We have a fragrance obsession, am I right? We hit Bath & Body Works for the latest sales on Pumpkin Spice Drizzled Unicorn Horn Infused scented candles. Because our house has to smell like something at all times. Many people just are not aware of the side effects of fragrance.
We’ve arrived at a place in our cultural timeline where the house just not smelling bad is not enough for us. We need SCENT. If your house doesn’t smell like a damn muffin, you are doing something wrong.
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A little about me
I used to be right there with you. Fragrance all the live long day. If Target had Glade candles on sale for buy 4 get 1 free, I bought 10. (Hey, 2 were free, right?) One was lit at all times. It wasn’t enough that I cleaned my house and it didn’t smell of anything in particular. It had to smell like something. I’m not sure why this is a thing honestly. But here we are.
I started to do research (at the request of a crunchy friend) about these candles and sprays I was using and…
Basically, I found out that that shit is horrible for you. That’s a whole other blog post, so just use your Google fingers for now. But between fragrance and formaldehyde and all their friends, I was slowly poisoning myself. So, that’s neat.
The side effects of fragrance
According to studies, exposure to fragrance chemicals can cause:
- eye, nose, and throat irritation
- loss of coordination
- other respiratory and/or neurotoxic symptoms
- asthma attacks
- sinus conditions
“Fragrance chemicals are the number one cause of allergic reactions to cosmetics — not only to the primary users, but also to those who breathe in the chemicals as secondhand users. Phthalates in fragrances are known to disrupt hormones and are linked in animal studies to malformations of the penis, as well as adverse effects on the developing testes.”(https://noharm-uscanada.org/issues/us-canada/fragrance-chemicals)
Where is fragrance found?
Fragrance can be found in the following items:
- body wash
- laundry soap
- scent boosters
- multipurpose cleaners
- body lotion
- wax melts
- scent plug-ins
- facial cream
- skin toner
- exfoliating scrubs
What can you do?
There are a lot of ways you can remove fragrance from your home. After all, I’m a former candle addict who hasn’t looked back.
Disclaimer: It is not cheap.
It involves throwing a lot of stuff away.
It involves replacing said items with comparable fragrance-free alternatives.
Sometimes, it involves irritating your spouse. (Oh, wait, is that just me?)
It involves humility, admitting you were wrong about something.
That last part is the hardest. It sucks admitting you are at fault and did something that was potentially harming your health.
But it’s important to grow and change as new facts emerge, and not be caught on the wrong side of history.
Here are some of my best tips for removing toxic products from your home, and even saving a little money in the process.
1- Go room by room.
Like I said above, this is not a cheap process. That’s just the truth. But if you make it a goal to clear out one room a month, it’s a little more manageable.
Not feeling up to the task? Maybe you’ve been depressed. Check out this post about staying organized while you’re depressed.
2- See what you can make yourself!
There are a lot of tips on Pinterest for ways you can make your own bath salts, laundry soap, hand soap and more. A lot of time this ends up being cheaper, since you can buy ingredients in bulk that last forever.
3- Invest in a diffuser.
This is what we do in place of candles and it has the same effect! Plus, essential oils have a ton of therapeutic benefits. Whereas candles do nothing for you.
4- Do a detox.
Once you rid your home of all the toxic products, it is a good idea to do some kind of detox.
Are you a fragrance addict? What is your favorite smell? Which of the side effects of fragrance surprised you the most? Let me know in the comments below!
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