Friday, January 20, 2012

The Paraben Problem & Natural Beauty Care Solutions

So, it's time we talked cosmetics again. This isn't a topic I get into often, but it's time I got back onto my organic soapbox for a rant. A recent scientific study just published in January has shown renewed evidence that there is a pretty direct link between parabens and breast cancer.
You might have heard of parabens before. Parabens are usually used as antimicrobials in cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and even food (yuck). Parabens are usually absorbed through the skin and through the GI tract and blood system. The problem with parabens is that they mimic estrogen, so they can bind themselves to estrogen receptors by pretending they're the real deal. They can alter the expression of some of your genes, and change your hormone regulation (like by pretending to be estrogen), these kinds of weird bodily shifts create all sorts of dangerous developments, like the creation of breast tumour cells.

At this point, scientific studies have shown that different types of parabens have been found in almost all biopsy samples of breast tumors. The ones found were almost always those used in cosmetics. The downside is that parabens are so common in our products today, almost all commercial make-up, lotions, hair products, etc. that you use probably contain them… just check the ingredient lists on the back of your products!

The biggest culprits of breast cancer were the parabens found in underarm deodorant. Deodorant, you say? Thing is, underarms are super permeable (so, very receptive) to whatever you put on them because not only is skin permeable, but it's particularly dangerous because they're one of the body's major lymph nodes. More than other products, chemicals from deodorants have particularly been found to build up inside the body because they are deposited in the lymph nodes. To connect the dots, lymph nodes also happen to be found in the upper quadrant of the breast. When there is such a high concentration of toxins, good things don't happen…

And to think that parabens are only the beginning! I could give you a laundry list of the dangerous crap that's in mainstream cosmetics and beauty products. Think of how easily that can be absorbed into your body, and while it might not show up immediately, those dangers accumulate over time. Don't cut yourself short on life because of little vanities you can easily do something about!


So what do you do? Make sure you start by checking out the ingredient lists of your products, reading labels isn't just for food anymore. Don't be fooled by products with green or "eco" labels because they're just as likely to contain harmful chemicals, so do check. The safest products are obviously those that are clearly listed as paraben-free or that are certified organic. Here are some of my favourites:

For personal care products: My favourite mainstream lines of paraben-free products include Avalon OrganicsAlba Botanica, Dr. Bronner's, Mychelle, Pangea, Eminence. Keep in mind that these are only some of the tons of great products out there now that you can easily find at your local health food store, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's (but you to have to check some of TJ's labels).

For hair removal products: Yes, this totally counts as beauty care you should be aware of, I love MOOM's wax. It only contains about 5 ingredients that you can easily recognize and it works amazingly well. Actually, it's the best commercial hair removal products I've ever used, and it can also be found at Whole Foods, your local health food stores, and some beauty stores (like Ulta).


For cosmetics: I highly suggest anything that's mineral based. To all my Canadian readers that you check out Dan Thompson, but  otherwise Mychelle's stuff, ZuiiBare Escentuals are great for anymore anywhere.


For deodorant: This isn't just some other hippy product, but I swear by the Crystal Stick. (Ironic thing is my mom tried to make me use it when I was a teen, while I wanted to use the crap that would make me smell like flowers like the other girls... see, moms often do know best.) It's super effective! Not only does it not contain parabens and aluminium (another culprit found in most antiperspirants), it actually prevents the bacteria that causes body odor from forming at all. Deodorants just mask a bad scent, and antiperspirants prevent your from, well, sweating (which means you're just clogging your lymph system by keeping toxins in your body because sweating is natural and good for you).


Once again, if you think organic or more natural cosmetics are too expensive, so is chemotherapy, so is palliative care. Harsh but true. If you knew there was something you could do about it, wouldn't you? 

So that's my rant for the day, I promise I'll have something more uplifting next!

1 comment:

  1. Its better to use natural beauty care stuffs. as aluminium is harmful for body. It blocks pores and it may lead to cancer. Its better to use aluminium free natural deodorant.

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