10 Toxic Ingredients Lurking in Common Perfumes and Colognes
Consumers are snubbing their noses at high-priced fragrances and celebrity-endorsed perfumes and colognes, according to the most recent financial reporting. On Tuesday, Elizabeth Arden reported the worst quarterly losses in the company’s history, blaming Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift fragrances that have been less than alluring.
Elizabeth Arden is not alone. In the first half of 2014, L’Oreal’s fragrance revenues slipped 1.5 percent. The decline in perfume sales is part of a larger trend. Overall U.S. fragrance sales fell by two per cent in 2013, according to the market research firm Euromonitor.
While news reports cite celebrity misbehaviour and consumers’ lack of disposable income as the reasons, perhaps there are other reasons too. Perhaps consumers have become increasingly informed about the toxic ingredients in these products and are less inclined to subject their bodies to them. I would like to share some of my findings from my book Weekend Wonder Detox about the toxic ingredients in perfumes and colognes.
Before listing the ingredients, keep in mind that manufacturers are not required to list ingredients on the labels of these products, nor do they have to reveal any of the more than 400 specific ingredients in “fragrance” to regulating authorities because they are protected as trade secrets. While there may be value in protecting trade secrets, it is time regulators put the health of its citizens above corporate bottom lines. In an effort to ensure transparency about the toxic ingredients found in perfumes and colognes, here are 10 commonly-used ingredients and their toxic effects (based on the chemical industry’s own Material Safety Data Sheets):
Acetone—dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, coma
Benzaldehyde—narcotic, lung and eye irritant, nausea, abdominal pain, may cause kidney damage
Benzyl acetate—carcinogen, eye and lung irritation, coughing
Benzyl alcohol—headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drops in blood pressure, muscle twitching, convulsions
Camphor—dizziness, confusion, nausea, muscle twitching, convulsions
Ethanol—muscle twitching, fatigue, respiratory irritation (even in low amounts), drowsiness, impaired vision
Ethyl acetate—eye and respiratory irritation
Linalool—respiratory disturbances; in animals: depression, central nervous system disorders
Methylene chloride—banned by the FDA due to to severe toxic effects; however, the ban is not enforced due to “trade secrets.”
For a recipe to make your own non-toxic perfume click here.
Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you. Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox and 60 Seconds to Slim. Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.