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For those extra sweaty runs—especially when we have somewhere to go right after, maybe a work meeting or brunch—spraying some perfume or body spray can seem like the best solution. It turns out, that isn’t always the case, and your spray may be doing more harm than good.
A new report shares that, according to the Committee on Science and Technology, “Approximately 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum.”
Petroleum? That same thing used to produce fuels including gas and oil? YIKES. It turns out when we are simply trying to enhance our scent, we are spraying some pretty harmful chemicals onto our skin and into the air (and can actually lead to allergies).
“Artificial fragrance is simply listed as ‘fragrance’ in the ingredients,” she explains. “Generally, the safest products are certified organic, because there are extremely tight controls on what ingredients can be used in these formulations.”
These organic products often use essential oils for the fragrance.
“Our olfactory and brain can understand true essential odors in a way that they cannot process synthetic fragrances,” adds Strgar. “Synthetic fragrance is associated with 50 percent of environmental allergies, as well as a host of other serious conditions.”
The benefit? Less fake chemicals and a better scent! This part is key: Strgar shares that runners should avoid fragrance after a run, when you are sweaty and your pores are all open. So next time you reach for the spray bottle instead of the spray nozzle in the shower, you’ll need to keep those pores in consideration.