YOUR PERFUMES MIGHT BE LOADED WITH TOXIC CHEMICALS
There’s a dirty little secret the fragrance industry would rather you not know about, however, which is the extreme toxicity of many of these products. Hidden behind their pleasant scents are typically chemicals linked to hormone disruption, reproductive problems, and even cancer.
Many perfumes sold at department stores, big-box retailers, and virtually everywhere else can aptly be described as poison – and this means that you could very well be sacrificing your health by wearing them…
The term “fragrance,” under US law, actually means a combination of chemicals that gives a perfume or cologne its distinct scent. These ingredients may be derived from petroleum or natural raw materials, or they may be produced synthetically. Perfume manufacturers typically purchase fragrance mixtures from companies that specialize in developing fragrances (known as fragrance houses) and then combine them to create a unique scent.4
It is this chemical combination that is typically kept protected as a “trade secret,” while other chemicals in the products (solvents, stabilizers, preservatives, dyes, and UV absorbers) may be listed on the label. So what is a typical fragrance actually made of? Some common offenders include:
Parabens: Synthetic preservatives known to interfere with hormone production and release. Parabens are actually several distinct chemicals with a similar molecular structure. Four of these are used frequently in cosmetics: ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. Methylparaben and propylparaben are the most common of these.
Phthalates: Another synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development, birth defects) and liver and kidney damage.
Synthetic musks: These are linked to hormone disruption and are thought to persist and accumulate in breast milk, body fat, umbilical cord blood, and the environment.
Avoiding toxic fragrance does not mean that you must forgo all pleasant scents in your home or personal care products, as truly natural options are available (although if you are sensitive keep in mind that botanical extracts can also cause reactions in some people).
Organic essential oils are one option (you can even add them to your own non-fragranced lotion, for instance), and may be found in some safe fragrances that are 100 percent naturally derived. This includes essential oils and isolates that come from botanical ingredients such as flowers, fruits, seeds, bark, leaves, wood, and other natural raw materials. We love I'm Fabulous Cosmetics organic fragrance oils. They smell amazing and last long.