Are you still looking for the perfect gift for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? Many popular Valentine’s gifts might not be so good for you, or your loved one’s health. Here are a few ways to make your Valentine’s Day toxic-free this year.


  1. Avoid fragrances in perfumes and colognes

On Valentine’s Day, it’s common for people to spritz on perfume or cologne to perhaps put a spell on their date. While a woodsy musk or sensual rose scent may lure you into choosing a particular scent, there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, of chemicals that are behind that fragrance.

Current laws on ingredient labelling in Canada exempt companies from listing the chemical makeup of a product’s scent as the mixture is considered a “trade secret.” Since perfumes and colognes are solely a fragrance, there’s no ingredient list whatsoever. In fact, there’s an average of 800 ingredients in a bottle of perfume/cologne!

A main concern is a group of chemicals called phthalates which are often used in products to make a scent last longer. Phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that have been linked to reproductive health problems and obesity.

This Valentine’s Day, find your signature scent but ditch the toxic-laden synthetic fragrances. Instead, try making a blend of your favourite organic essential oils and dab it on your neck and wrists.

  1. Stick to 5-free nail polishes

Whether you’re sticking to the classic red nail or nail art with some hearts this Valentine’s Day, it’s important to know what toxics may be hiding in a bottle of nail polish.

Nail polish often contains a cocktail of toxic chemicals that are easily absorbed into our bodies through our nails.  The five most common toxics found in nail polish are: formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. These chemicals are linked to a range of acute and chronic illnesses such as developmental and reproductive effects and cancer.

The good news is that “5-free” and even “7-” and “9-free” nail polishes exist meaning they don’t contain the most concerning toxics in nail polish. But if you’re like me and prefer to use shellac polish because it’s long lasting, look for salons that use Bioseaweed Gel. These shellac polishes are “5-free” and Kourtney Kardashian even swears by it.

  1. Buy organic flowers as roses may contain pesticides

Nothing can express affection on Valentine’s Day better than a bouquet of fresh roses. But those floral beauties often come at a high cost, especially for the health of the workers that harvest them.

bouquet of Valentine's roses

Roses are often harvested in Ecuador, Colombia, and west/central African countries. Before they reach our neighbourhood flower shops, they are most likely sprayed, rinsed, and dipped in a cocktail of highly toxic pesticides.

The best alternatives for those classic red roses are either for certified fair trade, organic cut flowers for those not willing to give up the tradition. If you’re not committed to roses, try locally-produced, organic potted plants.

Sometimes the best Valentine’s Day gift isn’t a material gift at all. Take your significant other for a nice dinner at a locally-sourced, organic restaurant, take a romantic hike outdoors, or curl up on the couch and watch a romantic comedy.

With these simple tips in mind, you can set the mood this Valentine’s Day while also protecting yourselves from questionable toxics hiding in products.