Category Archives: Safe Cosmetics

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

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Safe Cosmetics – So Important!

safe cosmeticsAs a breast cancer coach, I continually receive inquiries from women who have breast cancer about safe cosmetics.

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 love and 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 hope you will love them too.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) 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.

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/

 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.

Cosmetic History Unraveled – Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (Must See Video!)

Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and hapekla
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and hapekla

 Cosmetic History Unraveled – Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

 I am pretty upset with the cosmetics and body product industry that continues to pour toxic chemicals into our shampoos, cosmetics, etc DESPITE the growing body of evidence that these ingredients ARE NOT SAFE.

I found a great video today titled “The Story of Cosmetics“.  The video goes a long way toward explaining the history of the cosmetic industry and why they do what they do, as well as describing the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  Fabulous information, only 8 minutes long and very engaging.  PLEASE watch it for your health and for the health of your family.

I especially loved what the presenter had to say about cosmetic companies who make a big deal every October about saying they have joined the fight against breast cancer and then NOT taking the toxic chemicals out of their products (the term “pinkwashing” has been coined, I like it).  I’ve been saying this for YEARS.  Sorry if this is a bit of a rant, but I’m very passionate about this subject.  It really pisses me off.

My solution was to join forces with a company that puts our health first, only including the very best ingredients (certified organic wherever possible) into their products.  I’ve used these products for 7 years and I absolutely love them.

This company has an impressive 100+ products in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database (link below) with scores from “0” to “2” (which is fantastic).  They are also a signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.  Please support them (and this blog) by buying their products!  You can get access to them by clicking here.

Resources:

The Story of Cosmetics video

Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database (put ONE Group into the search field and see how many great ratings they get)

Information on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

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.

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..

Safe Cosmetics: Why We Should Be Buying Organic

What Makeup and Cosmetics are Safe?

Being diagnosed with breast cancer led me into doing vast amounts of research on WHY breast cancer seems to be one of the scourges of modern living.  One in EIGHT women in the USA will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.  I knew there must be a reason for this, beyond what we’re told by modern science.

Part of the research I did took an interesting direction.  Putting aside all of the discussions about toxic environment, stress of modern day living, etc what I discovered is that many of our body products (in fact I’ll go out on a limb here and say MOST body products, especially those in the grocery stores and supermarkets) are toxic as hell.  We shouldn’t be using them!

Chemicals and Cancer

If you look at the list of ingredients in most hair care products, skin care products, deodorants, etc you can’t even pronounce most of the ingredients and many of them have NO business being put into our products. There is a definite link to some of these chemicals and cancer.

I’m sorry if this is turning into a rant, but it’s a personal sore subject for me.  Here are just 3 of the baddies:

Propylene Glycol – used as a skin conditioning agent, it’s strong enough to remove barnacles from boats!  My husband says it’s a constituent of anti-freeze.  What’s it doing in skin care products, especially those for babies?  Are you kidding me?

Paraben preservatives (methyl-, propyl-, butyl-, and ethylparaben) – used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products.  What delightful information I discovered about these came from a Professor Philippa Darbre at Reading University in England.  Her research on actual breast tumors discovered that parabens were in every sample.  Parabens have been shown to be able to mimic the action of estrogen, which hormone can drive the growth of human breast tumors.  This research was done in 2004 – why are parabens still being allowed in our body products???

DMDM Hydantoin – this contains formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (causes cancer). Causes allergic, irritant and contact dermatitis, headaches and chronic fatigue. The vapor is extremely irritating to the eyes, nose and throat (mucous membranes).  It has NO business being in our body products.

This is a list of only a FEW of the toxic chemicals in body products being routinely used by women all across the world.  Please stop using any products that have these nasties in them.  Reduce your breast cancer risk.

Want something better for yourself?  I’ve done a lot of research on various companies making safe and organic makeup and cosmetics and I believe there is one that is top notch.  I found MiEssence products when I was living in Australia and they are now available pretty much world wide. I believe you deserve the best, most safe cosmetics, completely free of nasty toxic chemicals. 

If you prefer an American based company, I have found a good one in 100% Pure, their products are pretty divine and absolutely safe.  Click here to see their website:

100 Percent Pure

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.