Ok, y’all. I’m going to hop up on my soapbox. Bless you for hanging with me. I just can’t abide the fact that we are being poisoned by our personal care products. I will shout the dangers of artificial fragrances from the rooftops and tell anyone who will listen. I found this bottle of Bath & Body Works lotion in my office and read the label just for kicks. I already knew what I would find. It’s peppermint scented but do you see actual peppermint in the ingredients? Nope. Here’s what you DO see:
Petrolatum Petrolatum is derived from crude oil and is often not fully refined in the US. This means it can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A 2015 study found that those women with high levels of PAH had a 50 percent greater risk of breast cancer. No worries there.
Fragrance The word fragrance on a label signifies a mix of potentially hundreds of ingredients, which are often “trade secrets”. Read also: they legally don’t have to tell you the ingredients thanks to FDA loopholes created in the 60’s and 70’s. We do know that phthalates, one class of chemicals typically found in fragrance, can disrupt hormones, leading to cancer, miscarriage and infertility. I’m a walking billboard for this one.
Parabens “Parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.” I’m entirely too familiar with with one as well.
Yellow 5 Studies have linked Yellow 5 (which is banned in Europe) to hyperactivity in children, DNA mutation and cancer. Seems ok, right? Let’s slather that all over ourselves and hope for the best.
Let’s try this: if you’re considering purchasing a scented product, check the label. Do you see a natural ingredient with that scent? Yes? Then you’re on the right track. If the answer is “no”, then HARD PASS! Many people believe that if products or ingredients were unsafe, they wouldn't be allowed in the marketplace. I remind you that Thalidomide was FDA approved, as was smoking during pregnancy and the use of DDT as a lice preventative. Have you ever considered why so many products are formulated differently in Europe than they are in the US? There are over 1,000 ingredients banned in the EU that are acceptable here in the US. If that doesn't upset you, I would ask you to do some research and reflection. We deserve better.