I hear you, you love fragrance. And believe me, manufacturers have heard you too! There is some crazy trend right now where everything has to have a fragrance. We are drowning in so many synthetic fragrances that we are literally destroying our health and environment! With 34% of the population having at least 1 reaction to fragrance, we all know someone who has been negatively impacted. But, even if you have no obvious reaction at all you are still sacrificing your health for that scent. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up fragrance entirely! You can have your favorite scents and safeguard your health as well! Find out everything you need to know about synthetic vs. natural fragrance.
Environmental and Health Impacts
So, fragrance seems to be added to everything you can imagine. Even products that are “fragrance free” often have synthetic fragrances added to cover up the product’s natural scent. And, synthetic fragrance is a BIG health and environmental no no!
Not only does synthetic fragrance contribute to air pollution, but 95% of it is derived from petroleum, aka, crude oil. Plus, the over 3,000 ingredients that contribute to fragrance are not tested by the FDA. And they are often toxic chemicals that produce hazardous waste. When you add to this the manufacturing and shipping of artificial fragrance you are talking about a hefty environmental burden! This is even true for organic products which may contain limonene or linalool. Avoiding synthetic fragrance is a simple way to improve the environment.
The health impacts of synthetic fragrances are broad and far reaching! Everything from headaches and migraines to asthma and respiratory problems can be caused by fragrance. Not to mention that it is an endocrine disruptor (meaning it effects your hormones controlling fertility and weight gain), causes central nervous system disorders and is even related to some cancers and birth defects! Those at greatest risk are pregnant women, infants and children. But everyone is impacted including your pets!
How to Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
To avoid synthetic fragrances check your labels and avoid “fragrance, parfum, phythalate, DEP, DBP or DEHP”. Don’t forget to check your organic products and fragrance free products as well! Also avoid fragrance products.
Perfumes, colognes, deodorants, body wash,shampoo and conditioner are all common places to find fragrances. But you are also likely to come across them in other cosmetics. It can be helpful to google your favorite brands and check out their ingredients or head to a reputable natural cosmetic store near you.
In household products the primary culprits are cleaning supplies, laundry products (especially fabric softener), and air fresheners. Consider making your own cleaning supplies and using dryer balls instead of using harsh chemicals. In Sept I’ll be releasing a video tutorial for how to make your own dryer sachets!
If you LOVE fragrance, don’t worry, you don’t have to give it up entirely! Just consider some natural options! You can use nature or essential oils to bring fragrance to your home and body safely!
Naturally Infused Cleaners
I have to admit that I am attached to the scent of a freshly cleaned house. I love that citrusy smell! So, I use citrus peels (and sometimes herbs) to fragrance my cleaning products. This is a great way to get that fresh scent naturally.
Bring the Outside in
Another amazing way to include fragrance in your home is to bring in fresh cut flowers or herbs. You can even simply include houseplants in your decor. These help to clean the air and provide natural fragrance and beauty for any home.
If I cook something particularly strong though and I’m trying to eliminate the scent. (Think fish or brussel sprouts). I will sometimes put some fruit scraps or peels with a few cloves or a bit of cinnamon in water on the stove to simmer. It fills my house with a homey delicious fragrance for hours!
This is probably one of the best ways to naturally bring fragrance into your home! I love to make essential oil sprays for fabrics and air fresheners or you can put them in a difusser. You can even put a few drops of your favorite oil onto your dryer balls! However, it is important to know that not all essential oils are created equal and how to properly store them.
You may have noticed that essential oils can be VERY cheap or VERY expensive. Part of the reason for this is they type of oil you’re purchasing. Some plants are less expensive than others and the number of plants you need varies too. This makes sense. The price difference can also be indicative of purity and quality though. When purchasing essential oils going with the cheapest is usually a mistake. Instead consider the following factors, ingredients, purity, testing, and sourcing.
This might sound like something that doesn’t need to be said but your essential oil should have only the ingredients you expect. Meaning, if you’re buying a single oil then that’s all that should be listed as an ingredient. If you’re looking for a blend that’s all there should be. And if you’re looking for an oil with a carrier (for applying or other uses) your ingredients should be the carrier and the essential oil only. Avoid essential oils that contain preservatives, other fragrances or that are unexpectedly diluted.
Look for essential oils that are marked 100% pure. Often times they will include the Latin name of the plant. It’s a plus to be pure so oils that are will be clearly and boldly marked.
When looking for essential oils you want to lean towards those that have been tested. for example doTerra oils are put through 3 rounds of testing to be sure that they are free of contaminants. A tell tale indication that oils have been thoroughly tested is that they include a batch code that allows you to look up a GC/MS report. This means they are of high quality because they have had mass spectrometry testing done.
Not every plant can be grown in the US so there’s a good chance some of your oils may come from other parts of the world. You will want to know the country of origin. You might also want to learn a little about farming practices in that country.
It is also important to know if your oil is wild crafted or farm harvested. This tells you whether the plants used for your oil were picked wild or grown on a farm. Obviously if they were grown on a farm you’ll want to be sure to choose organic and avoid pesticides and herbicides.
Essential oils are NOT a thing to buy in bulk! They can go rancid (spoil). It is best to store them in a cool dark place. And when using them in sprays, cleaners and home remedies you should always keep your final product in dark glass jars.
If this seems like WAY too much to figure out regarding essential oils here are some simple recommendations and links. For more products I love visit that page under the heading “About Me”.
Also, if you’re looking for a diffuser there are many options. From the more simple earthy designs to modern and streamlined or even something playful and fun. There are many diffuser options to choose from that suit every decor! And you can even get them for your car or as bracelets!
Go Fragrance Free NOW
With so many great options there is really no reason not to go fragrance free. Consider the benefits to your health, that of your family and to the general public. Consider the difference you will make for your pets, wildlife and the earth!
Whether you choose to go entirely fragrance free or switch to natural alternatives you need to do it NOW!!! Don’t wait another day breathing toxic hazardous chemicals! For your health, the health of your family and pets and for the earth make the switch today!
Since we all breath the same air it would be wise to share this article and get all of our family and friends on board! Creating an environment free of synthetic fragrances should be top priority!
Comment below with your favorite essential oil blends or fragrance free hacks!
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