5 Chemicals to Avoid in Fragrances

2 CommentsTuesday, 11 August 2015  |  Sarah

5 Chemicals to Avoid in Fragrances

We often here about chemical nasties in our deodorants, such as aluminium and parabens, but when it comes to perfumes and eau de toilettes, people often give much less thought to what might be hiding in these products. So the next time you go to spray your sweet-smelling fragrance, stop for a moment and check whether your product is natural or organic, and whether it is free from the below potentially health hazardous ingredients.

1) Petrochemicals and derivatives - roughly 95% of synthetic fragrances on the market are derived from petrochemicals. There are no laws, regulators or governing bodies to keep an eye on what goes in to fragrance products (there is IFRA but this is a self-governing body and by no means law-enforcing). Companies keep their formulations close guarded and top secret, and are not obliged to list their full ingredients – the word “fragrance” or “parfum” will suffice. The problem with these ingredients is they are bio-accumulative in the body and are likely carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

2) Phthalates - of which there are three different types - Di-ethyl phthalate (DEP), Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and Benzyl butyl phthalate. Known endocrine disruptors, suspected carcinogens, these chemicals are small enough in molecule size to enter the body when applied to the skin. They are also absorbed into the body through inhalation. Just like petrochemicals and their derivatives, phthalates do not have to be listed on the ingredients list and if “fragrance” or “parfum” is written in the ingredients list they might be in the perfume. Di-ethyl phthalate should be avoided by pregnant women in particular, as it has been linked to developmental abnormalities in foetuses and learning difficulties later in life. 

3) Synthetic Musks - ingredients such as Galaxolide and Tonalide are endocrine disruptors as well as being toxic to the environment. These synthetic musks are bio-accumulative in marine life and enter the food chain at this level.

4) Propylene Glycol - a preservative and penetration enhancer, propylene glycol may help  other bad chemicals enter your body through the skin. It’s bio-accumulative, and may cause toxicity in the liver, kidneys, intestines and heart.

5) Allergens -  as many as 1 in 50 people may suffer from immune system damage because of allergens found in fragrance. These chemicals can also trigger asthma.
Production of these synthetic fragrances can produce Dioxins and Formaldehyde, which are toxic to the environment and us, and they may be donors of these two ingredients, causing contamination of products.

When buying fragrances from Lucy Rose, you can be sure that our selection of perfumes contain none of these ingredients. Our favourite fragrance brand, Pacifica, adheres to strict IFRA standards, are cruelty free and suitable for vegans.

Janice Pritchard
Saturday, 15 August 2015  |  7:44

All ingredients should be listed on perfumes. There is no excuse for not doing so as good health is at stake. Janice

Raija Hietala
Monday, 21 March 2016  |  15:15

Couldn't agree more. "Perfume" of "Fragrance" in most people's minds is harmless, it's like a fancy color or just indulgence. There's no awarenes of what's in perfume because the ingredients are hiding. For me most horrific are fragrances used on washingmachine detergents, I get nausea. Plus: you don't need a fragrance to get your clothes clean. Thus: unnecessary use of chemicals.