Confession time: I used to be the QUEEN of scented candles. I mean, I had them everywhere in my home and I used them ALL. THE. TIME. And I don’t think I’m alone in this confession — we live in a world where synthetic fragrances and added scents are everywhere. You might guess by my title that I’m going to dive in today and talk about why it’s a good idea to reduce these toxic fragrances at home and instead use essential oils to purify the air.
I was definitely not all on board with essential oils right away. I kind of liked my candles and scented cleaning products. It seemed cumbersome to try to use something different and to be honest, I didn’t understand what they were doing to my indoor air.
As learned about fragrances in products like shampoo, detergents, perfumes and cleaners, I realized the vast number of chemicals that I was letting into my home. I also realized this is not information that is easy to find. Many of us aren’t aware of the true facts of synthetic fragrances because this is information we have to research in order to find the truth.
Unless you’re really looking for what’s in a product, you may never know because the information is not advertised.
And it doesn’t stop there, even products that claim to be using natural oils to add scent could also be using chemical synthetic fragrance in combination with their claim. This form of green washing seems to be running rampant on consumer packaging.
So let’s go through your home and find out where you can make some really simple changes and cut out LOADS of chemicals.
Why Synthetic Fragrances Should Be Avoided
Synthetic fragrances are made up of different chemicals. Up to 95% of those chemicals are made from petroleum products, or crude oil. Let that sink in for a moment. The second largest component in synthetic fragrance is phthalates. Phthalates have been banned from some plastic toys and kitchenware in the most recent years and there is a push to reduce the use of them even more.
Phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormone activity while Petrochemicals (petroleum based products) have been linked to birth defects, nervous system disorders, allergies and cancer.
Many of the synthetic fragrances are in products we put on skin or that are embedded into our clothing, which sits directly on our skin. When our skins comes into contact with these chemicals that are synthetic fragrances, our skin immediately absorbs them and carries them to our bloodstream.
Airborne scents are created to be long-lasting by companies and their chemists. These toxin-filled scents are made so they don’t easily break down, but are carried throughout the air. We are breathing these chemicals in and filling our lungs with the synthetic fragrances. This can cause long term effects on the respiratory system as well as cause long term allergies and asthma in children.
Those who are at a higher risk for being affected negatively by synthetic fragrances and and the chemicals contained in them are pregnant women, babies and children, who’s systems absorb more of these chemicals.
The good news is that it’s easier than you think to completely ditch synthetic fragrances and instead use essential oils to purify air at home.
Download your FREE printable copy of my Master Fragrance Replacement Checklist now
Where Synthetic Fragrances are Found
Honestly, synthetic fragrance seems to be everywhere. The list could be endless, as they seem to be in most personal care products and home products.
A few years ago my daughter got a baby doll that was vanilla scented — and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t natural vanilla either.
In my Master Synthetic Fragrance Replacement list, I walk you through ALL the places you want to look in your home to start reducing chemical toxins. You can create a plan for replacing each product or fragrance in the worksheet as well.
Before you download the worksheet, here’s a list of some places in your home you can check to get started:
- Scented Candles
- Dryer Sheets
- Laundry Detergent
- Household Cleaners
- Air Fresheners
- Wax Melts
- Hand Soap
- Baby Wipes
- Dish Soaps
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Kids’ Toys
The names of these fragrance additives often is listed as “Fragrance”, however it isn’t even always disclosed on the packaging. Most likely anything that advertises a scent of any kind has synthetic fragrance and the chemicals that come with that in the product.
Why Aren’t Chemicals Disclosed?
Our US government has imposed a Trade Secret Act that protects companies and manufacturers from disclosing the ingredients that make up their scent. Originally, this act was lobbied and created to protect secret formulas made from flowers and oils. The days of natural scents has long passed and this Trade Secret law now protects companies in their use of toxic chemicals and products.
And why aren’t natural flowers and oils used any longer? Well, sometimes they are used. Any product that boasts of scents derived from natural plants uses flowers and oils in their formulas as opposed to chemicals. But overall, most companies do not use natural options because the chemicals are much cheaper to use and create and they last longer in the air, which as consumers we’ve been told we want.
Essential Oils to Purify Air: How to Avoid These Chemicals
First, anytime you can, opt for unscented products and products advertised as “Fragrance Free.” Now, a word to this claim: This does not mean they have not added synthetic fragrances. A cleaner made with toxic chemicals may have a terrible smell. In order to neutralize this odor, more chemicals may be added to the product. It may still not have an odor, but chemicals have been added to create a neutral and unscented experience.
However, overall, finding products with this advertised on the package is going to be your best bet.
Second, instead of covering up the odors in your home, remove the scent all-together. Covering up odors with candles, wax melts or air fresheners, just makes the problem worse. Try opening a window, turning on a vented fan or ceiling fan or using a charcoal odor absorbing bag.
ESSENTIAL OIL MUST HAVES TO GET YOU STARTED
What essential oils purify air naturally?
Essential oils naturally purify the air without adding any toxins or chemicals to your home. Instead they promote healthy immune function and emotional support with their healing properties. Essential oils that purify the air are: