Being frugal isn’t just about how little money you spend on things, it’s also about developing healthy habits or practices that benefit you, and will ultimately help you save even more money, in the long-run.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
As someone with hay fever and other allergies, I don’t use fragrances in my home and I avoid them in my products. But sometimes, I can’t avoid them.
For example, I bought some clothes at the Goodwill recently and they smelled very strongly of laundry detergent. When I got home, I washed the clothes as I usually do. The smell was still there. I washed them again. Smell was still there. Washed it again. And again.
It took washing the clothes 3-4 times for the fragrance of the detergent to finally lessen!
Why did I do this?
Because if I wear a piece of clothing that smells of fragrance, I get headaches.
I wasn’t always like this. I grew up using Tide, Cheer, Irish Spring soap, Tone soap, Flex shampoo, Pert shampoo and other heavily scented detergent and soap products (though I’ve never seen Barf detergent). I thought something wasn’t clean unless it smelled like flowery stuff. But, as I got older and as my seasonal allergies got worse, I started to eliminate fragrances from my home and personal products.
What do you know?
The more I decreased fragrances in my life, the more my allergies decreased.
Research studies on fragrances in products have found that they contain chemicals that are UNLISTED but also some of which are known CARCINOGENS and are HAZARDOUS to your health.
Here are two studies on the hazards of scented products conducted by the University of Washington.
Scented consumer products shown to emit many unlisted chemicals
Scented laundry products emit hazardous chemicals through dryer vents
Also, if you like to wear perfume, cologne or scented lotions, you’ll want to read this article in Scientific American called Scent of Danger.
If you have seasonal allergies, sensitive skin, chronic headaches, asthma and/or other respiratory issues, consider removing all fragrances from your home and personal use. Try this for a month and see if your daily health improves. I’m no scientist, but I bet you will feel much better.
So, don’t just buy the cheapest soap, detergent and/or shampoo to use. Look for products that have no added scents or fragrances. It might cost a little more money now, but your health will benefit for many years to come.
ps. In case you’re wondering, Barf soap and detergent can be purchased in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.
THANK YOU for this!! I’ve been cutting hair in Seattle for 6 years now and my allergies to fragrance have gotten so bad that I had to quit my full time job recently. Every day I would head to work feeling fine then get a headache shortly after my shift started and it wouldn’t go away until about 3 hours I left work. Salons are full of chemicals and nobody wants to admit it in the salon industry here. This is a perfect article and I’m so glad I came across it. Now I’m going to throw away all of my fragrance products and read the labels. The bug spay you have totally works btw. I’ve been using Lemongrass and Eucalyptus as a bug repellent for a while now and it saves me every time. Thank you!! Molly Davis in Seattle
You are so welcome, Molly! It made my day to read your comments and to hear that my fragrance-free and natural bug repellent articles helped you. 🙂
I’m really sorry to hear that you had to quite your hair stylist job recently because of all the chemicals. That really sucks. Have you thought about leasing a chair at one of the natural salons in Seattle? Just because they are “natural” doesn’t mean that they are fragrance-free or that all their products are better than the “non-natural” ones, but I’m wondering if the decrease in chemicals will be a much better and healthier environment for you? There’s one in Greenwood called HAZEL (http://www.hazelsalon.com/about/) and also PURE ALCHEMY in Columbia City (http://www.purealchemysalon.com/about/) and BAMBU in Fremont/Wallingford (http://www.bambuorganicsalon.com).
Thanks again for writing, Molly, and I wish you all the best in creating a more healthy, fragrance-free environment! 🙂