Fragrance, Product Absorption, and the FDA
Now that I understand the possibilities behind the word “fragrance”, it makes me a little angry.
I used to pick out the most aromatic stuff at the bath stores in the mall. And then I would buy EVERYTHING in that scent — lotion, body spray, hand soap, and hand sanitizer with the little plastic thing so you could hang it on your purse like an accessory. You know you had it, too! I used to wear Chanel. I loved the scented candles. And then a hysterectomy happened.
So I started cleaning up my personal care products and now can’t do most fragrances AT ALL. If someone near me has perfume on I move away from them. And one step inside of Kirkland’s and I’m done. You guys, how do people work in that place? Fragrance makes my head hurt, and I also feel woozy, I can break out it in a rash if it’s real bad and if it’s super bad for long periods of time that I can’t escape I throw up.
But clearly I’m not alone since fragrances are now being called “The New Second Hand Smoke.”
Fragrance is a generic term many of us don’t really give much thought to … I mean, it sounds good, right? I like stuff that smells like cinnamon or eucalyptus but hate most florals. But those fragrances can be incredibly detrimental to our health.
Because ingredients in cosmetics in the U.S. are not regulated, many companies use fragrance as a way to mask other chemicals. It’s considered a trade secret in the beauty industry, a loophole for companies to hide ingredients that many would find alarming. The “fragrance” you see on the labels of your personal care products can include dozens and dozens of different chemicals! And personal care companies do NOT have to disclose the chemicals because they are protected under this law.
As reported by the EWG, up to 72% of products with fragrance include phthalates. These nasty little compounds are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, ADHD, diabetes, and more. And don’t assume that a product labeled “fragrance-free” is safe either, because many companies use other chemicals to mask the fragrance already added.
It sounds so depressing, doesn’t it? Is it a lost cause? Do we just give up on trying to find safer stuff?
I’m pretty sure you know what my answer is.
When it comes to safer fragrance, pure essential oils are your best bet. If you want your house to smell yummy, find a good diffuser and some delicious smelling oils! I can guarantee you that you have a Facebook friend who sells good quality essential oils, so go support them and give your body a break from the toxic stuff. Just be aware that some essential oils are processed with toxic ingredients, which negates the safety. Be sure and read labels very carefully. A product that lists essential oils AND fragrance can be a red flag for something shady.
Otherwise, search for completely scent and fragrance-free products. Or track down companies dedicated to safer fragrances — my favorite is Phlur.
Most people associate products getting into the body with absorption — how quickly will this lotion absorb into my dry skin? But there’s a lot more to consider when using beauty products.
When thinking about how chemicals enter the body, there are three main ways:
Even though we aren’t intentionally ingesting our beauty products, there are some that definitely make their way into our mouths. Who hasn’t heard the statistic that women eat 7 pounds of lipstick in their lives? I have no idea if this is true, but there is no question I eat everything from lipstick to lip gloss to lip conditioner. I wear a ton of lipstick. It’s my favorite beauty product.
Chemicals that enter the body via inhalation or absorption hit the bloodstream before reaching the liver. That means those chemicals circulate throughout your body FIRST. Here’s the kicker, there isn’t much (if any) research on what the chemicals do when mixed together once inside your body. So when you spray your hair spray or breathe in when you’re applying loose powders, you are inhaling those ingredients and sending them to your bloodstream.
And think about all those products we rub on our skin — deodorant, lotion, makeup, etc. We like to think of the skin as a barrier, but it is actually much more like a sponge. Your body actually has more protective mechanisms for chemicals that are ingested. We may be concerned about eating organic or clean foods, but what we put on our skin, every single day, is just as important if not, more so.
So think about that the next time you’re getting ready in the bathroom. You are ingesting, inhaling. or absorbing a whole lot of stuff! And that’s why it’s important to choose safer.
You wouldn’t sit in a car full of secondhand smoke and take deep breaths, would you? No, because you know better. Well now you know the truth about fragrance, so take that knowledge and choose safer!
THE FDA VS BEAUTYCOUNTER
I really do love statistics, but there’s something about a visual representation of an issue that can be so powerful.
The man on the right is Xavier Ormancey, Beautycounter’s former Head of Product Development, a fixture in the beauty industry who spent 20 years with Chanel in Paris before joining forces with Beautycounter. That little folder in his right hand contains all the requirements for a personal care item to receive FDA approval in this country. Hardly anything.
We are talking about an over 2 billion dollar industry here. Products with ingredients that begin to penetrate our skin in 26 seconds and have powerful effects on our health.
Think about all the paperwork we fill out at the doctor. All the forms we fill out to get our kids registered for school. The stacks of paper we have to go through when we try to have our mail forwarded. But yet products that are going to be sold to the American public and put on our bodies barely have any paperwork??? It’s baffling.
See that giant binder Xavier has on his lap? Well, that’s what Beautycounter requires for just ONE product to receive our stamp of approval (in this case for the Countermatch Adaptive Lotion Moisturizer). I knew the FDA had very little regulation over the personal care industry, but seeing it like this is just really impactful.
Whether you purchase Beautycounter or not, I strongly encourage you guys to do your research on the products you’re using. Because our government – and the majority of cosmetic companies – aren’t doing it for us. Beautycounter does this voluntarily because that’s the standard our leader, Gregg Renfrew, created. And I’ll tell you what — sometimes it’s a huge pain in the tail for us consultants because the company will issue a stop/sell or pull a product from the line if there is ANYTHING that comes back in a report that doesn’t meet their crazy high standards. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new hot product or if it doesn’t seem like that big a deal — it’s not good enough for us. But that’s why it’s called Beautycounter. Not like a beauty counter in a department store, but because we are countering the current standards of the beauty industry. We can have high performing products that are safer for ourselves and our loved ones.
Need help making product selections, choosing skincare for you or your family or picking a color that will work with your skin tone? I’m here to help you choose safer, even if that means non-Beautycounter products. I want to educate you about clean products and I want you to have great skin and fabulous makeup. Simply email me for 1:1 help anytime.
#SaferSkincare #CleanerCosmetics #BetterBeauty
#NoSecretsAdded #ThisMatters #Transparency