Fragrance is the new second-hand smoke. Being clean and smelling great should never mean using manufactured, toxic substances that you will inhale and absorb.
Think about it: if you climbed to the top of a mountain and took a deep breath of fresh air, compared to a deep inhale of a "mountain fresh" home cleaner or scented candle, you would notice a difference in how it makes you feel, right?
We are conditioned to understand that littering is bad, and that pollution is toxic -- but using fragrance in your home (or workplace, or on your body) is also polluting our shared air and world. Whenever you buy products with fragrance, you are telling companies to keep making it (and those involved in the manufacturing are affected terribly as well).
If you insist on wearing a scent or scenting a space, please consider these ways to smell fresh while going fragrance-free.
Take a shower.
Get clean using water and products that are free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and other yucky ingredients. Remember: being truly clean is vastly different from the synthetic scent that big companies call "clean."
Understand that sweat is not the enemy.
Here's the down low on B.O.: one square inch of your skin has about 650 sweat glands that need to be free and clear to get on with their important jobs. Most antiperspirants work by blocking, clogging and closing your pores with powerful astringents so they can't release sweat.
But you want to sweat (you NEED to sweat) -- it's the body's natural cooling process and aids in detoxification by letting the toxins out. Eco products can still prevent B.O. with natural antiseptic agents.
Choose natural perfumes.
Use an effective, toxin-free deodorant
Routine makes 12 deodorants with three different formulas (vegan clay, beeswax, and clay and beeswax), with gentle, organic, natural smells. They even have some options that are free of essential oils, making them friendly for those with allergies. For more deodorants that work, see our guide here.
Clean Cleaning Ingredients
Your home is important. Keep the place you live, eat, play, sleep and breathe free of harmful chemicals and artificial fragrances. Swap out conventional cleaning products for nontoxic cleaning ingredients like baking soda, castile soap (try Green Beaver's which is made from organic Canadian ingredients), vinegar, lemon juice and essential oils (we love Living Libations which is organic).
Refreshingly Fresh Air
The best air-freshener is actually FRESH AIR. Air fresheners don't remove odours, they simply mask them. Open the window before reaching for a spray.
If you need to spray your home, choose something made with pure ingredients. When it comes to the scented products we inhale in our own homes, shouldn't they be safe for our bodies, too? Love North's aromatherapy sprays are safe for room and body (just as room sprays should be!)
When your favourite bouquet of organic flowers is starting to turn, use the flowers to make your own DIY potpourri! You can customize the scent by adding some organic citrus fruits and whole spices, too.
Breathe and be Happy.
Fill your living space with the soft scent of your favourite organic essential oils using a diffuser or nebulizer -- it won't just smell good, it will boost your mood and relax you too!
Bottom line: fresh air doesn't actually smell like anything. You shouldn't smell cleaning chemicals or other people (at the restaurant, theatre or park). The best fresh air comes from the great outdoors, and your best scent comes from a clean body and confidence.
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Burt's Bees Herbal Deodorant spray mixes sage, lemon, and lavender to minimize and neutralize odor while still allowing your body to sweat, an natural toxin-eliminating process.
With no aluminum or parabens, this stick uses a blend of baking soda, chamomile, geranium and coriander oils to keep you smelling like a spring bouquet.
Dr. Hauschka's brew of witch hazel, sage, and zinc ricinoleate absorbs odor without disturbing your skin's natural processes. But your pits will pay - it's $20 a pop.
Lavanila gives your armpits some odor-fighting love with beta-glucan technology. No aluminum, parabens, sulfates, or synthetic dyes. Healthy pits are pricey, though - $18 a stick for this one.
Kiss My Face ... or my armpits. In patchouli, lavender, or summer scent, this aluminum and paraben-free formula with potassium will let you frolic stink-free in the summer sun.
Aloe, bergamot, lime, and ylang-ylang are among the very harmless ingredients in this natural odor-fighter. Ready to roll it on?
Aluminum? No. Parsley? Check. Not to mention clove, rosemary, and hyssop. Underarms, under control.
Made by Deodorant Stones of America, Thai Crystals inhibit bacterial growth without aluminum, perfumes, oils, or other harmful chemicals. One stick is said to last up to a year.
Hops fight odor-causing bacteria while calendula, honeysuckle rose, or woodspice scents cover it up. Chamomile and witch hazel sooth your skin.
Organic arrowroot powder, organic coconut oil, organic lime essential oil, organic geranium essential oil. That's it for this stick - no dangerous chemicals!
Available in a stick, a "Rock," roll-on, or spray, Crystal deodorant is made only from natural mineral salts and ammonium alum.
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