October is breast cancer awareness month, and pink ribbons are everywhere. Want to really make an impact on breast cancer prevention this month?
Cleaning up our beauty routine is a simple, effective way to reduce exposure to chemicals linked to breast and other cancers. Many of the common ingredients in beauty products we use every day are linked to cancer.
Consumers are becoming more educated, and putting pressure on companies to ensure the products we use every day don’t contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer.
Recent announcements from Proctor & Gamble (eliminating phthalates and triclosan from products worldwide), and Johnson & Johnson (to remove cancer-causing chemicals from its products by 2015) are the first steps in the right direction.
But we aren’t there yet. We still need to make smart choices to protect ourselves and our families.
Here Are 6 Six Simple Tips To Clean Up Your Beauty Routine That Will Help Limit Your Exposure To Breast Cancer:
1. Pass On The Perfume
Perfumes are loaded with phthalates which are known hormone disruptors. Phthalates effect our hormones by either mimicking or blocking our bodies natural hormones, which leads to disruption of the body’s normal functions.
Our bodies produce small amounts of hormones every day, so even slight variations in hormone levels can lead to problems like infertility, metabolic issues, breast cancer, birth defects, diabetes, obesity and more.
You don’t have to go completely scent free! Natural perfumes made from essential oils and botanical ingredients are free of synthetic fragrances and other chemicals. Read the labels and look for brands that list natural oils, plants, or specifically state they don’t contain phthalates.
Any time you see the ingredient “fragrance” listed on a label, assume phthalates are also present.
2. Skip The Antibacterial Soap
Most antibacterial soaps contain triclosan which is classified as a pesticide. Research has shown that triclosan can disrupt the endocrine system, amplifying testosterone. In animal studies, it reduced muscle strength. It may also harm the immune system.
Studies have shown triclosan isn’t more effective than hand washing with plain soap, so why take the risk?
3. Find A Safer Nail Polish
It’s important to stay away from the “toxic trio”: formaldehyde (a nail hardener also used in a wide variety of products is a known carcinogen) toluene (can irritate the eyes, throat and lungs, damage the nervous system and can be contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen) and dibutyl phthalate (can cause reproductive harm).
Also avoid formaldehyde resin and camphor for a safer “5 free” nail polish.
4. Avoid Chemical Sunscreens & Sunscreens With Vitamin A
Studies have shown common sunscreen chemicals (oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate or octinoxate) are hormone disruptors that mimic estrogen. This effect has been linked to breast cancer.
Vitamin A (also listed as retinyl palmitate, retinol) is suspected to speed the development of skin cancer when applied to skin and exposed to sunlight. This is particularly a problem in products meant to be worn in the sun!
5. Find An Aluminum Free Deodorant
The verdict is still out on aluminum and there is a lot of controversy over its safety. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects.
Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer.
Deodorants also contain questionable ingredients like synthetic fragrances (phthalates), and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Take time to find an alternative deodorant that works best for your body chemistry.
6. Learn The Top Ingredients To Avoid & Read Your Labels!
Below is an overview of ingredients to avoid:
• DEA, MEA, TEA
• Coal Tar
• Vitamin A
• Fragrance (parfume)
• PEGs and “eth”s (ie: PEG 100 Sterate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
• Formaldehyde releasers
You can find much more information on living a holistic lifestyle in these free magazines and on our YouTube channel.
The good news is there are a lot of great products with clean ingredients. We need to be ingredient savvy, an not fall for the marketing claims on the packaging… even if the packaging proudly displays a pink ribbon.
Even small changes can make a big difference in decreasing our exposure to harmful toxins, including toxins linked to cancer.
This is where awareness can move into prevention. Be your own advocate… and discover new, luxurious, truly natural beauty products that help you live your healthiest life!