What’s In Your Products?

Collection of bottles of health and beauty products
Recently we’ve been hearing a lot about harmful ingredients in health and beauty products. Many of us listen but dismiss this. We shouldn’t be. Every day we expose ourselves to potential toxins, chemicals, and harmful ingredients. Many of the products sitting in your bathrooms right now have the potential to negatively impact your health and the health of your family.
In a recent study from the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University, 100 Latina girls between the ages of 14 to 18 stopped using their regular health and beauty products for three days. Instead they used products free of suspected endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3).
Both pre and post intervetion urine was measured for the suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals. After 3 days, the girls urine was tested again for levels of phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3, all ingredients found in many health and beauty products.
The results showed decreases of these ingredients in their urine after only three days of replacing conventional products with products free of these ingredients:
 
  • 43.9 percent down in levels of methyl and propyl paraben. Parabens are preservatives widely used in many cosmetics, shampoo, and lotion.
  • 35.7 percent down in triclosan. This is an antibacterial chemical that is common in liquid antibacterial hand soap, dish-washing detergent, toothpaste, face wash and deodorant. Triclosan has been linked to the disruption of thyroid and reproductive hormones in animal studies and has been found in human breast milk, blood, and urine (Triclosan, 2010).
  • 27.4 percent down in mono-ethyl phthalates. Phthalates, common industrial plasticizers, are present in some nail polish and fragrances.

Source: Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure, 2016

This is why I’m so passionate about educating others about what is in their products.
This does not only affect teenage girls, this affects all of us.
 Women on average use 10 to 12 different health and beauty products daily on our biggest organ, our skin. This means we are potentially exposing ourselves to 168 different chemicals each day.
Parabens have been shown to be oestrogenic, having an effect on female hormones, and have been detected in human breast tumor tissue (Endocrine, 2004). Phthalic acid esters (PAEs), used in a wide range of products, have been shown to adversely affect male reproduction and potentially affect fetal development (Potential Adverse Effects, 2007). Phthalates have been shown to possibly affect pregnancy outcome, puberty, respiratory health, and neuro-development (Exposure to Phthalates, 2011).
Each product we use has the potential to adversely affect our health since the U.S. does not have major regulations to ensure ingredient or product safety in the same ways other countries do. The United States has only banned 11 ingredients to date in personal care products, while the European Union has banned or restricted over 1,300 ingredients.
This concerns me. But it doesn’t mean I’m helpless to make changes for myself or my family. There are things you can do.
So what can we do?
Start replacing the products you use everyday with safer alternatives. This can be done in several ways. Using the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database you can search more than 60,000 products for their potential impact and get tips for what to look for in safer products.
You can also purchase products from companies that care about safer products and have taken it as their mission to carefully select products.

Some of my favorite safer companies for health and beauty products:


  • Beautycounter who has banned more than 1,500 ingredients in order to set a new standard for health and safety without sacrificing performance. Beautycounter has a full line of make-up in addition to offering skin care, bath and body products, sun protection, plus a kids and baby collection. Most Beautycounter products are nut and soy free, and they are all gluten free.
  • Fatco (formerly FatFace) uses pressed plant oils and tallow from grass fed-cows (full of nourishing vitamins A, D, E, and K) in their products. The use of tallow promotes head-to-tail use of the whole animal. FatCo has not only my favorite deodorant Stank Stop, they have body and baby butta, cleansing oil, toner and more.
  • Primal Life Organics carries chemical free skin care including my favorite toothpowder and a wide range of personal care and beauty products.
  • Primal Pit Paste for not only deodorant put PoPo Body Powder (you know for the ‘boys’).
  • The Dirt for other toothpaste replacements such as tooth powder and my kids favorite MCT Oil Toothpaste.
  • Uncle Harry’s has a wide range of products such as mouth care, skin care, and hair care.

Full disclosure: I am a consultant for Beautycounter and participate in the affiliate program for FatCo. So yes, I do get paid if you use my links to purchase products from their sites. However, I became a consultant and an affiliate because I used the products first and fell in love with not only how well they performed but the mission behind each company. They are at the top of my list because they are my personal favorites and the ones that I order from the most for myself and my family. This is why I recommend them to you and use their products to educate others on what was discussed in this post, the potential harm from using conventional products with questionable ingredients. I believe in safer products and education to help shift the health of everyone.

Beautycounter. You deserve better beauty.
Beautycounter. You deserve better beauty.

Resources

  • Banned in Europe, Safe in the US. (2014). Retrieved from http://ensia.com/features/banned-in-europe-safe-in-the-u-s/
  • Endocrine disrupters and human health: could oestrogenic chemicals in body care cosmetics adversely affect breast cancer incidence in women? (2004). Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.978/abstract;jsessionid=5D238C0A8EACE76116477E348728C529.f02t03
  • Exposure to phthalates: Reproductive outcome and children health. A review of epidemiological studies. (2011). Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.2478/s13382-011-0022-2

  • International Laws, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/regulations/international-laws/
  • Potential adverse effects of phthalic acid esters on human health: A review of recent studies on reproduction. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230007001316

  • Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure from Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study. (2016). Retrieved from http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10514/

  • Triclosan exposure modulates estrogen-dependent responses in the female wistar rat. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20562219

Oil Cleansing Works…It Works Really Well

Fatface SkincareMy adventures in natural health and beauty products have been met with success in deodorant and struggles in no poo hair care, but I was not very optimistic about changing my facial care routine. I loved the products cluttering my bathroom dearly and had a whole wish list of new products to try, but each product was full of chemicals. In trying to eliminate as many chemicals as possible from my beauty routine, I knew I needed to try something else. I kept reading about oil cleansing but was very hesitant to put oil on my oily skin. After all, I would go through Biore oil blotting cloths like a madwoman until I ran out and resorted to dabbing my face with paper towels in the bathroom several times per day. Then I tried oil cleansing, just to say I tried it and it didn’t help. How wrong I was. Oil cleansing works and it works really well.

I’ve loved clothes and fashion magazines for as long as I can remember. I once challenged myself in high school to wear a different outfit everyday for as many days as I could, I got to almost 60 days before I had a repeat. Before I lost all the weight, I couldn’t wear the clothes I so adored from the magazines, but I could wear the shoes, carry the bags, and I certainly could purchase the beauty products. And purchase them I did. In abundance, as evidenced by the lack of space in our master bathroom. I bought every interesting product I read about to combat acne, non-existent wrinkles, dry skin, oily skin, you name it I tried it. Yet even with all my products and ritual daily use of a clarisonic brush, I was still breaking out, my skin was still oily and dull, and at times very dry. Complaining about my skin to my esthetician during a every 4 weeks on the dot eyebrow wax, she asked me what my routine was. After listing the 5 or 6 products I used in the morning and the similar number I used before bed, she stated maybe I should simplify my routine.

My estheticians comments came right before I purchased FATface Skincare’s Stank Stop  to try on my pits. I decided to purchase a sample size of their cleansing oil for oily skin when I ordered Stank Stop for the first time. I didn’t try it at first though, because the thought of putting oil on my skin still freaked me out. I spent so much time trying to get rid of the oil I just couldn’t fathom putting more on. I read a comment about chemistry that “like dissolves like” and had my lightbulb facial care moment. In order to get rid of the oil on my face, so my skin can manage it’s own oil production at a normal rate instead of in overdrive, I needed to try putting oil on my skin. So I tried it.

And it worked. It worked really well. The night after using FATface cleansing oil for the first time I woke up with super soft skin. In 2 weeks of nightly use I had fewer breakouts and no longer needed to escape to the bathroom to dab excess oil from my face. My skin is brighter and at times glowing. Using oil on my face worked so well I added the FATface Myrrhaculous Face Cream to my routine for additional moisturizer (hello beef tallow) and organic rosehip oil (rosehip oil is in the Myrrhaculous Face Cream as well, I use extra) to combat the few old acne scars I have. That’s it. I went from using 10 to 12 products on my face in one day to 3, just 3. 3 products I use only before bedtime. I rinse my face in the morning with cold water and my skin looks so much better than before.

So much better that when our 10 year old started to get oily skin and break outs on her nose, I had her try washing with FATface cleansing oil too. If it worked on my skin, I thought it would be worth a try for hers. She loves putting the cleansing oil on her skin and using a hot washcloth to wipe it away. She rubs the excess oil onto her neck and her hands and now holding her hand is extra amazing because she has the softest hands ever! Seriously. While she still has a few hormonal breakouts on her nose, the rest of her skin looks pore-less and luminescent.

Needless to say my fashion magazine obsession has not cooled down and I still read about all the new beauty products. I no longer have a desire to purchase them all. My new routine is much simpler, quicker, and easy to follow, but has much better results than anything else I’ve tried. I finally got the results I wanted from oil cleansing and now I get space in the bathroom too as I clear out the old products I will never go back to using.

While I elected to use pre-made natural products, you can create your own recipe for oil cleansing. For more information on oil cleansing, including where to purchase the items I use and a recipe to make your own cleansing oil, check out the following links.

 

And now for the disclaimer: The products above and linked to in this post are ones I’ve used or suggest. I did not receive any financial compensation or product for recommending any brand or product in this post. These are my personal recommendations or items I purchase for myself or my family. Nourish to Fuel does not receive any compensation for recommending products in this post. In other words, my opinion was not bought. It’s my own from personal experience. With that noted, Nourish to Fuel is now an affiliate for FATface Skincare because I believe in their products so much. Purchasing through the link on the website will give Nourish to Fuel a small commission which supports the blog. 

FATface Skincare

Natural Deodorant Show Down

Fat Face Stank Stop versus Primal Pit Paste
Fat Face Stank Stop versus Primal Pit Paste

Since changing the way I eat, which included removing toxins and chemicals from the food I put into my body, it made sense to start removing the toxins and chemicals I put ON my body. This includes allowing my body to sweat to release toxins and cool itself down. My old brand of deodorant contained aluminum and other unnatural chemicals. Deodorant containing aluminum clogs the eccrine glands in your pits to prevent sweating. Which would be lovely except sweating is not only the bodies natural way to cool itself off, it’s also one of the ways the body releases toxins.

When I made the change to natural deodorant I found I certainly do sweat but I don’t really stink. I might stink if I have a stressful day or a really nasty workout. And after the first month, I wasn’t really sweating as much as I was during the initial detox month despite the days getting warmer as summer approached. Natural deodorant also means no more white marks on black shirts or stains in the pits of white shirts!

I was using Primal Pit Paste with a lot of success, with the exception of some minor irritation which can be caused by baking soda in any brand of natural deodorant. (Primal Pit Paste has recently released a Pit Primer to help calm angry pits, which I have not tried). Despite being happy with Primal Pit Paste, when I saw Fat Face Stank Stop on Instagram I wanted to try it. It contains beef tallow! Enough said. Order placed. But which one would work best? Primal Pit Paste or Fat Face Stank Stop? Only one way to find out. Wear them both. Challenge accepted!

Primal Pit Paste

For 14 days I wore Primal Pit Paste on one side and Fat Face Stank Stop on the other side. I chose a two week period that started with an early morning flight to California for a 6 day stressful work trip for an electronic medical records go live. My 14 day pit show down also included doing CrossFit as a visitor at a box in California in 80 plus degree weather and CrossFit at my home box (I have yet to visit a box with air conditioning by the way). Plus the normal chasing after kids, housecleaning, laundry, errands, regular work duties, and every day life.

While both Primal Pit Paste and Fat Face Stank Stop worked really well at keeping me stank free and non pitty, there was a clear winner for me. I ended up sticking with Fat Face. Maybe it’s the beef tallow, the magnesium oil, or the lanolin but this is the deodorant for me. Not only did I not stink but my pits gradually got softer and softer. Soft pits, who knew how awesome this would be. Plus, an unexpected benefit that continues even 4 weeks after I started the challenge, is the lightening of the skin in my pits. Which was never that terrible or dark for me, but it happened. While I gave up Primal Pit Paste my Mom uses their new Jacked Up Jasmine scent, which smells amazing by the way, with great success.

Fat Face Stank StopMy best advice for when you’re ready to give up the potentially cancer causing aluminum containing antiperspirants, is to try more than one. Buy a sample size if you can and give it a good try. If it doesn’t work for you try another brand. Each company varies their natural deodorant recipe a little so one might work better for your body than another. Or you could just order Stank Stop! Keep in mind there is a detox period and your body will need to adjust to the change. During the detox period you’ll probably want to shower a little more because you will sweat more and you might stink as your body adjusts to it’s natural non stink state (trust me if you eat cleanly then you really won’t stink). Hang in there, as it’s worth it in the long run to not expose yourself to the risks of using conventional deodorant and/or antiperspirant.

Note: I also ordered and fell in love with Fat Face Cleansing Oil, which I ordered at the same time as Stank Stop. A review will be posted soon regarding cleansing with oil and my experience with Fat Face Cleansing Oil

Natural Deodorants:

Fat Face Stank Stop

Primal Pit Paste

Love Bella Organics Deodorant

Primal Life Organics PitStick

Wilderness Family Naturals Deodorants 

or you can DIY it with this recipe for natural deodorant from Wellness Mama 

Resources:

Skintervention Guide Blog: 3 Natural Deodorant Pitfalls

Skintervention Guide: Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid

Sweatology: Benefits of Aluminum Free Deodorant

Benefits of Using Natural Deodorants for Women 

FATface Skincare

And now for the disclaimer: The products above and linked to in this post are ones I’ve used or suggest. I did not receive any financial compensation or product for recommending any brand or product in this post. These are my personal recommendations or items I purchase for myself or my family. Nourish to Fuel does not receive any compensation for recommending products in this post. In other words, my opinion was not bought. It’s my own from personal experience.