Yesterday I woke up to this article posted by a natural brand that I follow on Instagram. I read a snippet of the article, and my mind started racing. I am already aware of some of the harmful chemicals and food I put in and on my body on a daily basis, and I have plans of gradually phasing out those things, but scientific studies like this really put things into a better perspective and provide a sense of urgency for how fast I eliminate certain foods and products from my life. Lets talk about a few ingredients in some of our favorite products, discuss why they suck, and look at some great skin care alternatives!(my favorite part)
What are parabens and why does everyone want to know if everything is “paraben free”?
According to Wikipedia.org, parabens are a “class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.” They are mainly used because of their bactericidal and fungicidal properties, and can often be found in shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, makeup, and toothpaste. They are pretty cheap in cost, and have been around for a long time making them an obvious choice for brand manufacturers to throw in a gazillion products. Now for the bad part. They can cause irritation to skin, contact dermatitis, and rosacea in folks allergic to parabens. Now the even more scary part, they have been linked to cancer in several studies, and have also been proven to promote the over production of estrogen when tested on animals.
Now this should not put you in a product purge frenzy, but this information should make you think carefully about what you use, how much of it you use, and whether or not you can live without it! The amount of parabens put in products is so small that it would take a ridiculous amount to do any damage, but these preservatives are in products that we tend to use on a daily basis. Because our skin is the largest organ on our body and absorbs what we put on it, this information is important to know. Lets move on to another ingredient known for giving Americans our pearly whites!
Is fluoride good or bad long term?
When I think of fluoride I think of being a kid and seeing dentists coming into schools and me waiting my turn to have a treatment done where my teeth are funny colored after! I also think about how obsessed I have become recently in regards to dental health and white teeth, and about how many websites I have come across encouraging the use of oils to oil pull, and all natural mouth washes, and tooth paste. I have also noticed a major campaign to end the use of fluoride! Initially I was shocked because up until now I always thought fluoride was to healthy teeth what cows milk was to healthy bones!(I no longer drink cows milk fyi)
According to colgate.com, fluoride is a “natural mineral found throughout the earth’s crust and widely distributed in nature. It is often added to drinking water to help reduce tooth decay.”Now the ugly information. One website claimed that “fluoride given to animals at high doses destroys the male reproductive system. It further explained that fluoride damages sperm and increases the rate of infertility in a number of species.”(Ahhh!) There is more. There have also been studies that show brain interference due to the accumulation of fluoride in the body, Alzheimers anyone? The list unfortunately went on and on. Before this post becomes a phd dissertation let me discuss one last ingredient!
Antiperspirants! Do I really have to give up my favorite Donna Karan Cashmere Mist deodorant/antiperspirant??
I am a trained dancer, have been physically active my whole life, and one rule in the world of all physical activity was to never be caught slipping under the arms!! Now many of my friends have jumped the antiperspirant ship, but I just cannot seem to ditch my favorite Donna Karan Cashmere Mist antiperspirant. It smells great, and has never left me hanging! Here are my major concerns in regards to antiperspirants.
Antiperspirants reduce sweat by 20 to 30 percent depending on the strength. The aluminum and zirconium that is found in antiperspirants has been linked to breast cancer. Researchers have found that both ingredients listed above have been found to enter cells and cause mutations in DNA that “could lead to cancerous growth.” Studies have also shown that aluminum and zirconium may also “disrupt hormone levels.” Learning this information makes me feel kind of silly about my addiction to one specific product especially knowing the risks of using it. I am sure that by the end of this year, and perhaps even the summer I will switch over to an all natural deodorant free of aluminum and zirconium!
Way back when Oprah had a talk show on like ABC or a similar station, she would always say at the end of her shows “When you know better, you do better.” You know what Oprah? I hear you loud and clear! Now to my favorite part!! Here are products that are natural alternatives!!