Migraine Awareness Month Spotlight: Our Founder's Story

Posted by Team LATHER on

Migraine Awareness Month Spotlight: Our Founder's Story

In recognition of Migraine Awareness Month, we're spotlighting the story of Emilie, the visionary behind LATHER. Her journey from migraine sufferer to a successful entrepreneur is a testament to the power of personal experience driving meaningful change. To this day, Emilie intertwines her struggle with migraines with her mission to create safe, effective, natural skincare formulas and wellness products.

Not only will we tell the story of Emilie’s journey, but we'll also review the dangers of synthetic fragrances, and practical steps you can take to avoid migraine triggers.

Emilie’s Story: From Suffering to Solution

Decades before “clean beauty” became a buzzword, Emilie was on a quest for wellness that would lead to the creation of LATHER. As a young girl, Emilie endured relentless migraines, often so severe that they impaired her vision.

Despite consulting numerous medical experts, she found no lasting relief. Driven to reclaim her health, Emilie decided to take matters into her own hands. Her journey led her to extensive research, where she uncovered a startling link between her migraines and the personal care products she was using.

Among the many alarming discoveries, synthetic fragrance was a primary culprit. Synthetic fragrances are toxic, petroleum-based chemicals used in 95% of beauty products. These chemicals are harmful and largely unregulated, posing a significant risk to those sensitive to scents.

"It was a desire for good health that inspired me to explore natural ingredients to help others feel good in their own skin."

Emilie Hoyt, LATHER Founder

Emilie’s findings ignited her passion for creating safe, natural alternatives. In 1999, she opened LATHER’s first store in Pasadena, CA, to offer skincare products free from synthetic fragrances and harmful chemicals.

What Is the Difference Between a Migraine and a Headache?

Before we cover how synthetic fragrances affect migraines, it’s essential to understand the difference between a migraine and a headache. While headaches are common and often manageable, migraines are a more severe condition. Migraines are characterized by intense, throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head, and are frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine sufferers may also experience migraine smell sensitivity, where certain odors can trigger or worsen the migraine.

Understanding Migraine Symptoms: A Closer Look

Common symptoms can vary widely among individuals, but some common indicators can help you recognize when a migraine attack is imminent. A migraine is not just a severe head pain; it is a neurological condition that often involves a variety of debilitating symptoms. Typical migraine symptoms include intense, throbbing pain usually on one side of the head, and can last from four to 72 hours if untreated.

During an attack, individuals frequently experience increased sensitivity to light, noise, and odors, making even the smallest stimuli overwhelming. Nausea and vomiting are also common, often exacerbating the pain and discomfort. Routine physical activities, such as movement, coughing, or sneezing, can intensify the headache pain, further disrupting daily life.

Migraines often occur in the morning, with some individuals noting a pattern, such as attacks before menstruation or on weekends following stressful weeks, which result in tension headaches. Understanding these symptoms is crucial for effective migraine management and treatment, allowing sufferers to seek appropriate relief and preventive measures.

Smells Trigger Migraines: Understanding the Connection

One of the most challenging aspects of migraines is how various triggers can exacerbate the condition. For many chronic migraine sufferers, strong smells are a significant trigger, as with many other medical conditions. Synthetic fragrances, in particular, are known to be potent irritants.

These fragrances are often composed of hundreds of chemicals, many of which can act as triggers for migraine attacks. The complexity and unpredictability of these synthetic scents make them a significant concern for people with migraine history or those with migraine smell sensitivity.

The Dangers of Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are a blend of chemicals derived from petroleum. These chemicals are used in personal care products, cleaning agents, and even some foods. Despite their widespread use, synthetic fragrances pose several risks:

  1. Health Hazards: Many synthetic fragrance chemicals are known allergens and can cause skin irritation, respiratory issues, and headaches. For migraine sufferers, these chemicals can be particularly problematic, triggering severe migraine attacks.

  2. Lack of Regulation: The cosmetics industry often uses synthetic fragrances without disclosing their chemical composition. This lack of transparency means that consumers are often unaware of what they are exposingthemselves to, increasing the risk of adverse reactions.

  3. Environmental Impact: Synthetic fragrances can also hurt the environment. The chemicals used in these fragrances can be toxic to aquatic life and contribute to air pollution.

Things You Can Do to Avoid Synthetic Fragrance Triggers

If you suffer from migraines and are sensitive to smells, there are several steps you can take to minimize exposure to synthetic fragrances and prevent migraines:

  1. Read Labels Carefully: Always check the ingredient list on personal care products. Look for terms like “fragrance” or “parfum,” which can indicate the presence of synthetic fragrances. Opt for products labeled as “fragrance-free” or “naturally scented.”

  2. Choose Natural Products: Switch to natural and organic personal care products. Brands like LATHER, which focuses on using natural ingredients and avoiding synthetic fragrances, can provide safer alternatives.

  3. Ventilate Your Space: Ensure your home and workspace are well-ventilated. This can help dissipate any lingering scents and reduce the likelihood of triggering a migraine.

  4. Consult with Professionals: If you are unsure which products are safe for you, consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist who can recommend products suitable for sensitive skin and migraine sufferers.

Our Commitment to Natural Wellness

Emilie’s journey from migraine sufferer to founder of a pioneering wellness brand highlights the importance of transparency and natural ingredients in personal care. At LATHER, we are committed to providing products that support your health and well-being without the harmful effects of synthetic fragrances. Our range of natural hair care, face care, body care, and wellness products is designed to help you feel your best, naturally.

We are not just problem solvers but advocates for ingredient transparency and environmental responsibility. Our dedication to exploring innovative solutions and establishing ethical supply chains ensures that our products are safe and effective for everyone, regardless of their background or economic status.

Bringing it Together

Emilie’s story is a testament to the power of personal experience in driving meaningful change. Her commitment to finding natural solutions for her migraines led to the creation of LATHER, a brand that continues to champion wellness and safety. Her journey also highlights the importance of transparency and natural ingredients in personal care.

For those looking to avoid migraine triggers and embrace a healthier lifestyle, our natural skincare and hair care products offer a trustworthy alternative. Join us in our mission to create a world where natural wellness is accessible to all.