Most of us are not familiar with the hidden dangers of fragrance, and that needs to change!
Throughout history, people have been quite concerned with how to produce and/or eliminate all kinds of smells. As a result, we have gotten pretty good at extracting, infusing, and blending different types of ingredients to create a variety of interesting odors. Though initially our fragrances were mostly made of natural sources such as essential oils, as technology evolved so did our methods of producing different kinds of smells. A lot of the fragrances and perfumes we use today are made of synthetic ingredients.
This fact alone is not alarming. Plenty of incredibly useful products has been manufactured using synthetic ingredients. And, just because something is not natural does not automatically mean it’s bad. But when it comes to products that we use on our bodies, it’s good to exercise a reasonable amount of caution and stay informed about what you’re buying. For example, if your products contain toxic chemicals that you would never put inside your body, it’s a good strategy to avoid putting them on your skin as well.
It’s easy to forget that your skin is an organ, just like your heart and liver. But, its health heavily depends on the choices you make on a daily basis. Because your skin is actually living tissue, it requires a constant supply of vitamins and nutrients to be as healthy as possible. Today’s over the counter skin care products are made up of all kinds of ingredients, not all of which are as healthy or beneficial as the advertising on the packaging may claim.
Hidden Dangers of Fragrance: Mislabeling
Though we’ve written several articles listing the negative side effects of some common chemicals found in everyday skin care products, we’d like to hone in on the hidden dangers of “fragrance”. You probably never really gave this term much thought, and that’s not particularly surprising. There’s really no reason for you to know that the word “fragrance” is actually an umbrella term for a number of different ingredients. A lot of which tend to be synthetic compounds that are actually really dangerous to your health.
Hidden Dangers of Fragrance: Petrochemicals
Chances are that until now, you had no idea that an overwhelming percentage of the chemicals found in synthetic fragrances are actually derived from petrochemicals, which are chemicals that are taken from petroleum and other fossil fuels. These include benzene derivates, aldehydes, and toxins that are linked to different kinds of cancers, birth defects, allergens and nervous system disrupters, like phthalates. In case you didn’t know, phthalates are used to increase the flexibility and longevity of plastics, and they are also right there in your fragrance.
Another common ingredient in fragrance is styrene. Simply put, it’s a synthetic chemical that’s used a building block in a variety of products that range from plastic to resin, and much like phthalates, they are commonly found in fragrances. Some of their immediate negative effects on health include dizziness, confusion, headache, fatigue, and possibly malaise. But it also has a lot of potential for long-term damage.
According to Tina Sigurdson:
“…the National Academy of Sciences confirmed a federal interagency group’s conclusion that styrene, a chemical building block used to produce a wide variety of everyday products, can cause cancer… Although all other ingredients in your lip gloss, body wash, and other scented cosmetic products must be disclosed on the label by specific name, the so-called ‘fragrance loophole’ in federal labeling law means that ingredients added to provide a pleasant scent, or to mask a bad one, need only be listed under the generic term ‘fragrance’.”
Hidden Dangers of Fragrance: Final Thoughts
At this point you’re probably about to go through all of your skin care products and throw away anything that’s scented. This is a completely normal impulse that most of us tend to experience after finding out about the hidden dangers of “fragrance”. However, the most important thing anyone could do to protect himself or herself from this kind of mislabeling is simple: you have to read the labels. Once you begin doing so, you’ll become quickly familiarized with how widespread the “fragrance” label really is. Then, the goal is to look for alternatives.
Merkaela products are always made with natural ingredients and essential oils, as we sincerely strive to stay away from any synthetic chemicals, especially those that could be harmful. The natural fragrances we use in all our products across the board are comprised of quality essential oils, which is why so many people trust us with their skin. When it comes to your skin, you simply can’t afford to be unaware of the hidden dangers of fragrance.