Artificial Colors and Fragrance Woes


When you see the word "fragrance" on the label it's a big warning sign that the company you're buying from is not truly dedicated to being natural. Fragrance is, at best, junk food for your skin, and, at worst, a cancer risk. Some of the problems caused by these chemicals are:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • rash
  • hyper-pigmentation
  • violent coughing
  • vomiting
  • skin irritation

Many fragranced personal care products contain phthalates (fal-ates), which are carcinogenic chemical plasticizers, solvents, and fixatives. The individual chemicals in a fragrance don't have to be listed on the label, under the guise that they're trade secrets. So, when you see "fragrance" on the label, you don't really know what you're getting. Some fragranced products may smell fabulous, but if you care at all about your health, don't give in to the temptation.

Artificial Colors

Your skin is your body’s biggest organ, working hard every day to rid your body of toxins, as well as protecting you from chemicals in the environment. When you add artificial colors to the toxic load, you’re making your skin work overtime! Artificial colors make attractive soaps and lotions, but are they dangerous? Derived from petroleum, acetone, and tar, studies have shown that unsafe colors in personal care products add health risks to our lives every day. Some contain impurities like lead acetate, which is toxic to the nervous system. Some commonly-used colors and dyes are allergens, irritants, and some are known carcinogens. To identify an artificial color on a label, look for the words "colorant," "blue lake," (or any of the "lakes"), "yellow number 1," "D&C," "FD&C" and so on. Some side effects of artificial colors include:

  • neurotoxicity
  • reproductive organ disruption
  • cancer risk
  • skin irritation
  • rash
  • hyper-pigmentation

Why take your chances when you don't have to? Big companies like these artificial colors because they're cheaper than their natural alternatives. For a healthier alternative, look for products with natural colors from tumeric, blueberries, clays, and natural or organic additives.