Fragrance, harmless or noxious?
Blog post posted by Natural Skincare Authority on February 5, 2010 at 11:18pm
Continuing with our research into Pantene Pro-V Always Smooth 2 in 1 Shampoo, tonight we will look into the chemically manufactured fragrance or 'parfum' which it is more eloquently known as.
Fragrance is one of the more concerning chemicals partly due to the fact that the full implications of this chemical are unknown from product to product. Fragrance has become a 'loose term' used by cosmetic companies to imply positive ordour of the product, however, the truth is there is little restrictions on this chemical concoction found in most skincare products and simply labelled 'fragrance' on the packaging.
Fragrance as an igredient is actually considered to be highly hazardous according to the Cosmetic Safety Database, 2010. Fragrance is indicated as:
* an immunotoxicant causing allergic reactions (a fighting response by the immune system)
* neurotoxicity in humans (toxic to the human brain)
* data gaps exist meaning that not enough research has been done to make conclusive recommendations about this chemical.
One study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health involving the effects of fragrance on allergic reactivity has shown that allergy to fragrance is increasing around the world with fragrance now being the second most common contact allergen. Fragrances have been used in personal care products for eons, however occupational use of fragrances is now impacting on the workplace. (Ref:www.cdc.gov/niosh.com, 2005)
This study concluded that chemicals tested (fragrance chemicals) are turned into mixtures when they infuse with oxygen. These mixtures actually have the capacity to cause allergic reactions in sensitive and non-sensitive people. The researcher noted a need for testing the chemicals the public are actually coming into contact with, not just the ingredients listed on the original product. (Ref:www.cdc.gov/niosh.com, 2005)
This research by the Center for Disease Control reinforces that this chemical concoction named fragrance is causing a real problem around the world, not just to the individuals applying it to their bodies, but to the rest of us who are forced to inhale it!
Think about the many places you go everyday and all of the subtle and not so subtle ordours, smells, and fragrances that you are subjected to. These fragrances are largely responsible for the massive allergen epidemic sweeping the world, from higher cases of asthma and dermititis to eye irritation and lowering immunity.
Bill Bunn whose article in salon.com got us discussing chemicals in shampoo in the first place, has some very honest and interesting points to make about the use of fragrance. This excerpt is fascinating:
"Smell is important, because after the bathers have washed their hair, smell reminds them that the soap has done its job...Smell is often associated with a brand, and smell
helps to form the most intimate psychological connection a soap can
make with its user. But the more "natural" the smell, the less natural
the machinations behind it...And fragrance can be
particularly dangerous because it's not specifically labeled. It's a
combination of ingredients that could be harmless, on one hand or, on
the other, noxious."
Let's look at the intimate psychological connection of soap to the user. Smell is such a powerful sense and the mind makes very strong associations with smells. These associations can automatically illicit a certain response from our bodies before 'we' even realise what is going on. This can be called a physiological repsonse.
So this is where marketers really 'bring home the bacon'. If they can hook you in with a delicious smell, one that appeals to you for whatever reason, they figure you are worth a nice sum for the duration of your custom. This could be why many shampoos are now available in different scents - you can even pick your own poision, so to speak.
Fragrance is a particularly dangerous chemical, one that NSA advises to avoid completely in your skincare products, your cosmetics, your deodorant, your washing powder, cleaning products, yes we mean avoid completely.
How do you do this? Do your own research on the brands you currently use, check the bottles for the ingredients, go to the websites, ring the manufacturers and if you are at all concerned, switch brands immediately. There are many products available with truly natural ingredients, including fragrants.
For more information you can go to the website www.natural-skincare-authority.com/FRAGRANCE.html
We will start to wrap up our investigation of Pantene Pro-V Always Smooth 2 in 1 Shampoo tomorrow. Stay tuned for final results.
Yours in Natural Skincare,
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