I was always a Chanel No. 5 girl until discovering Calvin Klein’s Euphoria. I became instantly hooked to the intoxicating scent. Little did I know that these fragrances, along with thousands of others, are synthetic, man-made substances and do not come from rolling green hills and lush gardens as featured in the ads.
It was important to me to write this article because the holiday season is right around the corner. During the 2016 season, approximately 22% of holiday shopping dollars spent were on fragrance and cosmetic purchases.
If you set foot in a mall or walk through any type of specialty shop, particularly during the holiday season, your senses immediately shift into overdrive with literally hundreds of different scents.
I try, at all costs, to avoid the Beauty and Fragrances section of major retailers in an effort to avoid the cloud of artificial scents entering the atmosphere, and specifically my lungs. Everywhere you turn store employees, who are generally dressed in black or colors to associate with a particular brand, are spraying wrists, cards or simply the air. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the toxicity level pervasive in almost all fragrances and perfumes available on the market today.
Manufacturers here in the US do not have to reveal what synthetic chemicals they use in their products. The only word they have to use is “fragrance” when, in reality, that fragrance can be made up of hundreds of harmful substances. Don’t think the government is protecting the public, they are instead allowing major fragrance houses to use more than 3,000 harmful chemicals in their “special blends” which are, in turn, being absorbed and inhaled by millions of unsuspecting people.
According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group) more than 75% of products that use the word “fragrance” as an ingredient listed on their products, contain phthalates that are a known hormone disruptor and have also been directly linked to certain cancers, obesity and fetal neurological disorders; including ADHD and autism.
It is no wonder that in a recent study published in the Preventive Medicine Reports Journal, 33 percent of the study’s participants experienced one, or multiple, health issues when they came in contact with synthetically scented products. The most common reactions include coughing, wheezing and often times is a trigger for an asthma attack. In addition, people that have fragrance sensitivity suffer everything from migraines and topical skin issues to watery eyes and runny noses.
Why Now? It all started in the 19th Century with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and, along with it, the introduction of harmful synthetic chemicals. Through the years, and increased production of artificially made scents, our bodies have become over-ridden and often times can no longer make protective antibodies to keep them from harming internal organs.
In simple terms artificial fragrances, yes…I am talking to you Chanel No. 5…can be composed of over 200 different chemicals including documented cancer-causing carcinogens.
It is important to consider that there is a difference between a fragrance oil and an essential oil, and not all scents are created the same. For instance, essential oils are extracted from plants and fragrance oils are synthetic products. The good news, if you think it is good news, is the synthetic fragrance oils usually last longer than essential oils but remember, they are made in a laboratory and, with their longevity, comes an entire host of possible medical issues for the everyday user.
As with anything, I encourage you to do your homework…or ask me to do it for you. The bottom line is that fragrances that come from plant-produced essential oils are better for you and the environment but that does not mean they get the green light for safety…undiluted they can burn skin and there are many that are not recommended for use in certain age groups.
Try to avoid the toxic laboratory-produced products and opt for simpler, cleaner alternatives found in nature. Please check here for more in-depth research.
Most of us are concerned about underarm odor and without it, you may become a lot less popular. However, I would like to provide a bit of information on most deodorants sold today. Please take a moment to check out the label of your deodorant or antiperspirant and I can almost guarantee that what you are using contains one or more of the following: Aluminum, Parabens, and Phthalates, all of which are proven hormone-disrupting, carcinogenic substances.
Here’s what you can do to help eliminate under arm odors. First, eat a healthy diet and include lots of water, which helps to break down toxins in the body. This is a vegan blog but, according to Chemical Senses, eating red meat can actually increase unpleasant body odor.
Deep cleanse your underarms weekly with a homemade body scrub or purchase one here. Also, on a daily basis, try using antibacterial soap or peroxide to help rid underarms of smelly bacteria.
Invest in a natural deodorant or make your own. Anything that is free of aluminum, Parabens, artificial/synthetic fragrances and phthalates.
You can also find effective natural skin care ingredients in your kitchen too…Lemon, White Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Sea Salt, Almond Oil are all great for a
variety of uses. If you are suffering from a sunburn try rubbing the area with freshly mashed avocado or mix it with a little oil or aloe and apply gently. Leave on for up to 10 minutes and rinse with cool water.
Experiment with various essential oils by placing a few drops in a natural carrier oil like Avocado, Coconut, Sweet Almond, Olive, or Jojoba. Test a small amount on the back of your hand to see if you have any type of reaction. Remember that essential oils can burn skin if applied directly so always use caution.