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

Hair Diaries: On To The Next One

Princess AnnaI gave no poo a good shot. I tried cleansing my hair with a combination of baking soda and vinegar rinses. For several reasons no poo doesn’t always work for everyone. It might be the water in your house, that you are doing no poo too often, or you haven’t given it enough time. But after 4 weeks of greasy nasty hair I gave up. So it’s on to the next one.

The Morrocco Method products I had reserved for later, from my first go at no poo, were pulled out of the bathroom cabinet to an upgraded space in the shower.

Morrocco Method products are raw, vegan, gluten and soy free, and made from pure plant botanicals. They offer natural shampoos, conditioners, styling products, henna to color your hair, and more. Their products can even be used for your pets because they do not contain any chemicals, plus they are never tested on animals.

What did I try? I grabbed the 5 Shampoo Sample Pack, Trial Travel Set of 6 Conditioners, and the Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel because it has a cool name. After trying out the shampoo trial pack and the conditioners, I purchased a full size bottle of Sea Essence Shampoo and Pearl Essence Cream Rinse to really give it a good trial as the sample shampoos are only good for one and a half shampoos with long hair.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the smell of the shampoos and conditioners, it’s very earthy and natural smelling. There are understandably no lovely fragrances added, keeping true to their pure plant botanicals and no chemicals line. The color of the shampoos is a muddy brown and they get the job done of cleaning my scalp. In fact my scalp never felt so clean and invigorated in my whole life. But my hair was just off. It wasn’t soft, manageable, and healthy looking after 4 weeks of use which is what I’m looking for in addition to using natural products. It isn’t the Morrocco Method products though, the products are excellent but not for my hair type (frizzy, colored, tends towards dry and breakage at times, naturally curly/wavy, and long).

The shampoo and conditioner got my 10 year old daughters straight shoulder length and hormonally greasy hair to be clean, non-greasy, soft, and vibrant. While the Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel got the 7 year old daughters long, straight, ragamuffin if you don’t do something with it hair, to hold a braid well and be shiny. I continue to use the Diamond Crystal Mist Conditioner & Moisturizer and Sapphire Volumizer Mist spray-on conditioners to dry hair on non-shampoo days to add shine and detangle. I also really like the Euro Natural Oil to deep condition my hair overnight before a shampoo morning. Especially on the ends of my hair, that can get a little rough looking despite being trimmed every 8 weeks. Purple hair don't care

Overall I was pleased with and liked the products. I came away with some great spray-on conditioners for myself and products that work wonderfully for the girls hair. I’ve heard great things about their henna to color your hair if you want to use a natural method to dye your hair. I haven’t elected to go down that route, yet. In fact I added a purple highlight to my hair this past weekend in a it’s so not natural hair color brand, although the other hair color my stylist uses on my hair at least doesn’t contain ammonia.

It’s back to testing and trying another product in the search for the shiny healthy strong hair I seek.

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 did 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 Morrocco Method, because I support their products. Purchasing through the link on the website will give Nourish to Fuel a small commission which supports the blog.

 

Morrocco Method

Hair Diaries: No-Poo Failure?

Lion Mane

Hair detox failure? ‘No Poo’ (as in no shampoo) failure? Or not enough time to adjust?

I’m a Leo. I identify greatly with the male lions majestic mane of hair. It’s kind of his thing. He’s got great hair! That’s always been me too.

Until recently.

My hair and it’s health have always been a priority of mine. I try to achieve healthy hair by nourishing my body with healthy foods, which affect the health of my hair. I get regular trims so I never have split ends. I’ve never permed my hair. I rarely, maybe once a month, use heat to dry or style my hair. I’ve always had really healthy shiny soft hair.

My hair has gotten dry, frizzy, and was falling out in clumps. I started taking biotin and more Vitamin D. I stopped washing it every day, which actually did help and I recommend this. I changed products many times over. I bought new brushes. I had my hormones and thyroid tested, all were within normal limits. I went to a dermatologist who told me to just not shower. Seriously. In hindsight a woman who is losing her hair should never ever see a middle aged balding male dermatologist. They just don’t understand.

My hair got even worse after I ran a Tough Mudder race in October of 2013. The race went through the blackest muddiest mud I’ve ever encountered. We’re still finding traces of that mud around the house. So I chopped off several inches of hair, in a vain attempt to regain some of the former health of my hair. It didn’t help. My husband, being ever helpful, agreed that I could get the best wig money could buy if it came down to it.

Having had great success with eliminating chemicals from my deodorant, I decided to try the same with my hair. Taking my cues from the Skintervention Guide, numerous blog posts about hair detoxes, chemical free ‘no-poo’ methods, and research into Morrocco Method products I decided to give it a try to heal my hair. After one week though, I’m afraid I may not be able to make it through the detox period. My hair resembles that of a hormonal teenager who has not washed their hair in a month. It looks wet and greasy. Which means lots of up-dos and buns the past week.

There have been some positives though. My hair is easier to comb through and I’m hardly shedding any hair. My scalp feels amazing and non-itchy. I’ve been using Morrocco Method products, I purchased the sample conditioner and shampoo kits. I’ve even tried a vinegar rinse hoping it would make my hair less greasy. Yesterday, I caved. I washed my hair with my regular old shampoo and conditioner. I couldn’t stand the grease any more. I know my scalp is going through a detox wondering what I’m doing to it, so it’s producing more oil as it tries to adjust. I’m cognizant a hair detox takes longer than one week. But I have to leave the house to do this work thing and I just couldn’t stand it any longer.

Am I going to give up? No. What I will do, is move my old shampoo and conditioner out of the shower so I’m not tempted. I’m going to reserve the Morrocco Method products for later in favor of just using baking soda to shampoo, vinegar rinses, and coconut oil to condition as needed. I’m going to stock up on hair ties as well, as I will probably need them. And I’m going to give it some time. I’ll just pretend I have wet beachy waves of hair in the meantime.

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.

FATface Skincare