Anything our bodies come into contact with has the ability to affect our health. From the food we eat, the water we drink, the products we clean our homes with and even interaction with other humans. We know this. That's why people are opting for lifestyle changes that reduce the amount of negative absorptions they encounter on a daily basis, but some might not be aware of another possible danger. Perfumes, colognes and other personal cosmetics.
Did you spray a fragrance on today?
Does your spray have the word "fragrance" under the ingredient list? Or, maybe no ingredient list at all? If so, you literally have no idea what chemicals are being absorbed into your body right now. That’s because manufactures are not required to list the chemicals that make up their fragrance. On top of that, there are currently no legal requirements for any cosmetic manufacturer marketing products to American consumers to test their products for safety. In Europe, 1,300 chemicals are banned or restricted in cosmetics. The USA? Around ten. Below are a few examples of chemicals being restricted in other countries, but not in the USA.
Formaldehyde - a known carcinogen with no restrictions in cosmetics and other personal care products sold in the USA.
Parabens - maximum concentration standards set in other nations, but none in the USA. Some parabens found in U.S. products are not permitted in any cosmetic product in other nations.
PFOA - a carcinogen that will be restricted in cosmetics and other personal care products sold in the EU beginning 2020. No current or planned restrictions for the USA.
Toluene - linked to reproductive and neurological harm. Can be used at any level in cosmetics sold in the USA.
Triclosan - banned in antiseptic wash products, but not in other consumer products in the USA. 40 other nations restrict the amount of triclosan in consumer products.
How do we solve this problem?
Some companies are beginning to phase out chemicals that are currently banned or regulated in other countries "in the coming years." That's good news for consumers in the future, but that doesn't do much for your health now.
The best thing you can do now? Reduce the amount of products that include the ingredient "fragrance" but don't disclose what's in it. That includes your amazing smelling perfumes or colognes. Instead, look for fragrances that list all ingredients so you can make an informed decision on your own.
Some good news
It's going to take more than a handful of companies changing their transparency and ingredients that make up their fragrances. We need widespread awareness, pressure from consumers and new regulations. The good news is that there's proposed legislation to overhaul the current safety rules, which are currently eight decades old.
Personal Care Products Safety Act (S.726) is a bill aiming to protect consumer health and strengthen the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to regulate ingredients in personal care products.
You don't have to wait until new legislation forces companies to stop using harmful chemicals in their products. If you can't let go of your current favorite fragrance, reach out to the company. Share your concerns about not knowing what kind of chemicals make up your favorite scent. Dollars speak and companies will move faster when they see consumers are spending their money on alternatives.
If you want to practice spending money on an alternative fragrance, head on over to the Theo product page. It may just become one of your new favorites. In addition to using it as a scent trigger, I developed Theo because I wanted to know exactly what was in my fragrance. I apply it on my skin and sniff it all day. Trusting the ingredients was just as important as creating a great scent.