We have a large sign in our offices: SCENT-FREE ZONE! We frequently ask visitors and new clients to evaluate the different fragrances they have on their clothes, skin and hair, and ask them them to rinse off any that they can. We get a variety of responses from folks until we explain the reason.
The first reason is that others in our Natural Health Center may be sensitive to the chemicals we call “fragrances”. The second is that YOU may be sensitive to these chemicals and not even know it!
If you have ever sneezed by the cosmetic counter, or had puffy eyes after a massage or facial, you have probably experienced a small reaction to the chemicals in commercial scents. It is very rare for a scent to be an actual PURE product distilled or rendered only from flowers or spices and infused into a pure and organic carrier oil or water. Almost all perfumes, colognes and body products are a conglomeration of artificial products designed to either cover up the real smell of a product, or to give food for the Marketing Department to design an ad campaign around.
Perfume today is not made from flowers but from toxic chemicals. More than 4,000 chemicals are used in fragrances. Of these, 95% are made from petroleum. No agency regulates the fragrance industry, yet perfume chemicals may be as damaging as inhaling cigarette smoke. Toluene, for one example, was found in every fragrance sample collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a 1991 report. “Toluene was most abundant in the auto parts store as well as the fragrance section of the department store.” Toluene has been proven to cause cancer and nervous system damage and is designated as hazardous waste.
Toxic scents are not just in perfume. Chemical fragrances are present in most laundry detergents, fabric softeners, moisturizers, anti-cling products, dish-washing liquids, disinfectants, soaps, shampoos and other hair products, deodorants, cosmetics, suntan/sunscreen lotions, aftershaves, colognes, make-up, incense, analgesic creams, and lip balms. Even products marked “unscented” often are falsely labelled and actually contain toxic fragrances.
If you’ve been using scented products on your clothes, it will take many washings to make them safe for a chemically sensitive person to be around, and some scented clothes may never air out. Don’t use “air fresheners” in your home or car; the scent stays on your clothes and hair. Don’t use scented detergents, fabric softeners, or anti-cling products. Avoid permanent press clothes, as they are treated with Formaldehyde.
Chemicals are broken down in the liver and excreted by the body. But our livers are badly over-stressed with the massive variety of chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, synthetic drugs, supplements and food additives we are exposed to. Alcohol and cigarettes add to the toxic load. There are excellent liver support formulas available through health professionals, including Milk Thistle, standardized to produce high strength Silymarin. But handling the problem at the source is the best way to manage it – avoid the chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and drugs in the first place. Just one more reason to buy Organic foods, clothes, bedding and more.
If you really insist on a scent, try Young Living Essential Oils. They are a higher grade product than the essential oils sold in stores. And please, don’t be shy about asking friends, repairmen, and bosses to reduce the toxic burden. Let them know you have allergies and their cologne, shampoo, hair gel, deodorant and make-up are bothering you. They’ll receive a gift in return – reduced chances of liver stress, headaches and allergies.