Scents are a beautiful thing. Who doesn’t love inhaling the fragrance of a rose from a loved one or the aroma of freshly cut fruit? The experience can be anything from calming to intoxicating. It’s exciting when you find the perfect perfume that embodies your favorite scent at your fingertips whenever you want. What you don’t realize is that it’s not just the scent you’re putting on your skin, but a dangerous cocktail of chemicals that could be wreaking havoc with your hormones. The best thing you can do is to stop wearing that perfume. Here’s why.
What’s In Your Perfume?
Researchers have found that 70% of perfumes tested contained phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors. What do hormone disruptors do? Once absorbed into your skin, they affect you by either mimicking or blocking your natural hormones. Think of your body as a finely tuned machine, and your hormones are the workers that keep everything balanced and running smoothly. Hormone disruptors are like little children that are let loose in the control room and play with all of the buttons and controls. Your hormones are responsible for a myriad of systems within your body, and when they’re disrupted, it can be a major factor in infertility, metabolic issues, diabetes, breast cancer, obesity…the list goes on. If you stop wearing that perfume that contains phthalates, think of all the dangers you could avoid.
Why Is It Allowed?
You will never find phthalates listed among a perfume’s ingredients. A company’s scent is considered to be a “trade secret,” so the FDA has determined that they don’t have to disclose the perfume’s exact ingredients. They must, however, include the word “fragrance” in that list. This word should be a big red flag, signaling that any number of toxic chemicals could be contained in that delicate glass bottle. You, as the consumer, must stay informed and be proactive about what you’re putting on your skin.
Who Does It Hurt?
In a word, everybody. Scents are not strictly a skin matter. When you smell it and breathe it in, those particles go into your nostrils and your lungs. And, much like second hand smoke, it affects people around you. Consider some ways it could affect those you love. For men, increased phthalate levels have been linked to infertility and decreased sperm count. For children, there is a link between phthalate levels and obesity, asthma, genital changes for boys, and early puberty for girls. A scary and eye-opening study by Brigham and Women’s Health even linked high phthalate levels to an increased risk of preterm birth.
You can help by decreasing the amount that you contribute to this cloud of phthalate in the air. If you stop wearing that perfume, you’ll be helping both yourself and those around you.
Have no fear! You are not doomed to smell unpleasant for the rest of your life because of making healthy choices. There are companies that make natural perfumes, with essential oils and botanical ingredients instead of synthetic fragrances and chemicals. Look for natural ingredients, or a “phthalate-free” label. Beware of any bottle that has the word “fragrance” on it – you can be sure that it will have phthalates.
Pure essential oils are another great alternative. Not only are they natural and smell wonderful, but they may also have added health benefits. So, with a little bit of research and forethought, you can find that new signature scent that won’t harm you or anybody else.
- Ditch the Chemicals – 4 Tips for Natural Skin Health (atlasdrugandnutrition.com)