Isn’t it great to slather on some nice smelling lotion and smell like a tropical beach all day? But wait! Do you really know what that lovely fragrance is that you just rubbed all over your skin? I hate to be the one that stops you from smelling like a fake cucumber or a crisp cotton sheet, but that fragrance is actually a dangerous chemical.
Fragrances are part of a group of chemicals called Phthalates. This is a family of chemical plasticizers that are used in personal care products to moisturize skin and are also used as a solvent. They are almost synonymous with fragrance. So what’s the big deal?
- By dismantling the unique chemical compound of an essential oil, discussed below, chemists re-assemble a “Frankenstein” fragrance.
- 95% of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum and include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.
- Phthalates have been shown to cause birth defects, reproductive impairments, and liver damage in lab animals. (I do not condone animal testing.)
- The EPA reported that synthetic fragrances were shown to cause “possible mutagenic and genotoxic effects.”
- Synthetic fragrances have also been shown to contain hormone disruptors which are linked to abnormal cell reproduction and may result in tumor growth.
So what can we do to smell good AND increase the health of our bodies? Use organic body care products that do not contain fragrances, but instead contain essential oils.
An essential oil is a liquid that is generally distilled by steam or water from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots or other elements of a plant. They contain unique and varied therapeutic properties and are highly concentrated. The chemical composition and aroma of essential oils can provide valuable psychological and physical therapeutic benefits. Essential oils have many therapeutic properties when applied topically, such as anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. They also contain a multitude of healing compounds, such as vitamins, phyto-nutrients, and many other constituents.
As you know, skin is the largest organ and needs nourishment from the large toxic burden it must bear every day. Keep in mind that what we put on our skin is absorbed up to 10X faster than what we eat! We need to be conscientious about what we put on our skin so that the products we use don’t add to our toxic burden. Skin need vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, and many other compounds that are bountiful in nature. Chemical additives are plentiful in body care products today due to their inexpensive nature, ability to mimic moisture and provide a nice fragrance. However, it is time to reconsider what we trustingly put on our bodies and how these chemicals affect our overall health.