I was recently asked what is the story behind the name French Secret, the line of skincare products using high-quality essential oils and nourishing botanicals.

Well, everybody knows now that “entrepreneur” is a French word (since the historical “gaffe” -another French word – by George Bush). But few know that “aromatherapy “ is also a French word.

gattefosseWe owe the term “aromatherapie” (in English “aromatherapy“, “aromaterapia” in Spanish, etc .) to Rene-Maurice Gattefossé (1881-1950). Famously in 1910, after a laboratory explosion, Gattefossé, a French chemical engineer specializing in the fields of cosmetics and perfumes, plunged his burned hand in a solution of essential oil of lavender and observed immediate relief. In the following days, he experienced ultra-fast recovery without infection or scarring and started to analyze the chemical properties of essential oils and how they were used to treat burns, skin infections, gangrene, and wounds in soldiers during World War I.  In 1928, Gattefossé founded the science of aromatherapy. By the 1950s, when Gattefossé passed away, massage therapists, beauticians, nurses, physiotherapists, doctors, and other healthcare providers were using aromatherapy.

Now, what is the secret part?  Well, I wish it was not a secret…

The large luxury brands (Dior, Lancôme, Yves St Laurent, L’Oréal …mostly French names!) that dominate the cosmetic industry are mass-market global companies whose products are laced with chemical preservatives in order to increase their shelf life. The average woman in the United States uses over 15 personal care products daily, the average man about six. Each product contains an average of a dozen  chemicals! Many of these chemicals are carcinogens, neurotoxins and contain reproductive toxins!

French Secret logoThe skin is your largest organ, what you put on it is absorbed into your bloodstream.  Those toxins spread through the body and can cause potential damage: “From the moment you wake up to when you hit the sheets, we’re always battling the elements,” says Anne Chapas, M.D. , assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. “And when we’re exposed to too many environmental assaults on a daily basis, our body’s natural protection process breaks down.” (1)

There are many benefits associated with using all natural products on your skin: from improving the health of your skin to contributing to a safer environment.  By avoiding harmful ingredients found in regular skincare products you will help decrease your chances of redness, irritation and breakouts, along with severe allergic reactions. In addition, you are putting fewer toxic chemicals into the environment and water, contributing to a safer and cleaner environment.

Share the secret….and reap the benefits!

(1) http://www.annechapasmd.com/