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The Harsh Truth About Fragrance

Updated: May 29, 2023

Fragrances are commonly found in our personal care and home cleaning products, such as laundry detergents, air fresheners, and skincare items. While they may smell good, the harsh truth is that most fragrances are made using synthetic chemicals that possess harmful health effects. In fact, fragrances are known to contain thousands of toxic chemicals that can cause a range of health problems, from mild allergies to severe health issues.

Grab your dish soap, favorite shampoo, or check out the packaging for that plug-in you have in your living room and read the ingredients. Does it say "fragrance" on the label?

Here are a few reasons why you should avoid fragrances in your personal and home care products:

Many fragrances found in the traditional products that line store shelves contain phthalates, which have been linked to hormone disruption, birth defects, and developmental issues. They can also cause allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Secondly, fragrances can cause skin irritation and sensitivity. Common symptoms include redness, itching, and rashes. These reactions can occur even after one use of a product containing fragrance. Additionally, fragrance can make existing skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis worse.

Do you experience frequent headaches, occasional nausea, or dizziness? Your exposure to fragrance may be the cause and it can even cause other neurological symptoms. Prolonged exposure can also lead to kidney and liver damage, and even cancer.

Synthetic fragrances can also cause air pollution. When sprayed, diffused into the air, or off-gassed from things like drying laundry, fragrance particles can react with other pollutants and create additional harmful compounds. They can also contribute to indoor air pollution, which can cause respiratory problems, especially for people with underlying health conditions.

The chemicals mixed together to make synthetic fragrances can also act as endocrine disruptors and cause hormonal imbalances. These toxins can mimic hormones and interfere with the proper functioning of the endocrine system leading to an imbalanced mood, poor sleep, low libido, fertility issues, thyroid problems, and cancer.

We have control over what we bring into our homes and use on our bodies. Consider using fragrance-free products as a starting place. If you choose a product that has a fragrance to it, understand the source. Even when a product says it has or is infused with "natural essential oils," that usually doesn't mean those oils are pure or free from synthetics. Knowing which ingredient to look out for and what are the best questions to ask a company about their products will help you make decisions for you and your family you can feel confident in. And being an educated consumer will allow you to have more control over your general well-being and health!

Essential oils from plants are a natural alternative and can offer health benefits, such as improving mood and promoting sleep, without the negative side effects that synthetic fragrances can cause. When you're ready to explore the health benefits of removing toxins from your home and personal care products, grab my free e-guide on breaking up with toxins.

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