Health & Beauty: Does our “Nose” really “Know”?


Health & Beauty tip:

When many of us shop for our health & beauty products we rely on our “nose”. We open the top and smell. We read the product label or many don’t, but bottom line is; if we like how it smells we pop it in the cart. More and more of my clients are struggling with scent induced contact dermatitis (red skin looking burnt, bumps burning, even what I refer to as fragrance headaches). Here is the kicker so pay attention: Even fragrance FREE products can still contain fragrance. Yep you heard right!

There are 2,800 fragrance ingredients listed in the data base of the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials(yes there is such a data base LOL) at least 100 are known allergens. One allergen for those who like the cinnamon smell is called cinnamaldehyde: considered an organic compound, that offers a cinnamon odor, this is found in many cleansers & facial moisturizers.

Unscented on the product label doesn’t actually mean what it states. Many cosmetic ingredients which includes natural as well as synthetic do not smell so nice in their natural form, so scent is added to cover up the unpleasant aromas. While you may not be able to actually detect a scent (which allows the label to boast unscented), that doesn’t mean a perfume has not been used.

Also understand “marketing terms” especially for beauty products applied to the skin. We’ve all heard them in commercials and at beauty counters, “dermatologist-tested,” “hypoallergenic,”, “gentle,” (even Johnson’s baby shampoos says gentle it doesn’t burn your eyes but I wouldn’t drink it either), and last but not least “fragrance free”; those terms are NOT held to any scientific or regulatory standard. They are point and simple; marketing terms. Then realize that fragrances can sometimes be used as preservatives or solvents and as long as they are not specifically being used to scent the product. It can  still be labeled fragrance free. So basically, unless you the consumer have a solid grasp on chemistry you are not going to recognize this.

So what do you do? My rule of thumb is if I cannot EAT it I don’t apply it on my skin. So I use a lot of coconut oil, but typically look for the shortest list of ingredients on your products and many of fragrances or dyes are going to start with the prefix FD&C and parabens, like methylparaben and polyparaben. Truth be told you are rollin the dice with commercially purchased beauty products.

Many contain tons of ingredients you cannot pronounce let a lone understand what they are from emulsifiers, to oil separators, to preservatives so the oil doesn’t smell rancid (doesn’t mean it isn’t rancid by the way) Just so it doesn’t smell rancid. The list goes on and on. Getting back to the basics like castile soaps, and simple clean shampoos/conditioners. Using essential oils, and making some of your own health & beauty products.

Also remember when one is eating properly and ingesting proper amounts of essential fatty acids and balancing hormones and supporting digestion, and utilizing the minerals properly it will show in glowing hair, skin & nails. You have to also nutritionally support the inners while you are doing what you can to make the outer skin glow with a beautiful healthy allure!

Healthfully yours,
Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

Published by harvestedhealth

I am a Doctor of Naturopathy, BCHHP; passionate about helping others improve the quality of their health by empowering them with knowledge of how to incorporate a more natural/holistic approach towards better quality of health.

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