Another Source For Safe Cosmetics and Body Products

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and dan

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net / dan

I have located a great source for really beautiful, 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. 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 and mascara 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 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

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

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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.

    There are good products out there. For some good recommendations, see my post Another Source For Safe Cosmetics and Body Products.

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 (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Protect Yourself from Xenoestrogens & Estrogen Dominance

Image Source: MorgueFile / Pippalou

Following on from yesterday’s post where I explained what xenoestrogens are (environmental estrogens) and how they are related to breast cancer and a whole host of other diseases (including diabetes, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, menstrual irregularities such as heavy bleeding and cramps, menopausal symptoms, and cervical cancer), today I’d like to share with you some ideas on how to protect yourself from them xenoestrogens and estrogen dominance. 

First, a refresher on where xenoestrogens come from:

The Most Common Sources of Xenoestrogens

commercially raised meat (full of antibiotics and synthetic hormones)

plastics, plastic food wraps

canned foods

styrofoam cups (especially when used with boiling hot liquids)

industrial wastes

chlorinated water

paints, solvents, lacquers

most personal care products & cosmetics (unless organic)

pesticides and herbicides

car exhaust and pollution

birth control pills and spermicide

household detergents and cleaners

all artificial scents (like aerosol room deodorants)

air fresheners, perfumes

Keep in mind that this is only a partial list.  These are just the best known sources of xenoestrogens.

25 of the Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Xenoestrogens

  1. Find Out Your Hormone Levels – I believe this should come first.  Find out what your levels are (there are test kits available from this reputable site) and supplement with progesterone if needed.
  2. Diet – ensure you are getting lots of fresh whole (and organic) foods in your diet every day.  Whole foods support your body’s natural ability to balance itself, and provide essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.  Make sure your diet includes abundant brightly colored vegetables and fruits, hormone free meats, and healthy fats including cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, and flaxseed oil. Limit or avoid refined foods like white sugar and flour, as these foods deplete the body of essential nutrients.
  3. Eat Phytoestrogens – (plant estrogens) because plant-based estrogen compounds bind to the same estrogen receptor sites on cells that xenoestrogens do. When a receptor site is already occupied by a phytoestrogen, xenoestrogens cannot attach to it. The great thing about phytoestrogens is that they are generally much weaker in their estrogenic effects than xenoestrogens, or even the body’s more potent natural estrogens. So phytoestrogens help to protect the body against excessive estrogen stimulation by binding receptor sites against more potent xenoestrogens.  Phytoestrogens are found in soy, all legumes, whole grains, flaxseed, and dark green leafy vegetables.
  4. Stress Management – stress directly affects your hormones.  When stress is chronically high, hormones become out of balance.  Therefore, finding ways to de-stress every day are a must. Take a little time each day to breath deep, exercise, and find ways to relax like yoga, meditation and walking.
  5. Eat Organic or Free Range – meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fruits and vegetables (whenever you can).  I still believe that if you can’t get something organic and you’re really craving it – to me that’s a sign your body needs that food.  Buy it and be really OCD about washing it to remove any traces of pesticide from it by using a good quality fruit & vegetable wash.
  6. Learn How to Garden Organically – avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicide.
  7. Filter Your Shower Water – have a good water filter for your source of water to protect yourself from organochlorines in our water. 
  8. Avoid Plastic Containers – they leach into your food and into the environment (especially don’t leave a plastic bottle of water in the sun!).  Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel whenever possible to store food.
  9. Replace Plastic Wrap on meats and other foods as soon as you get home from the store with plastic wrap that doesn’t have DEHA in it. Or use some of those newer food wraps that use beeswax and cloth for keeping things fresh.
  10. Beware of the Microwave – do not microwave food in plastic containers, and especially avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for microwaving. I only use my microwave for those seed-filled heat packs.
  11. Avoid Teflon and Other Non-Stick Cookware – titanium or cast iron are better alternatives.
  12. Don’t Use Fabric Softeners – it puts petrochemicals right on your skin.
  13. Use Safe Cleaning Products – choose “green” products with no nasty chemicals in them.  Contact me if you need a good source.
  14. Use Safe Body Products – especially toothpaste.  You’re putting this into your mouth and your children’s mouths.  You don’t need fluoride, it’s a myth! 
  15. Avoid Sun Creams and Cosmetics That Have Toxic Chemicals – the cheaper they are, the more toxic chemicals they have in them.  See my article about safe body products and cosmetics for some reputable companies.
  16. Avoid Nail Polish and Nail Polish Removers – these are just too full of toxic chemicals. Look for cleaner varieties (they do exist!).
  17. Avoid Perfumes and Use Essential Oils Instead – most perfumes are petrochemical nightmares. Use organic essential oils instead – they not only smell wonderful but they are full of beneficial plant compounds that will help keep you healthy and won’t give you a headache like some perfumes can. 
  18. Avoid Birth Control Pills and Lubricants Found in Many Condoms and Diaphragm Gels
  19. If You Get New Carpet Installed, Live Somewhere Else For a Few Days – it gives off noxious fumes, so does new furniture.
  20. Avoid X-rays As Much As Possible
  21. Avoid Synthetic Flea Shampoos, Flea Collars, and Flea Pesticides for your pets and home.
  22. Avoid Synthetic Air Fresheners – instead put a few drops of your favorite essential oils into a spray mist bottle filled with distilled water.  Smells better, works well, it’s cheaper and safer.
  23. Avoid Canned Foods – in the USA, over 85% of tin cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA) to reduce the metallic taste that can be present in canned foods. Unfortunately, BPA is a known xenoestrogen that leaches when exposed to heat, such as the sterilization process some cans undergo, or acid (and tomatoes are acidic).
  24. Avoid Anything Containing Red Food Dye – FD&C Red No. 3, a common food dye (erythrosine) is a known xenoestrogen.
  25. Find Non-Toxic Paints – look for companies that make interior paints that are formaldehyde free, emit minimal VOC’s, and contain additional sealing properties that reduce outgassing.

Unfortunately, because these compounds are so ubiquitous in our environment, no article of this length could possibly be as comprehensive as I’d like it to be.  I would encourage you to read further on the subject and educate yourself, your family, and friends.  In the end, voting with your pocketbook and spreading information to enable others to do the same is likely to be the single most important thing you can do to help slow the spread of estrogen dominance and its accompanying health problems.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, and/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.

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.

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