Scary Scents and Freaky Fragrances

Most of us love smelling good. We delight in slathering our skin with fruity lotions and washing our hair with tropical scented shampoos. Unfortunately, the very fragrances that titillate our noses and earn us all those compliments are actually chemical cocktails that are all too often toxic to our bodies and to the environment.

Fragrance is ubiquitous on the ingredient lists of most personal care products. I challenge you to find a product in your home right now that doesn’t contain fragrance. So what exactly goes into creating a synthetic fragrance? When you see the word fragrance on a label it can literally mean anywhere between 10 to 300 different chemicals are included in the formulation.  In our unregulated beauty landscape, companies are not required to list anything in their “fragrance” mixture. Common synthetic fragrances contain hormone disruptors such as phthalates, which have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems like early puberty, and the feminization of baby boys.

Health-Hazards phthalates
Image courtesy of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine

So what exactly is a “hormone disruptor” and how does my kiwi mango body wash have anything to do with sperm counts? Well, the answer lies within your endocrine system. The endocrine system regulates your body’s hormones and its normal functioning can be disrupted by certain chemicals common in our modern day environment. Endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as those found in fragrance, can interfere with hormone signaling and cause your body to produce irregular levels of hormones.  For example, abnormal amounts of the hormone estrogen in a woman can result in breast cancer and too much estrogen in a man can result in lower sperm counts and infertility. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are especially dangerous to developing fetuses and have been linked to birth defects, chronic childhood diseases and developmental disorders.

endocrine disrupting
Image courtesy of pinterest

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange run by Dr. Theo Colburn, author of Our Stolen Future, has this to say about our dramatically increased exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals:

“Over the past 60 years, through technological advances a growing number of synthetic chemicals have been used in the production of almost everything we purchase. They have become a part of our indoor environment, found in cosmetics, cleaning compounds, baby and children’s toys, food storage containers, furniture and carpets, computers, phones, and appliances.We encounter them as plastics and resins every day in our cars, trucks, planes, trains, sporting goods, outdoor equipment, medical equipment, dental sealants, and pharmaceuticals. Without fire retardants we would not be using our computers or lighting our homes. Instead of steel and wood, plastics and resins are now being used to build homes and offices, schools, etc. A large portion of pesticides are endocrine disruptors. What this constant everyday low-dose exposure means in terms of public health is just beginning to be explored by the academic community.”

Scientists still have their work cut out for them when it comes to studying the exact effects endocrine disrupting chemicals have on the human body. Here at Beauty Lies Truth we strongly believe that until we know more about the dangers of these chemicals, the FDA and companies formulating with possible endocrine disruptors should take the responsible route and remove them from products. Fortunately for us there are already several brands using natural fragrance instead of synthetic chemical cocktails. Whenever possible choose products containing naturally derived fragrances or opt for unscented or fragrance-free alternatives. As usual if you have any questions about the toxicity of an ingredient in a certain product be sure to look it up in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.

If you’d like to read more about the science of endocrine disruption I encourage you to visit the The Endocrine Disruption Exchange and watch this eye-opening TED talk given by Penelope Jagessar Chaffer and Tyrone Hayes.



Juice Your Way To Healthier Skin

juices 3 roots

Here at Beauty Lies Truth we recognize that the best beauty products in the world won’t make a damn bit of difference if you’re not nourishing your body with healthy, fresh foods. We could all use some help in the healthy eating department so we asked our friend Samantha Hew, owner of 3 Roots Cafe …

Non-Toxic Nail Art By Ria Nailz


Manicure maven Ria Lopez, a.k.a. Ria Nailz, is back with some badass yet totally doable nail art. Of course we’re using 5 free polish thanks to Zoya and their stunning Matte Velvet collection. Here’s how to get the look! Xoxo Alexis What you’ll need: Zoya polish in Harlow Nail art brush Black striper Zoya top coat 1. Using a …

Going BOLD: Don’t Be Afraid of the POP!


Need some new non-toxic lip color for fall? Wanna swap out your staple shade for something more adventurous? Scarlett Newman has the scoop on all the best, BOLDEST, and safest lipstick alternatives. Get your glam on!! Xoxo Alexis For many of us beauty girls (and guys out there too!) lipstick is a staple product that …

Safe IS the New Sustainable


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Oh La La, TRESemme Naturals Has Sulfates


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The NOT So Glamorous Glammy Awards: Second Batch

correct juice beauty

Glamour Magazine recently announced their 10th annual Glammy Award winners and we were shocked by all of the #beautybullshit lurking within the labels. So, last week we provided you with the first half of our list of #truthbeauty alternatives. As promised here’s the second batch of our favorite non-toxic products that will keep you healthy and looking …

Pink Ribbon Posers


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The NOT So Glamorous Glammy Awards


Glamour Magazine just announced their 10th annual Glammy Award winners and boy oh boy do I have some bones to pick with their list of 2014’s best beauty products. But instead of getting all negative, I’ve decided to provide you with a list of #truthbeauty alternatives. So, here’s the first batch of our favorite non-toxic products that …