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.


  • 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

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 


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.