From shampoo to soap to deodorant to hair wax, a lot of the beauty products we use today are heavily scented and they could have untoward effects and could even make you impotent! As a matter of fact, piling on half a dozen or more fragranced grooming products when you get ready for work may have a harmful effect.
The health risks associated with deodorants include breathing difficulties, asthma attacks, migraine headaches, dizziness, rashes, congestion, seizures, nausea, and a range of other physical problems. A study conducted in 2017 at Australia’s University of Melbourne even found that 33% of Australians reported experiencing migraines and asthma attacks after exposure to fragranced products like air fresheners and cleaning supplies.
A handful of other studies have found that phthalates, a class of chemicals that are often used in scented soaps and shampoos, can also have some harrowing effects. Such compounds have been linked to abnormalities of male reproductive system development and are suspected of having neuro-developmental effects
Apart from phthalates, researchers also believe that other fragrance chemicals have been shown to block testosterone activity, which could lead to loss of energy, erectile dysfunction, or problems building or maintaining muscle.
In 2014, the U.S. National Toxicology Program issued a report about styrene, a chemical found in a range of consumer goods, including fragranced personal care and household products. The report states that it found “compelling evidence” that styrene can cause cancer in humans as research in animals has linked styrene to lung, breast, stomach, and liver cancers.
It is believed that there are potentially hundreds of other fragrance chemicals that may be carcinogenic, and they are not known about simply because th haven’t been tested.
To make matters worse, companies that produce scented products are not even required to disclose all of the ingredients they use to begin with. That’s in part due to a loophole in the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, which states that companies do not have to reveal an ingredient if it qualifies as a “trade secret.”
This may explain the reason why if you take a long look at the list of ingredients on your canister of hair product, you will most likely see a long list of multisyllabic chemicals, along with the word “fragrance” or “parfum,” which could be a stand-in in word for dozens or even hundreds of chemicals.
So, what can you do to lower your risks? First, avoid buying fragranced products whenever possible. Buying unscented products is an effective step for reducing chemical exposures. You don’t have to ditch your favourite deodorant but you can stop using the dozen other scented products you spread, lather, or rub on your body every day in favour of fragrance-free alternatives.
Furthermore, stop buying scented detergent, air freshener, household cleaner, and other fragranced products that don’t need to smell nice to do their jobs. Buy products that are labeled “fragrance free” instead of “unscented”, as the latter could have chemical products masking the scent.
More so, if a manufacturer makes a point of highlighting the lack of phthalates and parabens, that’s a good sign. While we don’t know a lot about the chemicals being used in our products or the extent of the threat they might pose to our health and safety, it is essential to be cautious. You can do without a sweet smiling deodorant if you can help it.