Is your perfume toxic and affecting your fertility and disrupting your hormones and thyroid?
The short answer is yes and phthalates, parabens and synthetic musks are the main culprits. Firstly, let's chat about our amazing endocrine system and why we should care about it.
According to Juice Beauty, the endocrine system is a network of glands in your body that create hormones that help cells throughout your body communicate with each other. The endocrine system is responsible for almost every cell, organ, and function in your body. In humans, the major endocrine glands are the thyroid gland and the adrenal glands. Endocrine disruptors (endocrine-disrupting chemicals) or compounds are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine systems.
On average, women use up to 12 different cosmetic products a day and the majority of the products on the market are fragranced with harmful synthetic cocktails. Shockingly, even though some of the most commonly used synthetic chemicals have been proven to cause cancer and negatively affect our reproductive capabilities, you will find these harmful chemicals in most commercial perfumes on the market.
One of the worst offenders is DEP or diethyl phthalate which is a well known endocrine disruptor. Studies have linked it to sperm damage in epidemiological studies in men and boys and also to unbalanced hormones in women. It has even been proven to cause early puberty in girls and increase the chances of breast cancer later on in life. Why the heck would perfumers and cosmetic manufacturers use such a dangerous chemical in products we use multiple times a day? Well the most obvious reason being DEP is a cheap petrochemical and an effective solvent and fixative. Fixatives are used to adhere the scent to your skin and increase longevity in perfumes. Another baddies lurking in your scented products are synthetic musks, galaxolide, tonalide etc which build up in fat deposits in our body and have been detected in breast milk and blood. I'm sure by now we also know to look out for parabens. According to web MD, parabens, which are used as a preservative agent in cosmetics, have been linked to skin irritations, endocrine disruption, and harm to the reproductive system. They have been shown to mimic estrogen which throws both male and female hormone production out of whack potentially causing a plethora of issues with fertility. If you are having trouble conceiving or hormonal issues this is something worth looking into further.
Do you know what the worst part is? You would never even know they were in your products because they are all simply listed on the ingredients as “fragrance” to protect the corporation's “secret” recipes. I'm all for protecting IP but if you are using such toxic and harmful ingredients there should be laws around making sure the consumers are aware of what they are buying and putting on their bodies.
About 50% of people I talk to in my shop ask if my natural perfumes last as long as the synthetics and say it is the main reason they are hesitant to make the switch to natural perfumes. I always make sure the natural fixative notes in my essential oil perfumes are performing in the longevity department and I believe with careful blending and consideration it is possible to have natural perfume that lasts. If you are a person who likes a super strong perfume then give yourself an extra spritz of perfume at lunch time when you freshen up. It is definitely a payoff I’m willing to take if it means I’m not loading my body up with toxic carcinogenic substances.
If you have been thinking of ditching the synthetic perfumes why not come to one of my Natural Perfume making workshops and create your very own perfume. Check out our website for upcoming workshop dates.