While all women like to have a spritz of perfume now and then, perfume may be doing much more harm than you think. I am going to talk about why perfume is toxic and share how perfume acts as an endocrine disruptor throwing your hormones out of balance and potentially causing further thyroid dysfunction.

Why Perfume is Toxic

Believe it or not, the perfume that you use daily contains a number of chemicals some of which may not even be listed on the label. In fact, the average fragrance product contains 14 hidden chemicals that are not listed! (1) This is on top of the average 15 chemicals that are listed on the ingredient label. This means your bottle of perfume or cologne may contain close to 30 different chemicals. Scary, right? But, how do companies get away with not letting us know what’s lurking in our products?

While The Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973 have forced cosmetic companies to actually list out the ingredients in their products, fragrance is not included in that. Consumers are bound to be using products not even knowing what’s actually in them. Some of these chemicals have not even been tested for safety.

What’s worse is that many of the chemicals found in these products have been linked back to hormone disruption and are known to cause allergic reactions. Some chemicals also pose the risk of being able to build up in human tissue. This is not something you want to be spraying on your body.

Chemical Endocrine Disruptors

It’s important to understand what is actually inside of perfume and why perfume is toxic because at the end of the day we have to be our own advocates. If companies are going to pack in hidden ingredients, it’s up to us to avoid these chemicals at all cost and be informed about what they do to our body.

Here are just a handful of chemicals inside fragrance bottles to help explain why perfume is toxic.


Parabens are commonly found in perfumes, and parabens are synthetic preservatives. The problem with this is that they are known to disrupt the endocrine system by interfering with both hormone production as well as the release of hormones in the body.

Synthetic musks:

The scary thing about synthetic musks is the fact that they have been found to build up in the body in things like body fat, and even breast milk. Synthetic musks have also been found to cause endocrine disruption.


Here’s yet another synthetic preservative that holds cancer-promoting properties. Phthalates have even been linked to damage caused to the liver as well as the kidneys. The reproductive system can also be affected by phthalates.

Ewg.org which is an excellent resource for determining safe and non-toxic products talks about the hormone disruption perfume can cause. A laboratory study found that 12 different-hormone disruptors were found in the tested products with about four different hormone-disrupting chemicals in each individual product, some contained more. Some of the chemicals mimic estrogen, and the others had thyroid effects. (2) That’s shocking, and a really important reason to stay away from chemical perfumes at all cost.

The bottom line here is that yes, perfume is toxic and it certainly disrupts the endocrine system among other body systems as well. So when you wear perfume, not only are you hurting yourself, but you are hurting the people around you as well.

Non-Toxic Perfume Alternatives

While you may be disappointed to hear that your favorite perfume may not be the safest option, there are some healthier non-toxic fragrance options. Organic essential oils are excellent, and they smell amazing. When you use pure grade essential oils, you ensure that the fragrance you wear is naturally derived as opposed to chemically.

Using Essential Oils Instead Of Perfume

My favorite way to wear a natural “perfume” is to use Young Living Essential oils. My favorite oil they offer is endoflex, and I mix this with coconut oil and then wear it as a lotion. It smells absolutely amazing, and the best part is that it supports the endocrine system as opposed to disrupting it.

Young Living also offers roll on essential oils some related to stress reduction which can help calm the senses and add a pleasant aroma to your skin at the same time.

If you are currently using toxic perfume, I highly recommend you swap it out with an essential oil. Essential oils are excellent, they smell amazing, and many of them can be made into lotions. Essential oils can even be diffused in an essential oil diffuser instead of using artificial air fragrances.

Just a word of warning for essential oils. Not all will be appropriate for direct skin contact. You will always want to do a small patch test with essential oil that is properly diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut, or jojoba oil.

Start taking the step towards toxic-free products today. Removing each toxic product and replacing it with a non-toxic option is incredibly rewarding for your health. You move one step closer to taking a huge burden off of your endocrine system.

To learn more about essential oils use this link

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  • Mercola. (2013) Is Your Perfume Poison?
  • (2010) Not So Sexy: Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne