The other day I read a fascinating (disturbing) blog post that depicted FRAGRANCE as the new second hand smoke. You can read it in full here. Below is an excerpt followed by some toxin free, super simple, gorgeous recipes using 100% pure essential oils and easy to source, non toxic ingredients.
“Trying to link the past with the present fragrance industry unfortunately reveals a radical disconnect and departure from the original therapeutic purpose and use of pure essential oils. Today’s synthetic fragrances are a far cry from the healing balms treasured so much by the ancient world that some were worth more than gold. Instead of being medicinal, today’s fragranced products are associated with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption.. Sadly not only the one wearing the fragrance is affected, but also the indoor air quality and those sharing the space are impacted. From pure to perverse, it is twisted irony that the word fragrance has now gained infamy as the new secondhand smoke when theetymology of the word perfume comes from the Latin phrase, “per” meaning “through” and “fumus” meaning “smoke”.
The emerging awareness of this very “volatile” situation reveals problems much more pervasive and dangerous than tobacco smoke. Most everyone washes their clothes in detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrances that release toxic chemicals on the skin and into the air all day long. At night they sleep in pajamas and on sheets washed in the same. Because of this, people are awash in fragrances twenty four hours a day. When people go to a public place, they are sharing what is now being called “secondhand fragrance”. This is the combination of chemicals being released into the public air space from air fresheners, cleaning products, and scented candles plus all the products people are wearing (from hair spray, shampoo, clothes, to perfume, etc). Everyone is involuntarily breathing contaminated air even if they choose to not wear fragranced products. It’s time to clear the air and prioritize human health, not economic interest. Already lines are being drawn between two fiercely opposing camps – the National Perfumers Guild and Fragrance Houses versus the “Anti-Fragrance Activists.”
What could be wrong with a beautiful fragrance? Nothing, if it is a genuine and authentic plant derived, organic or wildcrafted unadulterated essential oil or an organic flavor/scent oil. These oils have been used throughout history, but since World War II, with the advent and ease of production of inexpensive synthetic chemicals to create fragrances, a new era has dawned.
Today the word fragrance is the elephant in the room. Fragrance or parfum on an ingredient list actually represents a trade secret fragrance recipe that could be made up of not just one or two chemicals, but hundreds of synthetic chemicals selected from a reservoir of 5,000 that do not have to be disclosed or tested for safety.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) study, 72% of products with the ingredient “fragrance” contained endocrine disruptors called phthalates. Phthalates have been linked to diabetes, obesity, liver and breast cancer, hormone disruption affecting fertility and development as well as linked to ADHD and Autism in first and third trimester prenatal exposure. The National Academy of Sciences, working with an expert panel, stated that there may be cancer-causing chemicals in fragrance recipes, but there is no way for the consumer to make informed decisions. Up to 95% of these chemicals are derived from petrochemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, asthma, and allergies. To make matters even worse for the unsuspecting public, many products labeled as “unscented” are actually the fragranced product with the addition of another masking fragrance. The use of synthetic chemicals to mimic natural fragrances has become an insidious underminer of health, but they are not the only subversive in the fragrance industry.
Unfortunately the term “natural fragrance” or “essential oil” on an ingredient list doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. In a study analyzing 25 top selling products, green, natural and organic fragranced products emitted just as many hazardous chemicals as regular fragranced products. That’s because most essential oils in consumer products are processed with a toxic solvent. In addition, essential oils containing terpenes such as pine and citrus oils react with ozone in surrounding air to create secondary pollutants such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, and ultrafine particles.” Full article available here.
Even the National Eczema Association of America recognises the following as problematic.. as well as many other things in our environment.
- Soaps and detergents,
- Shampoos, dish-washing liquids
- Bubble Bath
- Disinfectants like chlorine
*NOTE.. the essential oils I use and recommend are doTERRA essential oils which are 100% pure, are not processed with solvents and do not contain, pesticides, synthetics, fillers or anything else that we shouldn’t be inhaling or using on our skin/in our homes. What’s more they are sourced indigenously from their natural habitat in an ethical/sustainable model that supports Australian farmers and farmers globally and means that the end product is not only pure but also potent and holds amazing therapeutic and energetic value. You can read more about why I love doTERRA here. You can find out more about purchasing the oils wholesale or retail or becoming a Wellness Advocate here.
Following are my favourite recipes that I use and love in my own home. I was diagnosed with chronic asthma at the age of three and spent a lot of my childhood in hospital, I was on the HIGHEST dose preventatives possible until just a few years ago and was told I would need to be medicated for the rest of my life. Interestingly since I started eating well and completely eliminating toxic chemicals from my home and personal care regime I no longer have ANY symptoms and am completely unmedicated. Of course I carry medications in case I have an attack as asthma is life threatening and I worked with my doctor to bring the medication down slowly but it’s pretty amazing being free of medication. Oh I also don’t sneeze 250 times before I’ve even had breakfast or have dry, scaly hands and skin.
I also have a Himalayan salt lamp by my bed and use Breathe/Easy Air essential oil blend in my diffuser with a drop or two of Cardamom essential oil to support respiratory function too, I also find it good as a rub in coconut oil on my chest and even inhaling straight from the bottle.
Let’s start with personal care. You’ve got no chance of me rolling some store bought crap under my armpits, especially with the family history of breast cancer. I make a blend of essential oils in doTERRA fractionated coconut oil, it smells divine and works all day, with no issues of toxicity, synthetic fragrance, aluminium etc..
My deodorant might look like piss in a roller bottle but I am telling you it smells divine, people comment how great I smell ALL the time. I got the roller bottle from the doTERRA convention and I’ve never seen one that size since but even just a 10ml roller will do fine.
If using a 10ml roller I use 25 drops of Citrus Bliss and 10 drops each of Ylang Ylang, Hawaiian Sandalwood and Patchouli, fill remaining space with doTERRA fractionated coconut oil, when you run out simply wash with warm/hot water and a little lavender oil and dry fully and then REUSE! No waste, no chemicals.. you can also try lots of different combos, for men try Hawaiian Sandalwood, Frankincense and Arborvitae or even just Arborvitae if you are doing physical exercise or you’re a bit more stinky, again just dilute with fractionated coconut oil and roll on!!!
I use the doTERRA Whisper blend or Balance blend, they are both already prediluted and smell freaking AMAZING so I just apply as is to my wrists, behind my ears, on my heart chakra and/or on my aromatherapy necklace. I often make up my own blend of single oils as a perfume in carrier oil too and do what Vanessa Jean from Food Alchemy taught me as Aromatic Dressing, check out the video here. The benefit of using these blends is not only that I’m not drowning myself in an array of chemicals that make me ill but I am actually supporting myself physically and emotionally whilst smelling like a goddess.
I have had horrible acne since I was about 16 and it’s only in the last 12 months my skin has really started to clear up with decent nutrition, balancing my hormones using Clary Calm/Solace on my wrists and abdomen each day, using Probiotics AND finally finding products that don’t strip my skin and make the situation even worse.. I also use Zendocrine, GX Assist and the Lifelong Vitality Supplements, because what’s within will evidently reflect on the outside..oh I have also noticed a HUGE difference in my skin when I drink dodgy tap water as opposed to filtered water from my Zazen water filter.
In terms of skin care I use the HD Clear Roll on which is seriously AMAZING!!! I had a huge blind pimple come through on my chin the other days, which is now frankly a fairly irregular occurence, but I rolled this baby on (just pure essential oils) and by morning it had completely come to the surface and I could pop the bastard and then I used Immortelle/Salubelle which I use every morning and night to help with my acne scarring, pigmentation and just to create an even skin tone, hot tip I like to decant half into an empty 10ml roller bottle and fill the remaining space of both with Jojoba oil to make it go further.
I use the doTERRA Shampoo & Conditioner, On Guard toothpaste, Serenity soap or Citrus Bliss soap the divine Wild Orange and Peppermint Lip Balm and on the rare occasion I wear makeup I get it from Shop Naturally.
Here are some great alternative recipes to nasty chemical bath cleaner and toilet cleaner.
I like to use Wild Soap Nuts which I get from Green Living Australia along with wash nets and rubber bands, four of five of the nuts in a wash bag will last me 4 or 5 washes and then I just chuck them in the yard to decompose. I also add a drop or two of the Purify blend, or just straight Tea Tree/Melaleuca or On Guard to my wash which will help protect against environmental threats, smells amazing and supports immune function. Or the super simple option is to use the doTERRA On Guard Laundry Liquid.
I use the Eco Store dishwashing tablets with a drop or two of Lemon essential oil in the rinse section. This will really help cut the grease and grime and leave everything sparkly and clean without the shitstorm of chemicals.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANING SPRAY
I fill a 500ml Glass Spray bottle with water
1/4 cup white vinegar
A squirt of Natural Dishwashing Liquid like this one
And then around 20 drops of essential oil, I like to use mostly Citrus Oils to cut through grease such as Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot etc as well as Clove essential oil if cleaning areas like the bathroom prone to mould. I use this spray to clean most surfaces such as benches, shower wall, glass, windows etc.
Here are some awesome links to my favourite recipes off the doTERRA blog.
Hand Cleansing Spray (seriously do NOT use that shit with Triclosan in it, a known carcinogen).
Air Freshener (commercial air fresheners are seriously toxic and nasty, especially for expecting mums, young ones and pets.)
Foaming Hand Soap for the bathroom I use Geranium, Lavender and Tea Tree, for the kitchen On Guard
Cologne (seriously commercial stuff actually makes me want to spew and gives me a brutal headache).
I hope you enjoy these simple recipes, oils and products and have fun ditching one toxic product at a time in place of something that not only smells divine NATURALLY but also has health benefits rather than significant detriments.
Hot tip, open your windows, have indoor plants and eat well/stay hydrated and your shit will stink a whole lot less, literally.