Monday, March 3, 2008

Tuesday's Tip

I have fibroids. They are lumps and masses of various sizes that grow primarily in my abdomen and breasts. Not only are they the source of much aggravation and some pain, they are most likely the source of my years of infertility and the cause of my 2 miscarriages. I don't like them.

In investigating what to do about these nasty things, I found out that they probably caused an abundance of estrogen in my body. This was confirmed by my doctor. Another thing I discovered was that abundance may, at the very least, be exacerbated by some of the chemicals in the cosmetics products that I have been using over the years. Those chemicals are parabens.

Parabens are chemicals used by the cosmetics industry as preservatives. They are found in make-up, shampoo, moisturizers, sunscreen, and other personal care products. The most common ones are the evil sisters ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-, and butyl-paraben, but there are others. They are xenoestrogens which means they mimic estrogen. This post could get really long as I try to explain xenoestrogens and the havoc they can wreak on your body. I'll refer you here if you are interested in learning more. If not, let's just try to avoid them, shall we?

What I find most amusing is that no one in the major cosmetics industry will admit that these things could be dangerous (they have been found in breast cancer cells), AND YET if these same companies have lines of products where a portion of the proceeds go for breast cancer research, they don't have parabens in them. Hmmm.

Read your labels. Of course, the fewer ingredients the better. 100% natural or organic products will not have parabens in them. Some of the labels now will say that they have no parabens. I use the house brand at Whole Foods for lotion and conditioner and the label clearly says “no parabens.” I also don't wear a lot of make-up, but what I do wear I either get at Whole Foods or here. I noticed in an ad last week that Physician's Formula has a new line of products called Organic Wear that boasts itself paraben-free. I haven't checked it out yet. There are other sources as well.

There is also the option of making your own beauty potions. (Or having your lovely sister do it for you! ) Check out some recipes here and here. There are lots of other books, too. It's fun. Get together a bunch of girlfriends and make a batch of yummy oils. There will be enough estrogen in the room that you'll never miss the parabens.


Jubilee on Earth said...

Oh, yep. Parabens are nasty, nasty things. But they're in everything! Even some so called "natural" products. I like J/A/S/O/N the best. There are a lot of paraben-free products out there if you look. I'm convinced that they have something to do with breast/ovarian cancer.

Anyway, great post!!! I love ones like these.


GardenGirl said...

Parabens are absolutely something that should be avoided, along with phthalates (which I think we'll start hearing more and more of in the next few months). A great book, if you haven't read it, is "Not Just a Pretty Face" by Stacy Malkin from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. It's scary what we use and ingest without knowing.

I have been highlighting sections of the book in my blog

-Kristin Miller
Garden Girl natural skin care

Sarah said...

Great post & I totally agree with your sentiments. After shopping around various website & seeing them selling "organic" products that are far from it, I decided to provide my own place where the products really are organic, natural, pure, etc. Where you don't have to worry about getting fooled by labelling. I plainly list all ingredients for every product, as well as including an ingredient glossary so you know what you're looking at. Please check it out, as I hope to make it an excellent resource for information on natural cosmetics (and not so natural ones). Let me know what you think! Thanks -Sarah Remington President/co-founder