How To Find Non Toxic Perfumes And Colognes

In today’s commercial market, you’d be hard pressed to find non-toxic perfumes and colognes just by reading labels.

The Dangers of Artificial Fragrances
Fragrances are deemed cosmetics by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. As such, they’re regulated by the FDA under the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973.

The Act contains a loophole that allows fragrance companies to exclude what they consider to be proprietary ingredients from their packaging. Instead, manufacturers are permitted to label these items simply as “fragrance.”

This loophole was initially meant to protect the secret recipes and formulas of fragrance makers from imitators trying to profit from cheap knockoffs.

A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 2010 revealed that most of the popular fragrances contained an average of 14 different chemical ingredients that were not listed on their packaging.

Most of these ingredients were not directly related to the perfume or cologne’s proprietary scent, but were utilized as binding agents, color additives and preservatives.

Common Fragrance Ingredients That Can Damage Your Health
Fragrance companies may choose from over 3,000 different natural and synthetic chemicals when mixing their product, many of which haven’t been tested by the FDA.

Some harmful synthetic chemicals found in fragrance products include:

• Coal tar: This is a known carcinogen and respiratory toxicant, and suspected to be a skin toxicant with immunotoxic properties.

• Diethyl phthalate (DEP): This is diethyl ester of phthalic acid, a chemical not found in nature. Limited studies are available on the toxicity of DEP to humans, but it has been associated with early breast development in young girls. It’s been linked to autism, ADHD and other social conditions in children.

• Petrochemicals: These are synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum and natural gases that have been associated with cancer and endocrine system dysfunction.

Healthy Fragrances for Men and Women
Essential oils are powerful natural fragrances derived from plant sources, such as flowers and herbs, that are healthier than most chemical alternatives. Essential oils are incredibly concentrated, so just a small drop can go a long way.

If you’re looking for non-toxic fragrances for women, floral essences like lavender and rose are popular choices, as are mixed essences like citrus and sage. Non-toxic colognes for men include sandalwood or patchouli essences. Be sure to select essential oils and not fragrance oils, which are synthetic.

If you’re looking for more ways to practice non-toxic personal care, read an overview of make-up products that don’t utilize harmful ingredients.