Holistic Living

Is your perfume affecting your hormones?

This might come as a shock to you. (And some of you may be resistant to this idea at first.) But If I were you I’d throw out your perfume today! Yep. Throw it in the bin – and that’s just the start…

I’m sure some of you are saying “whaaaaaaaat?” but bear with me.

Let’s explore the relationship between your perfume and your hormones ..

The personal care products (PCPs) industry is one that is not regulated in the way you and I would want it to be. Manufacturers of PCPs can put any chemical they like into their formulations and will only be ‘investigated’ by government authorities if enough people complain about issues that they have had with the product.

What this means is that we, as women, are exposed to an awful lot of chemicals on a daily basis without realising it. On average, we use about 12 products a day (body wash/soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, deodorant, cleanser, toner, moisturiser, cosmetics and…perfume, would you agree?) and it has been estimated that by using just those 12 products, we are bathing our bodies in a toxic soup of up to 500 different chemicals. Here’s a scary one; some moisturisers can contain up to 30 different chemicals and some perfumes up to 400! Yikes!

The chemical(s) that I want to focus on today – and by no means is this the only one – is synthetic fragrance.

When we put a product with a synthetic fragrance on our skin or when we inhale it, both routes allow the chemicals to get right inside our bodies. The chemicals are called Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). Endocrine is another word for hormone.

Our endocrine system is very delicately balanced and every hormone we produce is affected by the level of another hormone. Hormone imbalances have a wide range of health effects and can contribute to mood-behavioural disorders associated with thyroid dysfunction, endocrine tissue overgrowth leading to fibroids and endometriosis, endocrine-related cancers, obesity and also Type 2 diabetes. Sadly, even unborn babies and children are susceptible to EDCs.

Once EDCs are in the body, they have an oestrogen-like effect that’s sometimes 1,000 times more powerful than our own indigenous oestrogen. By locking onto oestrogen receptor sites (which are like parking sites) on our cells, they can either contribute to an excess of oestrogen in our body or can block the effects of true oestrogen. They can also block natural testosterone and progesterone activity.

“Think of them as uninvited party guests at a fancy dress party. They act like all the other guests, drinking and chatting convivially, but they are really party crashers who will disrupt the whole affair when they take off their masks.” Dr Sara Gottfried, The Hormone Cure.

Traditionally we used to use plant-based extracts in order to fragrance ourselves and the products we used to beautify ourselves with. However in the last 50 years, these natural fragrances like pure essential oils, have been increasingly replaced by chemical mixtures which are longer lasting and much cheaper to produce.

You may have noticed that your expensive perfume has zero ingredients listed on the bottle. Manufacturers have no legal requirements to share what they use in their products. On other products like your PCPs, household cleaning products, air fresheners, laundry products, scented candles, you may see the words ‘fragrance’, ‘parfum’ or ‘perfume’. That one word covers up to 70-80 different chemicals used to synthesise the desired smell.

So what are we to do?

For me, the first place to start is in the home. If you really want to be healthier…and want your kids to live in a healthier environment too, then it’s time to ditch the synthetic fragrances.

Can you take up this challenge?

Start with your perfume. It’s one of the worst offenders that you spray on your thyroid hormone (throat area) daily.  It wouldn’t matter if you sprayed it on your clothes…if you can smell it, then you’re inhaling it and it’s getting into your body and affecting you and the people around you.

I’m very passionate about helping women to understand their bodies and how their environment affects their bodies and their health. Knowledge is empowerment, right? So I hope this helped.

I am co-hosting a full day women’s health retreat in early October in Malta. We will dive really deep into our bodies, we’ll discuss hormones, nutrition, lifestyle, essential oils, mindfulness and female cycle wisdom. The talks are delivered by myself and two other experts. To find out more and buy tickets, go here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/all-about-you-tickets-49281315742

To come to my October doTERRA essential oils classes to learn how to go back to using pure plant-based ingredients in your skincare, cleaning products and perfume, as well as to support your physical and emotional health contact me at gus@bemarvellous.co.uk


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