Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#112 Is My Body a Toxic Dump?

I'm not the most "green" person you'll meet... by a long shot. I hate to admit it, but the majority of my cleaning and grooming products are chemicals, and not of the organic variety. I do recycle as much as possible and carry my own bags to the grocer... when I remember. Recently, however, I read a blog about beauty products and the possibility that they can make you fat. I know!! I said I was going to write about things other than fat, fitness, forties, etc, but this caught my attention - for a number of reasons. Plus, it inspired to me to write.

Why did this catch my attention? First of all, I have a fourteen year old daughter. Said daughter likes to wear a little bit of make-up. Said daughter is also crazy about theater and performs in many plays and musicals. This means she must wear a lot of stage make-up. This also means she must remove that make-up. (As Tracey Turnblat in Hairspray wearing a wig, fat suit and of course, stage make-up)

The blog I refer to here explains that the chemicals in these beauty products are parabens. These parabens get into your bloodstream and play havoc with your hormones. Guess what? My endocrine system is a bit screwy - I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis, or Hypothyroidism. Ironically, I never wore make-up until my 20s, but over the years before and since, I can share with you that I have washed, conditioned, colored and permed my hair, used perfumes, moisturizers, sunblocks and a lot of concealer. I'm not blaming any of these products for my condition, but perhaps I was pre-disposed to an endocrine problem and the chemicals in these products just helped it come out of hiding.

Anyway, I took the paragraphs from the blog post with the most salient issues and have shown them below in blue. If you are interested in reading the whole blog, you can go to http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com/.

There were 300 million obese individuals worldwide in 2000….which increased another 100 million by 2005….alarming stats! Who leads the obesity race? It’s us, ladies! More women than men are obese. Women also use more than 5 times the beauty products men do (some even more.) A coincidence? While obesity is a growing global epidemic, toxic poisoning is also on the rise. How did it become a planet wide problem?

Companies use synthetic chemicals in their products. These can affect the user. They also affect the non-user. The waste products have to go somewhere…so they empty into land and water. This contamination affects everyone, not just the person using the product! These chemicals are called parabens. They are found in many products from shampoos to hair color and can even be found in natural and organic brands!) Parabens are hormone disruptors which mimic or block human hormones. They get into the blood when you use them on your skin and affect the endocrine system, which controls every function of the body (including weight control…beginning to see the connection?) When you use a body lotion or fragrance, the parabens enter your body, confusing your own hormones, causing them to malfunction. These endocrine disruptors are stored in fatty tissue and are not flushed….accumulating over time. Could this be one reason why you can’t seem to lose weight?

Parabens, Parabens, Everywhere

So how can you reduce your risk of paraben-related illness? Well, one way is to discontinue using all products containing any form of paraben: methyparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. There are a plethora of organic brands which don’t contain these and still give you the same (if not better) performance [Aubrey Organics, 100% Pure, and Real Purity]. Another method is to make your own cosmetics. There are many recipes you can find easily online and on beauty blogs. Some of the easiest recipes include only one ingredient! Since I have been on my new detox diet, I have rediscovered the beauty of organic cold pressed coconut oil. It’s so versatile I can use it on my face, body, hair and even take it internally for the metabolic boosting benefit [hence fat burning!).

PS. This is the bag I carried all summer. It was made from black and white garbage bags and a red take-out bag from a restaurant in China Town. The artist crochets these bags into whatever shape and size you want. By the way, she washes the bags, so these are truly recycled goods. I'm singing her praises because these bags can be custom made for you, are cost friendly, fashionable and "green". If you are interested in having one made, email or send me a comment requesting her information and I will give you her email address.

Quote of the Day: "It's the friends we meet along life's path who help us appreciate the journey" author unknown


Chris H said...

That is a totally cool bag!

julie said...

There are lots of nasty chemicals, parabens are hardly the worst. Pthalates, pharmaceuticals, perfluro acid from cookware, VOCs, PCBs, BPA. Most slips total under the radar of regulation. Scary world out there. It's not proven that all these things are endocrine disruptors, or cause cancer, or ???, but it's worth our while to be as safe as we can. Make up and beauty products are scary.

Darren said...

Its amazing the things you discover when you look beneath the surface. I don't think disease just comes about as the body is a perfect machine, there is always something to throw it out of balance.

Robin @ toxicbeautyblog.com said...

Hi Bobbie,

I am flattered you reprinted part of my article. I'm so glad it made you take note of the products you and your daughter use. While I do think your hypothyroidism is due to a variety of reasons (such as diet, environmental reasons, fluoride, etc), as you say, it probably doesn't help matters if you use beauty products with toxic ingredients. So glad I reached you with my article and I hope to see you on my blog! I hope to reah more women with my message so they can choose safer and healthier cosmetics for themselves and their daughters.

Robin @ toxicbeautyblog.com

P.S. It actually was a guest post on http://watchyourtrainerblog.com, but I welcome everyone to visit my blog as well for more articles on toxins and organic beauty http://toxicbeautyblog.com