Shedding Light On An Important Topic for All Women

October brings leaves falling, festivals, pumpkins and football games but it also brings an important topic to front of everyone’s minds. October is known for being breast cancer awareness month but we often miss the importance of it. Knowledge is power and it’s important to note that a lot of breast cancer diagnoses are linked to exposure to toxic substances.

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. (Source: that’s scary! I don’t know about you, but it seems like cancer is everywhere these days. I know so many people personally affected and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and leukemia when I was very young so I’ve personally seen the long term issues that have occurred from it.

What’s even scarier to hear is that 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. (Source) These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and exposure to toxic chemicals. Did y’all know that? That cancer can be caused by chemicals? Chemicals that are in our deodorant, hair spray, cleaning supplies, and shampoos are linked to cancer.

Until our government decides to step up and update our beauty law regulations there’s nothing that we can do except limit our exposures and start looking at labels and checking ingredients. It sucks that we have to do this but it HAS to happen because our safety is at stake! Here are ten ingredients that are in our personal care products that you should steer clear of! These ingredients have been linked to cancer and reducing your exposure to these can really reduce your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer over your lifetime!

1. PARABENS – can cause skin irritation: linked to breast cancer.
Their purpose: Antifungal agent, preservative and antimicrobial.
They are banned in European Union and Japan.
Parabens are found in mascara, make-up removers, shampoo, shaving gels, toothpaste, deodorant/antiperspirant, cream, lotion, and ointments and other products.

2. ALUMINUM? CHLOROHYDRATE/ZIRCONIUM – can cause allergic axillary granuloma response, contact dermatitis, linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease; can be absorbed through the skin; can cause yellow staining on clothes.
Their purpose: processed aluminum and neurotoxin metal used to diffuse into the sweat glands preventing the excretion of sweat.
Aluminum is found in antiperspirants and deodorants.

3. PHTHALATE – can cause increased estrogen levels which are known to increase breast cancer cells; asthma, allergies, infertility and decreased sperm counts.
It’s purpose: Used as a stabilizer and an emulsifying agent.
They are banned in European Union.
Phthalates are found in fragrance, lubricant, nail polish, hair spray, and shampoo.

4. PROPYLENE GLYCOL – can caused cancer, developmental/reproductive issues; allergies, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption and skin irritation.
It’s purpose: a skin conditioning agent, keeps product from melting or freezing.
They are banned in European Union.
Propylene glycol is found in toothpaste, deodorant, nail polish, mascara, shampoo, conditioner, soap, acne treatment, and moisturizer.

5. FORMALDEHYDE – is considered a human carcinogen; can cause asthma, headaches, eye irritation, allergies and respiratory irritation, linked to leukemia.
It’s purpose: Used as a preservative, industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant.
It is banned in Japan and Sweden.
Formaldehyde is found in eye shadow, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, nail polish, baby soap, eye lash adhesive, hair product, sunscreen and hair dye.

6. LEAD – can cause irritability, insomnia and mental decrease; hormonal changes; linked to reduced fertility.
It’s purpose: a hazardous heavy metal and proven neurotoxin.
Lead is found in lipstick, mascara, hair dye, hair care, and eye liner.

7. HYDROQUINONE – is identified as a human carcinogen; linked to increased risk of skin cancer and ochronosis.
It’s purpose: reduces the production of melanin in your skin.
It is banned in European Union.
Hydroquinone is found in skin whitening products, skin cleansers, facial moisturizer and hair conditioner.

8. SODIUM LAUREL SULFATE – can cause irritation, eye damage, eczema, dermatitis and estrogen mimicking activity.
It’s banned in Europe and Central America.
It’s purpose: detergent (cleansing agent), emulsifier (dissolving agent) and surfactant (wetting and foaming agent.)
Sodium Laurel Sulfate is found in lotions, soap, toothpaste and mascara.

9. PETROLEUM – is a human immune system toxicant or allergen, linked to risk of cancer.
It’s purpose: it’s a by product of oil drilling used to coat the skin and function as a barrier that clogs pores and prevents the skin from eliminating toxins.
It is banned in European Union.
Petroleum is found in facial cleansers, moisturizer, facial treatments, styling products, eye make-up, soap, antiperspirant, concealer, and sunscreen.

10. TRICLOSAN – is linked to hormone disruoption; can cause flushing, pulse rate decrease, blood pressure lowering, anesthesia, narcosis, headaches, dizziness, mental depression, drowsiness, hallucinations, distorted perceptions, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting and coma; suppression of the immune system, brain hemorrhages and heart problems.

A few things that I want to include:
-use as a database to check your products and their ingredients.
-use Beautycounter’s “The Never List” as a reference for 1500 toxic chemicals you should stay away from
-don’t wear cologne or perfume
-conduct monthly breast exams
-my friend and Beautycounter mentor, Olga Thorn is leading a really informative facebook event that is for the entire month of October. It’s a really great way to start learning more about why this is all so important for us! You can find it by searching for “Go Fragrance Free in October for Breast Cancer Prevention”

If you’re interested in learning more about safer beauty, I would love to chat with you! Please feel free to email me and I can talk privately with you about what route would be best for you.