In the caveman days, our sense of smell served two purposes- to find food and to find mates. While I could argue that the olfactory purpose hasn't changed much in 7,000 years, the scents we are subjecting our bodies to on a daily basis has, and the synthetic fragrances we are bombarded with are making us sick with allergies, respiratory distress, headaches, hormone imbalance and even cancer.
A bit of history...
Man made fragrances began emerging in the late 1800's as science and lab work took leaps and bounds. (Did you know aspirin is a lab derivative of the willow bark tree?). Scientists loved being able to use their labs to duplicate the chemical compounds found in nature and business loved the cost effectiveness of not having to rely on mother nature's temperament.
Fast forward to 2018, and the term "fragrance" can be found on the labels of many products you have around your home- shampoo, conditioner, lotion, wash, deodorant, makeup, perfume, hair spray, laundry detergent, candles, and cleaning products, just to name a few. We love things to smell good (it's in our DNA), but these days it often comes at a cost when companies use synthetically manufactured chemicals for scenting.
Did you know that the FDA does not currently require fragrance and cosmetic makers to disclose exactly what they are using to scent their products? This loophole exists because companies say their formulas are "proprietary" and they don't want other companies copying them. I say, if your products are truly natural, wouldn't you want to brag about that?
Simply put, according to the National Academy of Sciences report about neurotoxins in the home and workplace, 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), and lab formulated aldehydes, toluenes and many other known toxic chemicals.
Further, styrene -a chemical found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust- is often used in cosmetic sprays and cleaning products. Phthalates- a term you've probably heard- often hides under the "fragrance" ingredient. These have been banned in Europe but are still quite common in cosmetics sold in the US.
ALL of these toxic chemicals are linked to cancer, nervous system disorders, hormone disruption, headaches, migraines, sinus irritation, asthma, nausea, allergies and brain fog.
What to do? The number one thing you can do when you are buying a product is read the label.
If you see the word "fragrance" on the ingredient label- put it back. It might say it uses "natural ingredients" but the ambivalent term "fragrance" is a red flag.
Look for plant names in the ingredient list or, if you are okay with unscented products look for those.
Make your own personal care or household cleaning products. It's really easy- I promise- and will save you money! Look for unscented products and add essential oils.
If you are really serious about detoxifying your home check out my blog with recipes for common home cleaning products: https://winecountrybotanicals.com/blogs/news/spring-cleaning-with-essential-oils.
Of course, all of the WCB products contain only ingredients found in NATURE, not in the lab. We secure essential oils from growers we trust. We know that nature is the best medicine. When you use our products you can be 100% certain they contain NONE of the scary ingredients listed above.
Bottom line, reducing the number of synthetically fragranced products you have in your home will provide a healthier environment for you, your family and your community.
Questions? Don't hesitate to ask! Comments? Don't hesitate to post!
Wishing you beauty, balance and wellness!