How Labels Can Hide Dirty Secrets About Fragrance

How Labels Can Hide Dirty Secrets About Fragrance


This week, Mary decodes: Fragrance in beauty products.



In Canada and US, manufacturers are not required to disclose their fragrance ingredients on their beauty products, as this is considered a ‘trade secret’.



Without full disclosure of fragrance ingredients on product labels, this means a great deal of things can be hidden from you.

1. Chemicals such as phthalates, oxybenzone, BHT, Octinoxate, Musk Ketone, which are considered hormone disruptors, can be hidden from the label.

2. Beware of brands that say they are “ALL NATURAL”. They can also cheat on their fragrances and replace expensive essential oil fragrances with synthetic fragrances. Brands can simply label them as “fragrance” on the label.



The beauty industry has long favored using synthetics fragrances vs natural fragrances for these reasons:

1. Synthetic fragrance is significantly less expensive than natural.

2. It’s much easier to manufacture synthetic fragrances, as the ingredients are more reproducible because they are not replicating nature, which can vary depending on growing season.

3. Manufactures have greater ability to create more complex scents with synthetics (almost all of the most famous scents in the world are derived from synthetic compounds).



The biggest divide between natural and synthetic fragrances lies in the way they are created.


Synthetic Fragrances

The Solvent Extraction is performed by putting plants into big, rotating drums. The plants are then covered with petroleum ether or benzene. The plant parts eventually dissolve in whatever solvent is used.  This leaves a waxy substance that contains the oils. This substance is then placed in ethyl alcohol. The oil dissolves in the alcohol, which is then burned off, leaving a highly concentrated perfume oil. The solvents that are used along with the preservatives in synthetic fragrances are considered chemicals of concern and this is not disclosed to the consumer as the label claim is simply ‘fragrance’. There is no standard for production in the fragrance industry in terms of what solvents can be used.


Natural Fragrances

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has a standard by which manufactures must follow in order to call their fragrances natural. The standard requires that aromatics are made by physically extracting the volatile fractions from plants WITHOUT chemically altering them. Natural aromatic raw materials must be physically obtained from plants using distillation, expression and extraction. Synthetically reconstituted essential oils, synthetic nature-identical ingredients and intentionally chemically modified natural raw materials (e.g. chemical acetylation of essential oil) cannot be used in fragrance compounds that are described as being natural.”



If your ingredient label says ‘natural fragrance’ or if it lists out the essential oils that were used, you know exactly what you’re getting – no dirty secrets. If it just says ‘FRAGRANCE’, then buyer beware.

Scents are integral to personal mood and wellbeing, so we never want them to go away. This is what makes the experience of using beauty products so special. We deserve to know what is in the fragrance we choose to put on our body. So keep this in mind the next time you pick up a beauty item with just ‘fragrance’ listed on the label.

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments.


charcoal deodorant

juicy bamboo

underarm bar

1 x underarm bar

power couple

underarm bar + charcoal deodorant

4 Proven Sleep Tips From An Insomniac

4 Proven Sleep Tips From An Insomniac

marissa kaia naturalsI’m Marissa, the Wellness Manager at kaia naturals. Today I’m sharing with you my experience with insomnia and how I was able train my body to get better sleep.

For years I have suffered with insomnia. Lying in bed at 4:00am wide awake, staring at the ceiling is a frequent activity I’d rather not participate in anymore. When it comes to getting better sleep, I have tried every trick in the book, and to be honest most of them don’t work. However, there are a few things that do work, so I thought I’d share them in case you are reaching for that 4th cup of coffee realizing its only noon.



There are a couple suggestions here depending on if you are having trouble falling asleep, or if you are having trouble staying asleep, and quite frankly, for me it’s both.


If you are finding it hard to fall asleep:

Snack on foods high in tryptophan before bed, as tryptophan helps produce, a hormone which promotes sleep. Foods that contain tryptophan include pumpkin seeds, turkey, tofu, eggs, walnuts, and seaweed.


If your problem lies in staying asleep:

Your blood sugar may be dropping during the night. When blood sugar drops, your body kicks up production of stress hormones, anxiously waking you up at night. Try a small snack containing complex carbohydrates to prevent these blood sugar dips. Some of my faves include sweet potatoes, beans, nuts, quinoa, and steel cut oats.



Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour biological wake – sleep cycle, it’s basically your body’s internal clock. If your circadian rhythm is off, you probably aren’t sleeping very well. Are you pulling all nighters, jet-lagged, or do you have inconsistent sleep and wake times? Well thank your circadian rhythm is probably off, so here is what to do:


Avoid screen time after sunset

(or at least 1-2 hours before bed) This is because technology screens emit blue light to our eyes, which triggers our brain to stop producing melatonin (our sleep hormone).


Getting natural light first thing in the morning

Try to aim for 30 minutes in the morning, and get the sun into your eyes to make sure the proper hormones are signalled.



Taking a bath in hot water before bed is the easiest thing that helps me fall asleep faster. It’s actually the drop in body temperature that happens after heating up from a bath that promotes a deeper sleep. This is because our body temperature naturally decreases as evening rolls around, signally to our body it’s time for sleep. The drop in body temp post bath helps mimic this signal.

Taking a hot bath with essential oils that promote sleep, such as wintergreen, lavender and spearmint, will further the sleep-inducing effects. I love the takesumi detox® sleep hot bath. It smells beyond amazing and honestly works!

BONUS TIP: Soaking in a detox hot bath will promote excessive sweating to help release toxins and detox your body. Click here to see more of the detox hot baths.



This may seem obvious, but the more we get done the night before, the longer we can actually sleep in! I never fail to do these 3 things before bed, so in the rare case I do fall asleep, I can stay asleep longer.

I prepare my breakfast and lunch, I pick out my outfit, and I use dry shampoo at night so that you wake up with clean, fresh hair. the takesumi detox® overnight dry shampoo is my fave, as it is formulated with time activated ingredients that work best overnight.


In true insomniac fashion I am writing this post at 3:00am, so be a doll and comment below with any tips and tricks you have that help with better sleep!



Why Your Body Smells

Why Your Body Smells

The most common question I get about switching to natural deodorant is “if I allow my body to sweat, won’t I smell?” It’s funny because most people think it’s your sweat that smells, but this isn’t really the case. B.O (aka body odor) is actually caused by the bacteria that live and grow under your arms.




When this bacteria interacts with your sweat, it causes an unpleasant odor. The good news is there is a really easy way to help mitigate this problem!

If you want to get rid of B.O you have to take care of the bacteria under your arms first. It’s just a matter of fact that some people may have more bacteria under their arms, and have a harder time with odor control. But, once you have created a clean slate under your arms, you will notice much less odor.

We created the underarm bar to turn any natural deodorant into extra strength. As our all natural anti-bacterial soap, it is formulated with apple cider vinegar, activated charcoal and sodium to create an environment that is inhospitable for bacteria. This leaves you with a squeaky clean surface to apply deodorant. Your deodorant will last throughout the day, without any breakthrough odor.

Try the takesumi detox® underarm bar here.

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