I confess. I used to LOVE Febreze. And the reed diffusers, room sprays, ALLLLL THE SCENTED THINGS.
But guess what?! Since I’ve been using oils, my body just straight-up rejects air fresheners and scented products of all kinds. I literally feel this burning sensation in my nose… and I get an immediate headache. My body feels fatigued and bogged down with these cloying scents.
And yet, I use more oils than ever.
So what gives? Well… our YLEOs are NOT synthetic fragrances!!!
Between aerosol sprays, electric plug-ins, candles, oil diffusers, wax melters, and other products, the U.S. air freshener market will pull in $1.8 billion in 2015, and these products are used in about 75% of households, says the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). According to Anne Steinemann, Ph.D., a professor of civil engineering at the University of Melbourne who has studied extensively the health impacts of fragranced household products, one-quarter of the ingredients in air fresheners are classified as toxic or hazardous. “Ultimately your risk depends on exposure,” she says. “You don’t have to have symptoms. Just because it doesn’t kill you, it doesn’t mean it’s not harming you. Some effects are not immediately obvious.”
One example: 1,4-Dichlorobenzene is a chemical which can be found in the blood of 96% of Americans. It has been linked to lung damage, is a known carcinogen, and it is an E.P.A. registered pesticide. Studies found it to increase rates of asthma. It can be found in the majority of air fresheners, toilet deodorizers, and mothballs.
Knowing what I know now, and know how these products make me feel… we no longer use this stuff in our home. And we don’t have to! We get our diffuser going (in my opinion everyone needs like 5 diffusers in their house) and we use customizable sprays like my DeFunk Spray (20 drops Purification, 10 drops Lemon + Water) that you can use on shoes, sports equipment, mattresses, bedding, pillows, clothing, ourselves and the air… cotton balls with oils in diaper pails, trash bins, clothing dressers…. literally you have so many options to replace synthetic air fresheners with your OILS!
Other benefits to DIFFUSING!!
Customize Your Environment Based on Your Needs
What I truly love diffusing is getting to customize the combo EVERY SINGLE TIME I set it up! I can check in with my mood, if I feel a little sniffly… if we need a pick-me-up or a majorly chill vibe… I get to intentionally combine oils to create a comforting environment, no matter what we need!
Did you know when you inhale an essential oil, it stimulates your limbic system? This is part of the brain that helps us process emotions, memories and more! No wonder why our oils can have such a large impact on our stress level and emotional well being!
Add Moisture to the Air
Multiple research studies conducted by the CDC and research universities have demonstrated that the influenza virus is transmitted as an aerosol much more readily in air that is devoid of moisture.
Because the winter months tend to exhibit the driest air, both outdoors and indoors, the transmission rate of the flu virus skyrockets as it can survive passage through the air in droplets.
For example, the research study by John Noti with the CDC demonstrated that at 43 percent relative humidity, only 14 percent of the virus particles that were released were able to transmit the influenza virus. This is in contrast to the 70 percent transmission rate in air that is at 23% relative humidity. Also, the protective effect at higher humidity levels appeared to be rapid, with the majority of viral inactivation taking place within 15 minutes of when viral particles were first “coughed” into a high-humidity environment.
This research underscores the importance of running a humidifier in your house during the winter months, as well as running your diffusers in various rooms, especially close to your bed at night while you are sleeping. For me, diffusers are MUCH easier to keep clean and the oils help purify the air at the same time!
A few research studies are referenced below:
Noti, John D., et al. “High humidity leads to loss of infectious influenza virus from simulated coughs.” PLoS One 8.2 (2013): e57485.
Lowen, Anice C., and John Steel. “Roles of humidity and temperature in shaping influenza seasonality.” Journal of virology 88.14 (2014): 7692-7695.
Jaakkola, Kari, et al. “Decline in temperature and humidity increases the occurrence of influenza in cold climate.” Environmental Health 13.1 (2014): 22
What are your favorite oily combos that you use in your diffuser to freshen the air?