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The Toxicity of our Health & Beauty industry

In 2017 there were over 1.5 million people diagnosed with cancer in the United States. When you’ve been through the experience of a family member or loved one enduring cancer diagnosis or treatment or if you know the experience yourself it is clearly one to be prevented at all cost. We put so much effort and money into finding a cure for cancer. However the phrase, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” never rung more true.

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It is such an awful conundrum that an American industry has created a mis-conception that women are less-than and that a product can bring them to a state of worthiness. Make-up and the majority of our health and beauty industry is based upon a false truth that there is a necessity for artificially created products that are necessitated by the inherent faults of women.

Foundation, blush, eye-shadow, mascara, lipstick, nail polish and more might be fine if they are a one-time special occasion use for a theatrical production of dramatic expression. However, the unfortunate experience is that many women feel they cannot leave the house without “putting their face on” for the world to accept them as they artificially are with layers of chemical products overlying their authentic self.

How have we come to this place where billions of women feel more empowered to “conceal” their blemishes and alter their natural coloring with toxic substances that can cost them their lives through the carcinogenic substances they spend their hard earned dollars on? Media and advertising infiltrates even the most mindful of us all. And those who allow advertising to seep into their consciousness on a regular basis have no hope but to follow the masses and purchase the Maybeline, Cover Girl and even Burt’s Bee’s products that proclaim beauty, acceptance and maybe some version of happiness.

Unfortunate for women bought into this modified version of self is the reality that the majority of the chemicals used in our health and beauty industry come with an enormous cost to one’s health. Carcinogenic compounds (those that are known to cause cancer) permeate the industry. Hydroquinone, parabens, phenylenediamine, coal tar, diethanolamine, dioxane; nanoparticles, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene and petroleum distillates are all known to cause cancer and are common ingredients in make-up, lotions, nail polish and other products in the “beauty industry”.

What is beautiful about cancer? Nothing at all. So what is a girl to do? Here are a few suggestions to help girls of all ages move through life with health and beauty together at their side:

  • Learn to appreciate the natural you! Identify people and places that accept the natural you and work to enhance those relationships.
  • Read labels carefully! If there is an ingredient name you do not recognize and know to be safe, check it out at ewg.org/skin-deep, the most comprehensive database for chemical safety online and completely free!
  • Avoid nail polish! The microcirculation of the nailbed provides ready access of chemicals in nail polish into the bloodstream.
  • Change the trend! Avoid teaching children that it’s a positive thing to paint their faces, fingernails or toenails with any regularity at all.
  • Encourage companies to make better products, although even the most “natural” nail polish on the market today contain significant toxins.
  • If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your body! Your skin absorbs everything it encounters, some substances far more readily than others. Make sure your putting on your body things you feel great about consuming.
  • Opt for all natural products:
    • shea butter, bees wax and organic herbal extracts in organic oils for moisturizing
    • Baking soda and essential oils for deodorants
    • Apple cider vinegar and baking soda mix for hair products along with natural oils for conditioners and detanglers

In the last 100 years our chemical industry has exploded to infiltrate nearly every household in America. Along with that come the unwelcome impacts of carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, bio-accumulative toxins, neurological irritants and more. It’s well past time to make a change for our personal health, and for the health of all beings downstream whether that might be children, grand-children or the fish and wildlife that share our waterways who are subject to whatever we are washing down the drain.

For more resources for tools for daily life wellness or for individualized care managing cancer, cancer prevention or other health concerns please visit Stillwater Clinic & Apothecary at 418 High Street in Lyons, Colorado.

 

References:

EWG.org DIRTY DOZEN ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS; 12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them.

Preetha AnandAjaikumar B. KunnumakaraChitra SundaramKuzhuvelil B. HarikumarSheeja T. TharakanOiki S. LaiBokyung Sung, and Bharat B. AggarwalUCancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes” Pharm Res. 2008 Sep; 25(9): 2097–2116.

SciammaccoDuke-EWG Study Finds Toxic Nail Polish Chemical In Women’s Bodies, Sara. Sally Hansen, OPI, Wet N Wild Among Brands Selling Nail Polishes With Endocrine Disruptors. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2015. EWG.org

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As awful and mysterious as a cancer diagnosis is, cancer prevention can be at your fingertips! Everyday products we use that contain carcinogens are as simple to avoid as knowing what’s in your shopping cart. Empower yourself by choosing what you truly want for your future with the day to day shopping trips you make. While some substances can be tricky to avoid, explore your options and get creative to help create a cancer-free world.

Things to know:

  • Fire Retardants – these compounds are commonly used in our clothing and household products. Fire retardants are incorporated into synthetic materials to prevent their melting point in cases of fire. These have been known to be toxic to humans for a long time, however they are considered a necessity for synthetic materials due to their flammability risk. There has been an effort to move toward “Green Chemistry” and reduce the toxicity of fire retardants, but many of the worst offenders are still in most households.
    • Avoid furniture, drapes and especially infant clothing labeled as “fire retardant”
    • Look for furniture labeled with “natural oils” as the flame retardant.
    • Natural fiber infant clothing, drapes and furnishings emit far fewer off-gassing chemicals or none at all.
    • Seek out and support companies that avoid flame retardant chemicals. To name a few: Urban Natural, Room and Board, IKEA, Crate and Barrel, West Elm and Pottery Barn
    • Use an indoor air filter in your main living spaces, especially the bedroom to reduce circulating chemicals.
    • Often, vintage products have the benefit of already having off gassed much of their toxic chemicals, but this is not the case with flame retardants. As foam materials break down their dust particles become more mobile which is where the chemicals reside. This is especially important for beds & mattresses made of foam and other synthetic fibers.
  • Perflourinated chemicals (PFC’s): These compounds are used both in cookware (non-stick coating) and to water-proof jackets and other synthetic materials. Found commonly in our outdoor gear products. They are known to bio-accumulate and cause long-term damage to all biological beings.
    • Cook with stainless steel and ceramic dishes
    • Cooking with cast iron is a great option for people who have healthy or low iron levels. Check routinely as iron in the body can easily get too high!
    • Choose natural fiber clothing sources. Natural materials share a common thread; less harmful in their production and in their use.
    • Wool is wonderful! Naturally water resistant, warm and cozy just like it’s producers.
  • Phthalates and similar products used to create plastic; their production produces a wide array of toxic chemicals that cause harm both to individuals and the environment. Reducing plastic use is a necessary change for the health or ourselves and our planet.
    • Select products packed in recyclable materials
    • Re-use existing plastic as much as possible to avoid supporting the production of new plastic
    • Remove plastic wrapping from food as soon as possible and store in glass, metal or wax coated wraps
    • Do not heat food wrapped in plastic ever
    • Avoid disposable drinking cups, especially with hot liquids
    • Take your own re-usable dishes to restaurants for left-overs & take-out
    • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging

There is so much of our personal and collective health that lies in our hands. The disposable, toxin filled lifestyle that pervades America and other parts of the world is beyond crazy and the repercussions are being seen in our planet as well as in the health of individuals. Make changes for sustainability in your shopping cart and you will be making a change for the better for all beings.

For individual guidance on healthy living, nutritional choices and evaluating health concerns, visit Stillwater Clinic & Apothecary today!

References:

PFC Info: http://www.ncceh.ca/sites/default/files/Health_effects_PFCs_Oct_2010.pdf

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