What Wearing Perfume Every Day Really Does To Your Body

Cosmetic companies often advertise perfume as a symbol of luxury, confidence, and a means to set the mood. If a daily spritz of your favorite signature scent is a regular part of your routine, it's important to know what ingredients are contained within and how they can affect our overall health — much like any other product.

Nowadays, according to the book Cosmetic Science and Technology, perfume is primarily made up of a variety of synthetic chemicals and scented oils to produce a unique aroma, often specific to that cosmetic brand. The lure of perfume lies in its ability to tap into human emotion through our sense of smell. Certain fragrances may evoke certain memories of a specific person or place, and as a result, can influence our mood.

While perfume may remind us of special moments spent with grandma, the presence of certain ingredients, or even improper application of the product itself, can pose the risk for skin damage as well as other potential health issues.

Certain chemicals in perfume may impact hormone function

When it comes to perfume application, My Perfume Shop instructs buyers not to massage perfume directly into the skin, as everyday rubbing of the product against the skin's surface can be damaging and eventually dry out the skin from the alcohol used in most perfume products.

With this in mind, it's important to note that fragrance may not be the only thing getting rubbed into your skin every day. Dr. Heather Patisaul, a biologist at North Carolina State University, told Time that "fragrance" is used as a blanket term for numerous different chemicals found on many cosmetic ingredient lists. One of these chemicals, phthalates, has been linked to hormone interferences in women and young babies. "There's evidence connecting phthalates to developmental disorders, especially among newborn boys," said Patisaul. Such hormone imbalances could be especially problematic for teenagers who are still undergoing the bodily changes of puberty, as direct phthalate exposure has been shown to impact sperm count and normal menstruation function.

Although more research is still needed on the effects of these chemicals, to err on the side of caution, there are public search resources available online that contain lists of safe beauty products — including those that are scented. By doing a quick search, you can spray away with peace of mind knowing you're using the safest of products.