Is Your Perfume Making You Sick?
The Truth About Your Favorite Fancy Perfume
Did you know that fragrance is referred to as the new second-hand smoke? Not only is this toxic habit damaging to you, but to everyone around you as well. Perfumes/fragrances are extremely popular and I know people who won’t go in public without dousing themselves in their signature scent - it’s almost like it’s part of their brand identity. Unfortunately, conventional perfumes on the market are formulated with thousands of different chemicals, many carcinogens - and can lead you down an extremely dangerous health path. In this blog post, you will learn about the term “fragrance,” that is listed on perfume bottles, household products, makeup etc., and what it really means. I also talk about the main ingredients to avoid when shopping for perfume, the health risks of conventional perfumes, and how to ultimately make the switch to natural essential oil based perfumes.
Fragrance - what is it?
You probably see this term all the time - on your skincare products, shampoo and conditioner, makeup, detergent, and perfume. Fragrance is actually listed in replace of each individual ingredient (chemical) so that companies can protect their signature scents/trade secrets. Did you know a fragrance product can contain up to 100 secret chemicals not listed on the label? No wonder the confusion when all you see is fragrance and think nothing of it. Unfortunately, the laws around perfumes in the US are very relaxed and cosmetic ingredients don’t even need FDA approval before hitting the shelves. In general, the perfume industry is self-regulating and as consumers we are kept in the dark about this process and most people are unaware of the harmful effects fragrance and these other chemicals can have on our health.
Common Ingredients in Perfume to Avoid
As you can imagine, the list is extensive but here are a few common perfume and cosmetic ingredients that are toxic and can impact your health: fragrance, formaldehyde, parabens, coal tar dyes, synthetically derived essential oils, BHT and PEG compounds. Check out the perfume dirty ingredient list for a more complete list of ingredients to avoid.
What are the health risks of perfume?
Research has found that nearly 95% of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances come from petroleum. Fragrance chemicals can pass from the skin and into the blood causing a whole host of problems.These toxic chemicals are linked to birth defects, DNA damage, respiratory issues, cancer and asthma, and are classified as neurotoxins and carcinogens. Here are just a few health risks that come with wearing conventional perfume:
- Headaches/Migraines - Scientific studies have tested the correlation between perfume and headaches/migraines and data has shown that perfume can trigger headaches within minutes and may be the unknown cause of your frequent migraines.
- Endocrine Disruption - Fragrances can mimic hormones and interfere with or disrupt the endocrine system, which can lead to a whole host of issues. When our hormones are out of whack, everything becomes out of whack. We are especially vulnerable throughout childhood when we are in a phase of accelerated development - another reason to avoid perfumes for your kids’ health.
- Allergies - One study of perfume strips showed that inhaling perfume can absolutely influence and make allergy symptoms worse by causing airway obstruction in your lungs. There have been studies that show a link between fragrance in the workplace associated with work-related asthma. A select number of companies are getting on board with this and making their work spaces “fragrance-free zones,” where you are not allowed to wear anything with “fragrance” in it. Lastly, in this national survey of over 1,100 people 46.2% of people with asthma reported adverse effects after even being near someone wearing a fragrance based product.
Tips to Avoid Chemical Based Perfumes
The cosmetic industry is a lot like the food industry - when you are shopping for products that are going directly on your skin (our largest organ), you only want to buy products that you can comprehend.
- Buy from honest, transparent companies. Go to the company’s website and get to know the brand. For starters, your skincare should be 100% natural, non-gmo, plant-based and no synthetics used ever.
- Avoid the word “fragrance” “parfum” or “parfume”, and instead look for products derived from essential oils and plants.
- Figure out your favorite scents: lavender for stress relief and relaxation, rose for happiness and joy, peppermint for mental clarity and alertness, etc.
- Make a swap from your conventional perfume and cologne and try The Golden Secrets Signature Blend Oil and Kaleo - Masculine Divine Oil.