There is so much emphasis on eating clean and healthy to rid yourself of toxins and to prevent disease, but what about what we are putting on our bodies? Shampoos, lotions, body wash, deodorant, facial cleanser, tooth paste, and chap stick are all examples of products we use that come into direct contact with our skin. As our skin is the body’s first line of defense and largest organ, we must become more aware of the chemicals we are pouring into our bloodstream daily.
In the mist of Breast Cancer Awareness month, women across the country are mourning the loss of the loved ones, celebrating the clear scans of a survivor, or praying that this vicious disease never affects them. In some cases, the birth of a tumor is randomly caused by mutation during cell replication through no fault of the victim. Other cases may have been caused by the ingestion of chemicals that become toxic in our cells. Here are 3 products that can become cancerous.
1. Think about the closest area of delicate skin to the breast; our arm pits, which also happens to be an area that is maintained regularly with razors, deodorants, and antiperspirants. Harmful aluminum-based ingredients enter the bloodstream through cuts from shaving, travel to the lymph nodes in the breast, and get stuck there. Antiperspirants seem like miracle workers at first glance, but we have sweat glands in our armpits for a reason. Sweat, along with urine and feces, is how we release toxins from our bodies. If toxins near the breasts cannot escape via sweat glands, their new home becomes breast tissue. To save yourself from potential toxin build-up in your breasts, I am NOT telling you to become a stinky, hairy cavewoman. Try waxing your underarms to prevent cuts, this method also lasts much longer and is less expensive overtime! Look for an aluminum-free deodorant. One of the brands I trust the most is Burt’s Bees. The Swiss company Arbonne also carries a safe deodorant.
The most obvious preventative action you can take to save yourself from breast cancer is getting your annual mammogram. If you’re under the age of 40 you may not necessarily need yearly mammograms yet but you should visit your gynecologist every year. I firmly believe every female over the age of 18, sexually active or not, should schedule annual check-ups with their gynecologist. Within the annual visit you will get a pap-smear and a simple breast exam checking for lumps.
2.Sodium laureth sulfate, SLES, takes the cake on bad ingredients used in personal care products. Go check your shampoo, body wash, and lotions, if it has this ingredient throw it away now! Studies with SLES on lab rats showed growth of cancer tumors and hair loss after prolonged use. Earlier in the year I noticed my hair was thinning out tremendously. After doing some research on the ingredients in my hair products, I decided to switch to a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. My hair has not only stopped thinning, but it has been growing thicker and healthier.
3. One final ingredient that I passionately dislike is petroleum. It is crude oil, as in the black stuff we put in our cars at gas stations. Why on Earth would we put petroleum on our bodies? I’ve heard some people say they are addicted to chap stick, and its true. Most chap sticks are made with petroleum so when you put this on your lips, the thick film of oil blocks out moisture and essentially is killing your skin causing it to dry out even more. Companies advertise petroleum-based products to “lock-in” moisture but we typically don’t apply Vaseline if we fill our skin is already nice and moisturized right? Check the ingredients of your lip care. Switch to something petroleum-free, like Burts Bees, and you will see and feel a HUGE difference.
Why does the FDA allow harmful ingredients in personal care products? Aside from the FDA being corrupt, it boils down to money. The heartbreaking truth is the FDA does not have a primary interest in America’s health. Since many truths are hidden and denied from us, we have to be smart consumers! Start today.
By: Julia Dalton, B.S. Exercise Physiology