Category Archives: Breast Cancer and Beauty

Protecting Yourself At The Hair Salon From Those Chemicals

Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net / Marin
Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net / Marin

Protecting Yourself At The Hair Salon From Those Chemicals

Many of my thrivers are concerned about the need to protect themselves at the hair salon from all of those chemicals, and rightfully so.  Conventional hair dyes, chemical straighteners, hair relaxers, bleach, etc are putting us at a higher risk for breast cancer.  If you are having any of these chemicals put onto your head of hair, please read this article for some great tips on how to protect yourself, as well as how to detox afterward (if I can’t talk you out of using them).

The Problem Is…

When you consider that more than one third of women over the age of 18 – and plenty of men over the age of 40 – use some form of hair dye, and when you understand that over 5,000 chemicals are used to create these products, many of which have not been proven to be safe for humans to use, you begin to understand the scope of the problem.

Aren’t we protected by the FDA?  No, because hair dyes are classified as personal care products and the FDA currently does not require ANY mandatory testing for these products before they are put on the market.  You might be interested to know that over its long history of monitoring the cosmetics industry, the FDA has only ever banned 9 personal care products.  Disgusting but true.  So don’t rely on them to keep you safe.

Not all hair colors/dyes are terrible, but you do need to be proactive and check them out.  You can do that on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database.  The EWG has around 600 hair colors listed on their database, the majority of which are considered to be high hazards because the chemicals within them are linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, immune system problems, allergies, skin irritations, eye irritations, lung problems, and the list goes on.

So What’s Best To Do?  

Because so many of the chemicals used in hair colors and other hair products have not been proven to be safe for humans to use, indeed some are known carcinogens, I recommend removing them from your life, particularly if you have breast cancer (or any other kind of cancer).

The scalp has a rich blood supply and is quite capable of transporting the toxins in these products throughout the entire body. I’ve said this before and I stick with it now – you really should not put anything on your body that you would not be comfortable eating.  Because it will end up in your bloodstream.

Anyone who puts these chemicals in their hair is at risk.  Particularly women who are pregnant or breastfeeding – I strongly advise they completely stay away from hair colors because of the impact they can have on the unborn child.  If you are a hairdresser, you absolutely must be wearing protective gear like gloves (at the very least) and even a breathing mask would be a good idea, some of these chemicals are noxious for the lungs as well.

Having said all of that, I know what women are like.  We want our pretty hair colors and that bit of grey covered up.  Please keep reading, all is not lost.

If You Are Using Conventional Hair Dye, Tips For Minimizing Exposure

If you feel you simply must use conventional hair dyes, you can minimize your exposure by following these 4 tips:

1.  Try to find more natural hair color brands.  For the do-it-yourselfer at home, one brand I can recommend is Light Mountain, they are available on Amazon.com and they have a hazard rating of 0 by EWG.  Sante Herbal Hair Colors and Lagona Herbal Hair Colors are also considered safe to use, and are both available on Amazon.com.

2.  If you are going to use conventional hair colors (the ones with all the chemicals), try to avoid permanent hair colors, these are known to be the most toxic. If you choose semi-permanent and temporary colors you get less of a load of toxins.  You can also avoid the darkest shades – while all of the colors use about the same chemicals, there are more of those chemicals in the dark brown and black shades than in the lighter shades like red, blonde or light brown.

3. If you are using the services of a hairdresser, try to find one that uses herbal products or that  caters to people with multiple chemical sensitivities.

4.  See my list of detox tips below if using conventional hair products.

How To Detox Your Body After A Visit To The Hair Salon

If you are coming into contact with conventional hair products (the ones with all the chemicals), you are putting your body into a potentially toxic situation.  There are ways of decreasing the risk, however, I would not rely upon these alone.  Abstention is still the best route.  But if you feel compelled to continue using conventional hair products, please know there are things you can do to help minimize your exposure.

In the days just prior and just subsequent to your visit to the hair salon, the following things can be of great assistance to your ability to excrete the toxic chemicals:

1.  Antioxidant vitamins minimize the free radicals caused by chemical exposure.  Including a high potency antioxidant vitamin containing vitamins C, E and beta-carotene will be extremely beneficial.

2. Fresh green juices or smoothies containing kale, cilantro (esp when combined with chlorella), parsley, ginger and/or alfalfa help to detoxify the system and pull chemicals out of the body.

3. Studies indicate that spices such as clove, cilantro and cardamom all have high antioxidant activity and are able to chelate (latch onto) heavy metals from the body. 1  Be sure to add them to your juices or smoothies.

4.  Dandelion root tea (Taraxacum officinale) is a great herb for purifying the blood and for its ability to filter toxic chemicals from the bloodstream. It promotes liver health as well. You can take it in the form of a tea, Amazon has it.

5.  Echinacea angustifolia is a well known herb for its good benefits on boosting immunity, but it is also a good blood cleanser and helps stimulate the lymphatic system, enabling it to remove toxic substances from the body.  Easily available from Amazon.

6.  Licorice root tea (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an excellent detoxification herb, a blood cleanser and excellent for liver health.  Also available from Amazon.

7.  Sweat it out.  Go to the gym for a workout, ride a bicycle in hilly terrain, do a kickboxing class (insert your favorite form of exercise here!) but aim to increase your activity to a level where you induce a sweat for at least 15-20 minutes.  You can also sit in a sauna or infrared sauna where you sweat for at least 15-20 minutes. This is a great way to decrease a toxin overload.

8.  Take fulvic acids, they are great natural detoxifying agents and our diet is completely devoid of them. They help to chelate heavy metals and toxins and carry them out of the body, they are also excellent antioxidants.  Here is a highly recommended brand, the highest quality fulvic acid product on the market.

9.  Drink plenty of water with a little lemon added, at least 8 glasses of filtered, high quality water per day to help your body detoxify and cleanse itself.

10.  Take a detox bath.  A bath full of hot water with specific things added in is a great way to begin the detoxification process.  See my article How To Detox In Your Bathtub for some good tips.

11.  Get plenty of sleep – after you have been to the hair salon be cognizant of the fact that the best way for the body to detoxify, restore and replenish itself is when you sleep.

One More Thing…

Why do we feel we have to color our hair to be beautiful?  That’s the topic of a whole other article, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with your natural hair color.  It’s you, it’s who you are.  Be bold and try a year without hair color, you might actually like the way you look even better and your body will love you for it.

References:
1.  Free radical scavenging activity, metal chelation and antioxidant power of some of the Indian spices – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18997285

GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right.  You can also “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates.  I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Guest Post: Katey Mason of Aurora Strait Naturals

http://MarnieClark.com/Guest-Post-Katey-Mason-of-Aurora-Strait-NaturalsHappy April!  I am handing today’s blog over to Katey Mason of Aurora Strait Naturals, a brand new Australian company dedicated to creating pure, natural products with no nasties or toxic chemicals for parents, children and the home.  I think Katey and her business partner have a really beautiful business ethic, their products are gorgeous and I am very happy to help them get the word out.

Katey writes:

I was very young when I had my first son and was often misguided into things that I thought I HAD to do – feed him cow’s milk, vaccinate him (controversial), I was even under the impression that those jars of pre-made meals were good for him!  As he got a little older I started doing what every new parent should do (research) and found some nasty truths in a lot of things and I regretted going along with the mainstream even though I thought I was doing right by him.

After my second son was born I was very strict about what he ate and made sure that everything that went into his tummy was organic and homemade, until one day I looked at the ingredients of an “organic” bottle of lotion I went to apply to his dry skin.  I can tell you right away that the “organic” label certainly did not mean “good for you”.  There were ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce or even begin to think about where they came from and so I looked them up on a search engine.

Gross.

I was taking all these pains and efforts to make sure my sons were being looked after from the inside and I didn’t even realise they were also being poisoned from the outside.  I began looking around and being a mother with two young boys and not yet back at work, I couldn’t afford to buy these products that were offered to me at such a high price.  So I began to research some more and having some experience in my kitchen and having a slight knowledge for essential oils and herbs, I decided to make my own.  To my complete shock, what I had come up with was amazing and it worked beautifully.  I ended up replacing every single one of our body care products: body wash, soap, lotions, talcum powder and facial cleansers.  I felt much better – physically and mentally – knowing that I was looking after myself without any harsh chemicals or cancer causing parabens.

I researched and studied enough so that I could perfect my recipes and hand them out to my friends so they could try and make a difference to their bodies too.  After trying them out, I had such wonderful feedback!   And so the idea of “Aurora Naturals” was born.  I could sell my natural, chemical- and cruelty-free products to people at a fraction of the cost of what they are paying in mainstream stores for products that are mass produced and riddled with all sorts of horrible ingredients.  When I mentioned this to my friend in America, Tessa Strait, she told me how she had been making soap for a long time and wanted to do the same thing.

Having the same goals and the same passion for natural products without ripping people off, we decided to merge and make a bi-continental company, “Aurora Strait Naturals”.  We both feel very strongly about giving our babies, friends and family the very best – and we want everyone to be able to experience natural and opulent products, not just those who can afford to pay for products that are heavily marked up so that companies can make fast money.  We have combined our recipes and skills and now we offer an array of home and body care lotions, body butters, body scrubs, eczema ointment, air refreshers, candles and much more.  We also have a specific baby care range to help mothers and fathers give their newborn babies the very best start http://MarnieClark.com/Guest-Post-Katey-Mason-of-Aurora-Strait-Naturalswith all natural and cruelty-free ingredients.

We are constantly broadening our product lists as well as our education to ensure we offer the very best, custom, natural products we possibly can.  Please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/auroranaturals and feel free to message us at any time with any questions or information.

Update:  Aurora Strait Naturals now has a website:  Aurora Strait Naturals

Brilliant, Katey.  I’m so proud of you.  The products are absolutely divine too – my special favorites are the Strawberry Lip Balm, the Coconut Lime Scrub and the Lavender Rose Lotion.  Using them you can just tell they have a beautiful healing energy.  My skin is soaking them up like a big thirsty sponge and asking for more.  They smell good enough to eat!  (and Katey says they are safe enough to eat too!).  Gotta love that.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!

Great Tip For Saving Your Nails From Toxic Effects of Chemotherapy

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Stuart Miles
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Stuart Miles

I have a great tip for saving your nails from the toxic effects of chemotherapy.  I have heard about this from several people who were going through chemotherapy (particularly Taxol) and they said it absolutely works and that it was introduced to them by the chemo nurses, so I decided to share it with you.

I can’t tell you how many women I know going through breast cancer have been upset about losing their nails – having them turn black and falling off is definitely stressful and it can’t feel very good either.  Not all chemo regimens cause this, but so many do and Taxol seems to be the worst.  It isn’t permanent but it can take up to 6 months to grow out a new nail and that’s a long time to be without a nail protecting your fingertips.

How to Save Your Nails While Undergoing Chemotherapy

Just before you sit down for your chemotherapy infusion, get a bowl of ice cubes and water and plunge your fingertips – so that your nails are covered – into the bowl of ice.  If it gets painful, just withdraw them for a minute or two, but try to keep your nails in the icy water for as long as you can.  Don’t do it to the point of pain or frostbite!  Just keep putting them in and taking them out when you need to.

How It Works

Icing your nails constricts the blood vessels, so less toxicity gets through. The chemicals that cause hair loss can also affect your nails and your fingernails grow much more quickly than your toenails.

Why Keeping Your Nails Is Important

Nail care is your first line of prevention, especially if you have had a few (or all) of your lymph nodes removed along with your breast cancer tumor.  You will need to be particularly careful of damage to the nail, also hangnails or cuts or burns on the hands or fingers, which could lead to infection.  Lymph nodes exist to help deal with infection and if they are not present, or present but in diminished numbers, an infection could be quite serious for you.

A Warning About Manicures & Acrylic Nails

Please also be aware about the dangers of manicures and nail polish.  See my article Are Your Manicures Increasing Your Breast Cancer Risk  for more information. 

For a lengthy time after you finish chemotherapy your immune system is compromised and you will need to avoid infections and viruses until you are fully recovered.  You can decrease the length of time you have a compromised immune system by being very proactive and juicing and taking the juice of lycium barbarum (goji or wolfberry), but here’s the thing about acrylic nails.  If bacteria gets trapped between your natural nail bed and the acrylic overlay, either during application or from splitting and chipping or other sorts of damage to the acrylic nail, you could get a very serious infection and even need to be hospitalized.

To further complicate matters, many nail salons are using a poisonous substance called MMA in their nail adhesives, which is an industrial grade adhesive and not meant for use on the human body.  MMA stands for methyl methacrylate and it is bad news for your health.  This chemical is illegal but the nail industry is hard to police so it’s still being purchased on the black market and used in some nail salons.  It can cause serious damage to your health.

Ladies, I know that acrylic nails look beautiful and it’s one of the things you CAN control after getting through breast cancer, but I don’t believe the risk is worth it.  Just my two cents worth.

I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond. 

Another Source For Safe Cosmetics and Body Products

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and dan

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net / dan

I have found another source for really great, safe cosmetics and body products, so I would love to share them with you today – because I always believe in giving a shout-out to companies who are doing the right thing.  It seems that so many are doing the WRONG thing, you can barely get through your day without putting yourself at some sort of risk using some of these toxic products.

475 Toxic Chemicals?  Really?

How would you feel about discovering that, after your nice shower or bath which is supposed to cleanse you of waste, pollution and dirt, you were actually adding up to 475 toxic chemicals to your body?

I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.  Since your skin is the largest organ of absorption in your body, you are absorbing what you put on it.  And that’s after just ONE shower or bath.  Take into account that you probably apply lotion, foundation, sunscreen, lipstick, eye liner, mascara, etc. throughout the day, and wash it all off at the end of the day, and then reapply various lotions and potions before going to bed.

Yesterday while I was at the grocery store I picked up a bottle of shampoo that had fifteen chemicals in it that I would not allow in the house – the worst being Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Tetrasodium, and Propylene Glycol which are known to cause eye damage, among other things.  An eye shadow I inspected had Polythylene Terephthalate, which has been linked to cancer.  When you can READ the ingredients in lipstick (the ingredient list is so tiny), they usually include Polymenthyl metacrylate, also linked to cancer.

The problem with all of these chemicals is that they are not flushed out of the body – they build up, day after day, year after year, and compromise your health.

Throw Them In The Trash

I’m absolutely convinced that many of our body products, so beautifully packaged and slickly advertised, really just need to go into the closest trash receptacle.  If our government agencies were truly protecting us, this would have happened long ago.  So since they’re not doing their job, it’s up to us to get the word out.

By the way, if you’re not sure whether your body products or cosmetics are safe, here’s a good resource for finding out:  Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database

Here’s The Good News – A Great Source

So – I promised that I had a new source for you, I just found them last week.  They are called 100% Pure and what I love about them is that they use all natural, organic, vegan and fruit pigments in most of their products.  Their prices are very reasonable, and the products are truly lovely.  I’ve been searching for SAFE eye shadow for years and hadn’t found them at all until this company surfaced.  They are based in California. Update: 100% Pure is now available in America, Australia, Europe, Canada and United Kingdom.

Use this link to go to the 100% Pure site in Australia

Use this link to go to the 100% Pure site in America

Use this link to go to the 100% Pure site in United Kingdom    100 Percent Pure

Use this link to go to the 100% Pure site in Europe

GET MY BEST TIPS on healthy ways to beat breast cancer and prevent recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right.  You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates.  I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.  

Are Your Manicures Increasing Your Breast Cancer Risk?

Are Your Manicures Increasing Your Breast Cancer Risk
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and graur codrin

Are Your Manicures Increasing Your Breast Cancer Risk?

I know this is a touchy subject – we like having beautiful nails and we like this little bit of pampering that we fit into our busy schedules.  It’s nice, it’s relaxing, it’s fun to do with your girlfriend.  But yes – it may be increasing your risk of breast cancer, I’m sorry to tell you.

I sat in on a webinar yesterday held by Breast Cancer Action titled Toxic Cosmetics – Demanding Stronger Regulation.  BCA always has great webinars with well researched and presented material.

Some Maddening Statistics

It was a great webinar, full of interesting (and maddening) statistics about our cosmetics and body products and how they are still full of toxic chemicals.  Here are some of the stats they introduced:

  • Women use an average of 12 body products per day, exposing them to 168 chemicals on a daily basis;
  • 20% of personal care products have carcinogenic ingredients;
  • 22% of personal care products have chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors;
  • 34% of personal care products are known to be toxic to the reproductive system and are especially toxic to our teenaged girls (who tend to use more of these products than adults);
  • In a recent study done with 20 teenaged girls, 16 chemicals were found in all 20 girls – these chemicals were all hormone alterers;
  • Perfume companies are allowed to keep secret what goes into their fragrances – the term “fragrance” hides blends of unknown chemicals which, when analyzed have shown, on average, to contain 14 chemicals that are known hormone disruptors, not assessed for safety;
  • 61% of lipstick brands tested contained lead (Estee Lauder had 5 of the 10 most contaminated ones) – no amount of lead in your system is safe and we’re putting this on our lips, where it can easily be ingested, day after day.

Toxic Manicures

This information was not new to me, I’ve known about the dangers contained within our personal care products for years, but what did surprise me was the information presented about nail polish.  I have been told for years by my natural therapists that we shouldn’t be using nail polish, but I didn’t know that there were up to 450 chemicals in nail polish, 80 of which have been proven to have some degree of harm to the human body.

Here’s an interesting article The Inherent Dangers of Getting One’s Nails Did .  They name the “toxic trio” of chemicals commonly found in nail polish and name the companies who were the worst offenders when the article was written in April, 2012.  They ended the article with a supposedly funny “If you recognize one of these names, stop licking your hands immediately.”  Funny.  But licking isn’t necessary.  Probably the most important thing to understand is that fingernails are absorbent and easily absorb all of those toxic chemicals we’re pouring onto them.

Most men I know don’t get the whole nail polish thing anyway, so we’re clearly not doing this for our men.  They believe that women’s nails are sexiest without anything on them. Healthy nails that are well groomed are shiny, pink, and white and look like a French manicure (without the cost and hassle of a French manicure). But hey – just my opinion.

Before you go for that next manicure, please just check out this list of some of the worst chemicals being put in nail polish:  benzene, benzoyl peroxide, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, glycol ethers, methylene chloride, tolulene.

Never heard of them?  Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website and plug in a few of those chemicals. For instance, here’s what EWG has to say about benzene.  This chemical has NO BUSINESS being in anything related to our bodies.

Until the cosmetic companies clean up their act, we need to boycott their products.  Hitting them where it hurts is the ONLY thing they’ll pay attention to.  They obviously don’t care about our health.  (Uh oh, she’s on a rant again…)  Companies who promote breast cancer awareness and put pink ribbons all over everything and then continue to put these chemicals in their products that are known to be cancer causing really make me see red (no, not pink).

If this doesn’t make you mad, I don’t know what will.  Breast Cancer Action is actively working towards better regulation of the cosmetic industry (among many other advocacy issues).  They say “all of this points to one clear need: systemic change. This means putting people before profits, whether it is drug development for patients or employing the precautionary principle. This means removing the burden of prevention from the individual and placing it squarely where it belongs: on our society and regulatory systems.”

So I recommend doing 3 things:

1.  Boycott the companies who continue to pour toxic chemicals into their body products.  Here is one that does NOT.

2.  Donate to Breast Cancer Action – they are doing GREAT things for us.

3.  Try naked nails.  They’re sexier!  You can massage in some organic shea butter or almond oil and go au natural.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

A Rant on Pinktober and Pinkwashing

pinktober and pinkwashingPinktober and Pinkwashing

You know, I used to love the month of October.

I loved the colors of the autumn leaves and how they crunch under your feet (well I still do, but read on), my son’s birthday falls in October, the heat of the summer is gone, Halloween costumes – it’s just generally a fun time of year.

But now October has turned into “Pinktober” and it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month – everything turns pink.  Ick.

Breast Cancer Action has coined the term pinkwashing and here’s their explanation of the word: Pinkwasher: (pink’-wah-sher) noun. A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Pinkwashing seriously pisses me off.  It’s ruining the month of October for me and that’s not a nice thing.

Pinkwashing raises a big question we should all be paying attention to.  Are we really helping breast cancer research by buying all that pink merchandise?  While many of us think we’re doing a noble thing by buying pink things, pinkwashing is often just a marketing ploy to sell more products.  Of course, many of the companies that are selling pink merchandise do donate to breast cancer research, but many don’t (or if they do, it’s a tiny percentage of their actual profit).

And all of this is still not why Pinktober pisses me off so much.

The companies that really chap my hide are the ones that plaster pink ribbons on their products and make a big deal about how much they contribute to breast cancer research. HOWEVER their products are filled with toxins like parabens, TEA and DEA which have been shown to be carcinogenic.  It’s almost like companies such as Avon and Estee Lauder know that their products contain toxic ingredients and they feel guilty about being contributors to breast cancer, so they make this big deal about having products that help fund breast cancer research.

This is NOT alright with me, nor should it be with you.

Lastly, Pinktober reminds me of having breast cancer and while that was 8 years ago, I don’t need the reminder.

Top 10 Pinkwashers

I found a great website at pinkwashing.org – check out what they had to say about the top 10 pinkwashers in this blog post a year ago.  I couldn’t have said it better.

The Worst Offender

I think the biggest sin has been committed by the Susan G Komen Foundation.  Their Promise Me™ Eau De Parfum is full of ingredients which have no business being put on our bodies – things like galaxolide (it’s a hormone disrupter) and toluene (a neurotoxin banned by the International Fragrance Association), and to make matters worse, only $7.97 from each $59 bottle will go to research.  That stinks.  Seriously.

If all this makes you mad enough to take action, click HERE.

Being Proactive With Our Health Is The Key

I think that only by supporting groups such as Breast Cancer Action, being aware of what we are putting onto and in our bodies in our cosmetics, body products, and food, keeping our stress levels down, and exercising regularly will we begin to see dramatic decreases in the numbers of women being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The bottom line is do your research, make sure your purchases align with your values and be comfortable on where your dollars are being spent.

 

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  When you’re in a desperate situation, you need an ally.  You can depend on me to help you through this.

Safe Cosmetics – So Important!

safe cosmeticsAs a breast cancer blogger, I am getting a lot of inquiries from women who have breast cancer about safe cosmetics.

I don’t often mention my product lines, but since people are asking I decided to share it today.

I’ve written quite a lot about why we should be changing our makeup and cosmetics to safer choices.  I wrote a scathing article a few months ago about the cosmetics industry (and I’m sorry about that photo, but I really wanted people to pay attention… and they did!).

Here’s another article titled “Your Breast Health May Depend On You Reading The Ingredients On Your Deodorant Label“.

I’ve written other articles about the dangers of xenoestrogens and how most makeup and body products available today are full of them.  You can cruise down my categories to see the various articles – look at my category “Breast Cancer and Beauty”, for instance.

I don’t feel the need to re-explain WHY we should be changing to safe cosmetics, I just want to tell you why I use MiEssence products.

They are the purest, best, most wonderful cosmetics and body products I’ve ever used.  Ever.  They smell wonderful, they are organic (some products may not be 100% organic because the company does use things like water and clay which can’t be certified as organic), and they WORK.  People are always telling me I look like I’m about 40 (I’m 56!).

The company’s ethics about using only the best and safest ingredients are second to none.  You can read their story here.

I particularly love the MiEssence Translucent Foundation, paired with the Mineral Foundation Powder.  I know that when I use these two, my skin looks great, I’m protected from UV rays and I’m putting nothing but beautiful, healthy ingredients on my face.

I became so enamored with them, I am also a distributor for them.  If you’d like to try something, here’s my website.  I’ll answer any and all questions about these lovely products.

Thanks for visiting!

 If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Support Breast Cancer Action – A Good Cause

 

support breast cancer action I would like to recommend that you support a breast cancer advocacy group called Breast Cancer Action, a national organization founded in 1990 by a group of women who understood that together we can effect much change.

Breast Cancer Action was born (according to their website) “from a need for a grassroots organization with a unique understanding of the political, economic, and social context of breast cancer.”

BCA’s Mission Statement

“Breast Cancer Action carries the voices of people affected by breast cancer to inspire and compel the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic.”

What I Love About Breast Cancer Action

Their strict contributions policy allows them to be an independent voice for women who are either at risk of breast cancer or are living with it.  They do not take money from anyone who profits from or contributes to the breast cancer epidemic. I believe that’s important.

They advocate for more effective treatments for breast cancer (and less toxic – which is what I’m all about too).

They are committed to raising the public awareness of environmental exposures to harmful chemicals that put people at risk for breast cancer (one of my favorite topics as well).

They have a Think Before You Pink Campaign which you should find out about.  It’s gotten so that I hate the month of October for all the pink ribbons everywhere and the companies who CLAIM to be supporting the fight against breast cancer but continue marketing their toxic chemical-laden body products and cosmetics to unsuspecting women.  GRRR!

Most importantly, BCA is actively opposing gene patenting because the patents give one company the exclusive rights to all testing and research on BRCA genes. This monopoly effectively prevents anyone else from so much as examining the genes, and creates barriers to scientific research and medical care relating to breast and ovarian cancer.

Sign Up For Their Webinars

Yesterday I attended one of BCA’s webinars titled “Reducing Inequities in Breast Cancer – Why Experience Matters”.  So they are also advocates for communities where inequalities exist in getting the proper treatment for breast cancer – whether due to language or cultural barriers, racial inequities, financial barriers, or geographical location).

This webinar was well presented and made me aware that just because we live in the United States, we are not all treated equally with regard to being able to get the proper information and treatment for breast cancer.

Please support Breast Cancer Action with your contributions.

 If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

What The Heck Are “Phthalates” And Why They’re Dangerous

skull & crossbonesYou may have noticed that your latest bottle of shampoo says “phthalate-free” and wondered what the heck phthalates are and why you should care.

What Are Phthalates?

Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals used to make plastics more flexible or resilient and also as solvents.  Leading one to ask “Why would they put that in a bottle of shampoo anyway?”  Good question, wondering that myself.

They’re Everywhere…

Phthalates are found in just about everyplace in modern society – food packaging, hoses, toys, shower curtains, rain coats, vinyl flooring, lubricants, wall coverings, detergents, adhesives, nail polish, hair spray and shampoo. The problem with them is that they have been found to be hormone disruptors. Not good!

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s 2005 National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, several phthalate compounds have been shown to cause reduced sperm counts, testicular atrophy and structural abnormalities in the reproductive systems of male test animals, and some studies also link phthalates to liver cancer.

The Environmental Working Group has focused on phthalates since 1998, when EWG reported that dibutyl phthalate (found in 37 nail polishes) was also present in the body of every single American tested.  In 2000, an EWG analysis of CDC data found that dibutyl phthalate was present in every single person tested for industrial pollutants.  We are fortunate to have the EWG looking out for us.  Since the EWG and other health groups have gotten involved, the U.S. Congress has passed legislation banning six phthalates from children’s toys and cosmetics.

The problem is they’re still out there.  Not everyone has conformed to the legislation.

How to Avoid Phthalates

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – READ THE INGREDIENTS on everything you buy.  Sadly, it’s not easy to know when phthalates are being used as you’ll rarely find the word “phthalates” on a label (except for the occasional “phthalate-free,” which is helpful).  Here’s what you’re looking for:

  • DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate) and DEP(diethyl phthalate), often found in personal care products, including nail polishes, deodorants, perfumes and cologne, aftershave lotions, shampoos, hair gels and hand lotions. (BzBP, see below, is also in some personal care products.)
  • DEHP(di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) is used in PVC plastics, including some medical devices.
  • BzBP(benzylbutyl phthalate) is used in some flooring, car products and personal care products.
  • DMP(dimethyl phthalate) is used in insect repellent and some plastics (as well as rocket propellant).
  • Be wary of anything that says simply “fragrance” – often used to denote a combination of compounds, possibly including phthatates, which are a subject of recent concern because of studies showing they can mimic certain hormones.
  • Choose plastics with the recycling code 1, 2 or 5. Recycling codes 3 and 7 are more likely to contain bisphenol A or phthalates.

I have two trusted sources for safe cosmetics and personal care products, One Group (MiEssence) and Young Living Essential Oils.  I’ve used them both for years and trust them, they are definitely phthalate free and completely free of other nasties.  They work beautifully and smell incredible.

References:

http://www.ewg.org/chemindex/term/480

http://www.ewg.org/news/whats-really-your-shampoo

http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/phthalates-47020418

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

21 Ways To Heal Yourself With Essential Oils

 

21 Ways To Heal Yourself With Essential Oils
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Rawich

21 Ways to Heal Yourself With Essential Oils

Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I use essential oils daily.  I smell fragrant from the oils – every single day.

There’s a good reason for that!  (By the way, people are always asking me “Have you just had a massage?” or “You smell incredible! What is that?”)

Therapeutic grade essential oils are good for so many things – the following list is only scratching the surface (but I had to start somewhere!)

 21 Health Benefits of Using Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

  1. They support immune function – Some of the constituents in essential oils mimic human immunoglobulin (an antibody the body uses to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses), elevate lymphocytes (white blood cells needed for your immune response) and stimulate our natural immune system – grapefruit, German chamomile, clove, mountain savory, lemon, also the blends Immupower and Thieves.
  2. They affect your emotional well-being – Therapeutic oils can trigger psychological and physiological responses, lifting your mood, aiding in reducing depression, and calming anxiousness – use lavender, orange, rose, jasmine, also the blends Peace & Calming, Believe, and Joy.
  3. They supply potent anti-microbials – Research has found that therapeutic oils are highly effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, and even the “superbug” (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA). Bacteria cannot mutate in the presence of therapeutic oils – cinnamon, melaleuca, geranium, clove, melissa, eucalyptus, rosemary, and the blends Melrose and Thieves.
  4. They ease stress and anxiety – Too much stress, anxiety and tension are the physiological responses to our thoughts and beliefs and trigger unresolved emotions.  Most chronic illness and disease begins with stress and tension.  Therapeutic oils are known to soothe, bring peaceful thoughts, quiet the nervous system and calm the body/mind – lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense, sandalwood, and the blends Highest Potential, Hope, Release, and Valor.
  5. They help you sleep – Research shows that lavender reduces insomnia, helps you to relax and decreases anxiety.  Let me just say, though, that the lavender you use must be therapeutic-grade Lavandula angustifolia (I only have one trusted source).  The other oils known to promote sleep are valerian, Roman chamomile, frankincense, marjoram, clary sage, cistus, and the blends Peace & Calming, Citrus Fresh and  Progessence Plus (my particular favorite).
  6. They reduce inflammation – Inflammation can be caused by bacteria, a poor diet, injuries, an overload of toxins, and hormonal imbalances and is at the root of most degenerative diseases!  Try Idaho balsam fir, ocotea, peppermint, wintergreen, spruce, and the blend PanAway.
  7. They help you concentrate and study, support brain health – Certain oils increase alertness and your ability to memorize – peppermint (try this when you have driving fatigue!), basil, and the blends Brain Power and Clarity.  They also support the health of your brain by stimulating the cerebral cortex, thereby reducing your chances of getting Alzheimer’s or dementia – use frankincense, vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, myrrh, cedarwood, helichrysum, nutmeg,  peppermint, rosemary, and the blends Clarity, Valor and Brain Power.
  8. They provide natural pain relief – Massage therapeutic oils into sore, tired muscles, use with a warm compress (oils first and then warm compress) – use Idaho balsam fir, black pepper, peppermint, ginger, wintergreen, and the blends PanAway, Aroma Siez.
  9. They soothe burns, sunburns, scrapes & cuts – Lavender is so incredible at healing burns!  Therapeutic oils are antiseptic and cleansing and can be very effective in healing, much better than antibiotic creams or gels.  Use lavender, geranium, melaleuca, eucalyptus radiata, and the blend Melrose.
  10. They are marvelous for your skin – Essential oils have been used for centuries to restore, rejuvenate, and improve damaged, wrinkled skin.  You can also use them to clear acne, clogged pores, eczema, dark spots, and stretch marks!  Try lavender, Roman chamomile, German chamomile, geranium, sandalwood, Idaho tansy, melaleuca, patchouli, frankincense, myrrh, myrtle, helichrysum.
  11. They protect against colds and flu  – Therapeutic oils have potent antimicrobial actions and protect against colds, flu, and aid respiratory tissues. Inhale oils, diffuse them, put in empty capsules and take internally – lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, frankincense, Dorado azul, ravensara and the blends RC, Raven, Purification and Melrose.
  12. They assist hormonal function – Your endocrine system includes 9 glands that interconnect with organs using hormones (chemical messengers) to maintain balance and metabolism.  Stress and imbalance in the endocrine system is at the root of many degenerative diseases.  Best oils – clary sage, fennel, spikenard, nutmeg, myrrh, pine, Idaho balsam fir, the blend EndoFlex and Progessence Plus.
  13. They soothe digestive disturbances  – Therapeutic oils are very effective relief for nausea, indigestion, heartburn, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel. Rub on abdominal area; take internally in water or empty capsules – best ones are peppermint, ginger, fennel, patchouli, Roman chamomile, and the blend DiGize.
  14. They support muscles and bones – Muscles and joints become stiff and painful when overworked, stressed or burdened with toxins. Apply oils to these areas to relieve pain and inflammation – peppermint, wintergreen, basil, and the blends Relieve It, Aroma Siez, and Pan Away.
  15. They improve circulation – Therapeutic essential oils oxygenate and cleanse your cells and this assists you to have healthier blood which carries more oxygen and a healthier vascular system – use cypress, German chamomile, helichrysum, grapefruit, ylang ylang, spikenard, and the blend Aroma Life.
  16. They support the urinary system – Essential oils have been used for nearly a century for aiding kidney, bladder and urinary infections.  Rub oils over the kidney area; take internally in water or empty capsules – grapefruit, lemon, geranium, juniper, mountain savory, clove, oregano, melaleuca alternifolia, and the blend Thieves.
  17. They support your liver – Since your liver is one of your major detoxifying organs, it’s important to help it detox on a regular basis.  A good liver support recipe: use  2 drops German chamomile, 3 drops celery seed oil, 10 drops orange and 5 drops rosemary.  You can apply 1-3 drops of the oil over the liver twice a day, you can massage 2-4 drops of oil neat on the soles of your feet just before bedtime, you can place a warm compress with 1-2 drops of oil over the liver 1-2 times per day.  Quite often, I put a drop of lemon oil or orange oil in a glass of juice or water.
  18. They improve oral and dental health – Bacteria in the mouth can cause disease in other parts of the body, including the heart.  Therapeutic essential oils in oral care products kill microbes associated with tooth decay, gum disease, systemic infections and unpleasant mouth odor – cinnamon, clove, melaleuca alternifolia, peppermint, and the blend Thieves (also available in toothpaste and mouthwash).
  19. They strengthen and nourish hair – Essential oils make wonderful hair care ingredients that rejuvenate hair, encourage hair growth, and cleanse hair follicles.   The personal care products I recommend do not contain harmful toxic ingredients (like dimethicone, sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol) because these are petrochemicals that are stored in fatty tissue of the heart, liver, lungs, breast and brain.   Use lavender, sandalwood, rosemary, ylang ylang, lemon, sage, cedarwood (also available in shampoo and conditioner).
  20. They help you fight against disease –  Lots of research has been done that indicate therapeutic essential oils can help you combat disease.  Look how many articles there are about frankincense on the pubmed.gov websiteSee also my page about overall health.
  21. They provide safe, natural alternatives to toxic household cleaners – Research points to common household cleaners as a suspected link to the 55% increase in certain types of disease (specifically for women who work only in the home).  Essential oils are powerful yet safe antibacterial and antimicrobial agents, making them a fantastic, safe choice as cleaners and disinfectants – use clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, rosemary, melaleuca alternifolia, grapefruit (also try Thieves Household Cleaner, it works wonders).

I’m pretty particular about the essential oils I use – there’s only one maker that creates the therapeutic oils I love and trust and use every single day.  Here’s where you can get them.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.

Member No 267494
Member No 267494

Your Breast Health May Depend On You Reading The Ingredients On Your Deodorant Label

Every single day I seem to come across another article or bit of research that reinforces the fact that YOUR BREAST HEALTH MAY DEPEND ON YOU READING THE INGREDIENTS ON YOUR DEODORANT LABEL!

I don’t know what the heck is wrong with our cosmetics industry but they insist on creating products that are NOT safe for us to use!

More Research on Parabens

A new article by the Journal of Applied Toxicology discusses research reporting “residues of five paraben esters in the human breast, at concentrations up to the microgram per gram tissue range and with highest concentrations in the axilla area (closest to the underarm).”

Apparently the researchers were trying to discover the method of entry for these preservative chemicals and thought that since they were at highest concentration in the axilla (arm pit) that deodorant was to blame.  The article mentions, though, that “seven subjects reportedly never used underarm cosmetics, and other exposure sources, including other cosmetic product types” were discussed.

It’s not just deodorant, sadly.  Parabens are in just about every body product – just go to the grocery store and read the ingredient labels – look for propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben, etc.

We have to be proactive and stop assuming that just because a product is on a grocery store shelf, it’s safe for us to use.  That is just NOT the case.

They are creating health problems for us, people!  We have to stand up to the cosmetics industry and vote with our pocketbooks.  Declining sales is the ONLY thing they understand!

Update Feb 11, 2013 – I’ve found a really great company that surpasses anything I’ve seen on the American market thus far.  I do have one Australian company that creates beautiful organic cosmetics and body products (MiEssence) but for those looking for American made products, click on this link:  100 Percent Pure

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.

Unraveling the Mystery of Xenoestrogens and Estrogen Dominance

What are Xenoestrogens? And What’s All This About Estrogen Dominance?

Xenoestrogens are environmental estrogens and they are more abundant than you think.  Most natural therapists believe that xenoestrogens play a huge part in the breast cancer epidemic we are currently experiencing.

Xenoestrogens disrupt our endocrine (hormonal) systems.  Estrogen, like every hormone naturally produced by the body, is a much needed chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another.  The problem with xenoestrogens is that they mimic the effects of estrogen and compromise normal hormone function.

Combined with the estrogen naturally produced by the body, these foreign chemicals create an excess of estrogen (which has come to be known as “estrogen dominance”).

Since we know that breast cancer develops in the presence of estrogen maintained over a prolonged period of time, this puts both women and men at risk for developing the disease.

Research shows that xenoestrogens are linked to high rates of breast cancer, and also to endometriosis, an unusually early onset of puberty, infertility, and miscarriages.

In men, xenoestrogens are believed to contribute to decreased sperm counts, and prostate and testicular cancers.

Other health problems such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, and behavioral abnormalities in children, may also be linked to xenoestrogens interfering with the estrogens naturally produced by the body.

Because there are so many xenoestrogens in our cleaning products and gardening chemicals (which eventually get into the water supply), we are now finding that the reproductive systems of fish and amphibians have been affected.

Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance occurs when the ratio of estrogen to progesterone sways too much one way or another.  One of the most common patterns with estrogen dominance is to see an excess of estrogen in relation to progesterone, which is often too low.  Estrogen and progesterone work together like a system of checks and balances to achieve hormonal balance in both men and women.

Estrogen is an active hormone that is actually able to increase the production of its own receptors.  It stimulates tissue to grow.  When left unchecked (due to inadequate progesterone levels), it can stimulate tissue to grow inappropriately, especially in the breast.

How to Protect Yourself

Take a close look at the products you use on a daily basis – begin by checking the ingredients in your cleaning products (if they don’t have a list of ingredients, try to find them on-line), your personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, facial care products, deodorants, etc. because this is where many xenoestrogens are commonly found. Doesn’t that make you mad?

Reduce your exposure to chlorine by using a shower head filter that filters out chlorine.  Choose unbleached products.

Limit your use of plastics, especially drinking from plastic water bottles and microwaving in plastic containers.

Learn to identify and minimize as many xenoestrogens as possible.

Chemicals That Have Estrogenic Effects

  • Alkylphenol
  • Atrazine (weed killer)
  • 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
  • Benzyl Benzoate (fragrance ingredient, artificial flavor, preservative, and solvent)
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)
  • Bisphenol A (monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)
  • Chlorine and chlorine by-products
  • Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (one of the breakdown products of DDT)
  • Dieldrin (insecticide)
  • Dimethicone (a plasticizer used in many products)
  • DDT (insecticide)
  • Endosulfan (insecticide)
  • Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3
  • Ethinylestradiol (combined oral contraceptive pill)
  • Heptachlor (insecticide)
  • Lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide)
  • Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)
  • Methoxychlor (insecticide)
  • Nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides)
  • Pentachlorophenol (general biocide and wood preservative)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs (in electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives, paints)
  • Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben commonly used as preservatives in personal care products)
  • Petroleum jelly (a by product of the petroleum industry)
  • Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
  • Phthalates (plasticizers)
  • DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
  • Propyl gallate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (a foaming agent used in shampoos and toothpastes)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (              ”            )

That’s a big long list of baddies and it’s not even a complete list!  For a truly comprehensive database of product ingredients, go to: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ .  There you can look up the products you are using and see how they rate for safety.

Tomorrow I’ll provide you with a list of things you can do to limit your personal exposure (and also our environment) to xenoestrogens.

Sources:

http://www.energeticnutrition.com/vitalzym/estrogen_dominance.html#reading

http://www.johnleemd.com/store/breast_cancer.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenoestrogen

http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/

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Look Good While You’re Hair Challenged

Sassy Caps

SaSSy CaPS

I thought I’d finish off the week with something light-hearted and fun.

A friend of mine brought these beautiful one-of-a-kind caps to my attention this week and it reminded me of when I was going through chemotherapy.

I was living in a hot climate and sure as heck didn’t want to wear a wig so I found beautiful scarves, caps and earrings to wear and had so much fun with them!

Just because you’re hair challenged doesn’t mean you can’t be gorgeous (everyone who loves you will think you are anyway!).

SaSSy CaPS doesn’t have a website but you can contact them on their Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/sassydesignercaps?ref=ts

Click on the photos and you can see a lot more designs, all beautiful!

Have fun with your look!

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.

How To Look Gorgeous While Going Through Chemotherapy

How To Look Gorgeous While Going Through Chemotherapy

Look gwww.marnieclark.com/how-to-look-gorgeous-while-going-through-chemotherapyorgeous while going through chemotherapy?  I’m not joking, it’s definitely possible!  While the thought of losing your hair makes most women shudder, it can actually be a very liberating experience!

On the positive side, look how much time you’ll free up every morning not having to comb, brush, wash, dry, tease, gel, spray your hair into submission!

I thought I was going to hate being bald, but once I got over the negativity of the situation, I actually rather enjoyed it!

Once my hair started to fall out, I had my husband get out the electric clippers and buzz it all off (I looked kind of like Sinead O’Connor).  Then I went through my scarves and got good at tying them on my head in new ways.  I even went to a few stores and found some really amazing scarves – they were so beautiful, I felt really happy about wearing them.   Since it was summer in Australia while I was undergoing my chemo sessions, I didn’t want the discomfort of a wig.

Here’s a link to a good website where they’ll teach you how to tie a head scarf a couple of different ways.  I really like the chain knot wrap.

Then I discoverewww.marnieclark.com/how-to-look-gorgeous-while-going-through-chemotherapyd jewelry making and began to learn how to make really wonderful dangly earrings to pair with the scarves.  I had so much fun, I nearly forgot I was a cancer patient!  I highly recommend learning to do something creative while you’re undergoing chemotherapy – find something that you can get fired up about.  It really helps you get through the discomfort of the treatments.

Another thing you can do is go to a beautician and get a manicure – or a pedicure – or a facial – or learn to do your makeup a new way.  Take this opportunity to pamper yourself, have a little fun with it!

I’ve found a wonderful website with some beautiful scarves – click here to go to that site.  Once you’re there, find the link for the scarf page.  They have some that are 100% cotton that would be so comfortable to wear on your head during the summer.

  Have fun with your new look!

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

Could Washing Your Hair Make You Stupid AND Sick?

could washing your hair make you stupid and sick
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and kodakgold

Yes, it’s true – washing your hair CAN make you stupid AND sick!

The Dirt On Personal Care Products

Research suggests that your shampoo may be washing away more than dirt.  An ingredient found in some soaps and shampoos might actually be affecting your memory and giving you a higher risk of cancer.

The research centers around an ingredient found in shampoos, soaps and other products we use to keep clean.  It’s called DEA (stands for diethanolamine), a chemical widely used in shampoos, lotions, creams and other cosmetics.  It provides a rich lather in shampoos and keeps a favorable consistency in lotions and creams.

DEA, TEA and Brain Health

Dr Steven Zeisel of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health (Chapel Hill) has uncovered evidence in mice that suggests DEA and TEA (similar chemical, triethanolamine) seep through the skin and block the brain’s ability to absorb choline, a key nutrient that plays a crucial role in the memory cell making process in the developing brain.  Low choline levels in the brain causes problems with memory and mental acuity, especially for babies.  The UNC research is using the same amounts of DEA that most of us would get if we shampooed our hair a couple of times per week.

According to preventcancer.com, “DEA by itself is not harmful but while sitting on the store shelves or in your cabinet at home, DEA can react with other ingredients in the cosmetic formula to form an extremely potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). NDEA is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers.  According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), “There is sufficient evidence of a carcinogenic effect of N-nitrosodiethanolamine — .”

Why Isn’t DEA Regulated By The FDA?

Because the cosmetics industry is the least regulated industry under the jurisdiction of the FDA.

The FDA can make recommendations but it has very little power to enforce them. In 1979 the FDA ordered industry to eliminate NDEA from their products. In 1992, the FDA tested 12 products for NDEA contamination and found that 8 of them still contained this potent carcinogen. While levels have been reduced, there is still an avoidable risk of cancer when nitrosamine contaminated products are used. Even small amounts of this potent carcinogen can increase the risk of cancer.

It’s Up To Us To Be Proactive (What Else Is New?)

So – as usual, it’s buyer beware!  Go to your bathroom and check out your shampoos, lotions, deodorants and toss them out if this stuff is in them!  Most supermarket shampoos and lotions have DEA in them.  Doesn’t that make you mad?  If you want more information on safe cosmetics, click here

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  When you’re in a desperate situation, you need an ally.  You can depend on me to help you through this..