Do you ever wonder why there are no ingredients listed when you purchase a perfume or cologne?  I used to wonder this too.  I thought isn't there a law that forces companies to list what is in cosmetic products?  WELL! Some smart people back in 1973 passed the Federal Fair Packaging and Labelling Act of 1973 and DID create that law...except, it excluded fragrance makers so they could keep their formulations private.  I personally find this appalling, it should just be a human right to know what is in products we use on our skin AND breathe in our lungs.  You would think that law would be changed by now, right?

It’s not only perfumes and colognes that this law applies to.  Any product that has 'fragrance' listed in the ingredients can avoid revealing all the ingredients that make up that fragrance.  'Fragrance' can be used in anything like cleaning products, skincare, laundry detergents, even baby products.  It's just one giant loop hole that lets companies get away with it and they feel they are entitled to because it 'protects' their specific proprietary scent.

I have emailed companies before requesting their perfumes ingredient list and I either get nothing back or "we only use natural, safe ingredients", well I would like to be the judge of that. 

Do you ever get a headache when you walk through the perfume section at a department store? Or can't handle the intense smell of perfumes so you just avoid them altogether?  I do, it's really no wonder why when you think about all the sneaky unlisted synthetic chemicals and other unknown ingredients that are packed in.

We put so much trust in these companies when we should be given all the information and make informed decisions for ourselves. 

A study by the Environmental Working Group revealed 38 secret ingredients in well-known brands.  It was an average of 14 secret chemicals for each fragrance product they tested.  These products are targeted at men, women and teenagers, and all secret ingredients are linked to health concerns such as allergic sensitisation, potential effects on the endocrine system or reproductive toxicity.  Other common allergic reactions include headaches, chest tightness, wheezing, mucosal irritation, reduced pulmonary function, asthma/asthmatic exacerbation, rhinitis and airway irritation and contact dermatitis.

The fragrance industry has around 3,100 stock chemical ingredients that companies use to concoct their own secret unique scent.  These chemicals can be harmful to our health and have the tendency to accumulate in human tissue, making it hard to be eliminated from the body.  These ingredients haven't all been clinically studied or proven safe for human use.  66% of the 38 secret ingredients and 19% of listed ingredients have not been assessed for safety.  We have become increasingly exposed to these chemicals due to fragrances now being used in so many other products such as skincare and household products.

What can we do about it?

  • Tell the companies that list 'fragrance' to fully disclose all ingredients in their products.  Email them, call them, ask them on social media and demand your right to know.
  • If you are super attached to your perfume or cologne, use it sparingly to reduce exposure to these chemicals.
  • Buy fragrance-free products only - some products...I repeat SOME good natural brands list 'fragrance' down but specify in smaller print that it is a blend of essential oils, that would really be the only exception.
  • Be aware and make sure to check ingredient lists for all products you want to bring into the house or use on your body.  If a product has 'fragrance' listed, put it back on the shelf.
  • Check current products you have for 'fragrance' so you know to avoid them in the future.
  • Be conscious of your health, if allergies start to play up or you feel unwell, have a think about what products you have recently been exposed to. 
  • Check out the amazing natural perfumes and colognes that are popping up everywhere, like these ones:

Time to demand ingredient transparency!

The EVAH Organics team


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