Monday, May 9, 2011

Why use pure and safe products?

When I share my weight loss success story, it cannot be shared without giving at least some of the credit to balanced hormones. Afterall, estrogen - which the majority of women have too much of - loves fat cells and retains it. Progesterone, on the other  hand, converts fat cells to energy. Progesterone deficiency and estrogen dominance is an epidemic in the United States and Canada, and begins early on in life from the moment your mother used Johnson & Johnson baby oil on your skin. What's that all about, you may ask.  Read the oil is a petroleum based product (aka mineral oil). Petroleum may be good for my mini van, but my body is not meant to run on, or utilize petro, and instead the chemical masks itself as estrogen in my body.Just about everything we do, eat, apply, breathe, etc. ...affects our hormones. I would like to be able to say, "garbage in, garbage out" - but unfortunately MUCH of what goes in does not come out. It stores itself up in our overworked liver and kidneys which were not designed to handle so many chemicals. To get my previous, uneducated product choices cleansed from my body, I have detoxed to ensure my liver is restored to full function. Fortunately I have always consumed lots of water since my first back surgery eons ago...and that has had to benefit my body's ability to flush toxins.
So again, weight loss began with detoxification, healthful choices both on my skin and ingested orally, and helping my hormones return to balance with bio-identical progesterone cream.
Our coffeeshop in town has a nice little pub called Natural Awakenings -it's a freebie devoted to healthy living for a healthy planet. I thought I would share some ingredients to watch out for in your personal care products - but don't ask me how to pronounce them! Check out the Environmental Working Group for information on ingredient evaluation. Quoting from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, "While the European Union has banned 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics, the United States has banned just 10. Only 11 percent of chemicals used in cosmetics in the United States have been assessed for health and safety."
Parabens - many people are familiar with this one, and I can even say the word without scratching my head. Parabens, or any words ending in "...paraben" affects the hormones, aka endocrine disruptor. You would not believe how many health issues are related to our endocrine system...but if you start checking out the links on the right column of this blog you can begin to find out!
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) - toxic, contaminanat
Sodium lauryl, or laureth, sulfate - contaminant that may cause skin damage. (basically, per my hair stylist - it is a skin irritant and responsible for the little flakes so many people have due to the inexpensive and harsh shampoos out there).
Triclosan and triclocarban anti-bacterials - unfortunately we are not having any success in finding a bulk sized anti bacterial handsoap that does not contain these ingredients, which present potential thyroid concerns.
Triethanolamin (TEA) - contaminant that may trigger allergies
Dimethylol Dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl urea - preservatives that release formaldehyde
Fragrance and dyes - may cause allergies or cancer and affect the nervous system
Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone - preservatives that may cause allergies and affect the nervous system.
Can you imagine the number of points you would score in a Scrabble game with those last two ingredients??! Wow! Truly words that would be deserving of a spelling bee championship!
In celebration of warmer weather and my new sandals...I did something Saturday night that I told myself I would never do again after becoming a wise and health-conscience consumer. Can you guess what I did? Yep, I painted my toenails!! I tried not to breathe in the xenoestrogen fumes and the whole while doing it all I could think of was how bad this was for me, and that 60% of the chemicals in the drops that got onto my skin were absorbed into my bloodstream in less than 30 seconds!! Okay, there is no joy in painting toenails any longer, although I do think the shade of purple is quite pretty. To make it worse, the following day I picked up the issue of "Natural Awakenings" and there is a Q&A column that states, "...It's hard to get colors, especially bright, deep, rich shimmering ones - to stick to nails; consequently, of all cosmetics, nail polishes tend to contain the most toxins," per Renee Loux, autho of "Easy Green Living". Loux goes on to say that there are polishes out there that do not contain the toxin toluene, which is linked to severe respiratory and nervous system problems, as well as kidney and liver functions. Ummm...I guess I better find a safe alternative for my next nail painting urge. If you are using a toluene free brand and like it, please share. Sandal season is upon us, and although my nails look healthier than they have in years...I simply am not fond of my toes without a little color.

To your health!
Rita S.

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