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Dangers of Synthetic Fragrances

Woman reaching for synthetic fragrance product

Smells good? It’s probably toxic.

Ok ok, I am being a little dramatic.

BUT, I DO want you to check for “fragrance” on every single one of your personal care products.

About 95% of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). These fragrances are linked to headaches, brain fog, hormone disruption, weight gain, cancer, birth defects and allergic reactions.

You might think there is NO WAY our regulatory bodies would allow to sell dangerous and toxic products… think again.

Because of “trade secrets”, the FDA does not require fragrance and cosmetic makers to disclose what they are using to scent products.

This is directly from the FDA website:

“FDA does not have the same legal authority to require allergen labeling for cosmetics as for food. So, if you are concerned about fragrance sensitivities, you may want to choose products that are fragrance free, and check the ingredient list carefully. If consumers have questions, they may choose to contact the manufacturer directly.”

Yeah, you should be worried.

Products to be careful about

These are products that often contain “fragrance”:

  • Shampoo & conditioner

  • Hair spray and other styling products

  • Soap & body wash

  • Cosmetics & creams

  • Deodorant

  • Lotion

  • Sunscreen

  • Scented candles

  • Air fresheners

  • Laundry detergent

  • Dryer sheets

  • Perfume and body sprays

  • Cleaning products

Although I would recommend everyone avoid fragrance, it’s especially important for pregnant women and children.

Rule of thumb: if a strong smell lasts for more than a few hours, it’s likely synthetic and toxic. I know, it’s scary.

Dangers of Synthetic Fragrances

Avoid the word “fragrance” in all your products. This is a catch-all term that can stand for thousands of different ingredients.

When you use a product containing “fragrance”, there is a very high chance that those ingredients are absorbed right into your bloodstream.

“Fragrance” ingredients are typically made from chemicals that are toxic to your health. You want to be especially aware and careful with synthetic fragrances if you struggle with:

  • Hormone issues - PMS, infertility, weight gain

  • Skin conditions - acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis

  • Brain issues - headaches, brain fog, dizziness

  • Breathing difficulties - asthma

  • Liver issues - fatty liver, elevated liver enzymes, high LDL

I’m not saying you have to start smelling like patchouli (please don’t 😉), but get in the habit of checking your ingredient labels. Toxin-overload is very common and very serious, and these chemicals are not regulated. Your liver needs to process every single toxin!

Should I avoid fragrances?

This can all be very overwhelming - I know!

If you want to use scented products, make sure they are scented with natural fragrances like essential oils. It's also important to make sure the brand is reputable, so that the essential oils are high-quality and properly incorporated into the recipe.

One of my main concerns with synthetic fragrances is the burden they place on our detox system. Improving detoxification is something I work on with every single client. Did you know there are more than 80,000 chemicals registered for use today, and many of these have not been studied for safety by any government agency?

We often don't worry about the products we use every day, or the pesticides on our food, or pollutants in the air... but everything is cumulative, and these chemicals are very new to our bodies. Fragrance is just a small piece of the puzzle!

There are many symptoms that indicate your detoxification pathways need support. If you struggle with any of these, it's a sign your detox pathways need support, and a good first step is avoiding synthetic fragrances:

  • Skin conditions like acne, eczema, hives

  • Chemical sensitivity (tobacco smoke, fumes, perfume, cleaning agents, etc.)

  • Constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, gas

  • Bad body odor

  • Hormone imbalances like PMS, cramping, breast tenderness

  • Anxiety or depression

Not sure where to start to support your detoxification? Read my blog about 5 Daily Detox Tips for some easy lifestyle options.

If you're ready to learn how to become your healthiest self, let's work together. Reducing your toxin load is an important of improving skin conditions like acne or eczema, as well as for making sure your detoxification system is functioning properly to support your digestion. Reducing toxin load is always part of the work I do with my clients!

Book a Free Discovery Consultation to learn more about how we can work together.


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