can affect the performance of a fragrance." So, if you're a lover of more pricy scents, it might not be worth the risk!

Should you wear perfume in the sun?

As for wearing your fave perfume on your beach holiday, Emma Wedgwood, a registered nurse and founder of Emma Wedgwood Aesthetics warns: "You might find that some of the perfumes and their formulas may have an interaction with the SPF. It might not be as dramatic, but I would recommend waiting a while to apply perfume after sunscreen.

Wedgwood also notes that you might experience some irritation when wearing perfume in the sun, adding: "Especially if you have dry or sensitive skin, as well as sunburnt skin too.  Some perfumes can irritate the skin when they are exposed to the sun for longer periods of time, however, this could depend on the alcohol content." So, that's also something to keep in mind! 

Skincare expert, celebrity facialist and founder of 001 Skincare, Ada Ooi, also adds: "Due to the alcohol content in perfume, if your skin overheats you may find that the perfume dries the skin out, or becomes irritated.

To prevent this, Ooi advises that: "instead of applying perfume too close to the skin or directly onto it, instead spray a mist of perfume and walk into it, so that the perfume is more dispersed. Make sure you moisturize your skin very well to prevent it from drying out in the warmer months."

Alas, it seems perfumes don't make the best traveling companions but—as Arslanian recommends—if you do take your signature scent on vacay with you, be sure to keep it out of the direct sunlight and heat!

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.