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Friday, July 12, 2013

Are Your Cabinets Full of Toxins?

Walk into a beauty salon, cosmetic section, or skin care line aisle and it is easy to get enveloped in the wonderful smells and appealing promises of slick packaging and advertising. You may wonder what the big deal is with the ingredients. I mean, you would think if there was something potentially harmful in these products they wouldn't be on the shelves in the first place.

It was very surprising for me to learn how vague the labeling laws are in the perfume and cosmetics industry. Unlike the food industry, there are no legal standards for organic or natural personal care products sold in the United States. The words natural and even organic are vague and companies can put whatever they want on their labels.

 The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics is a great place to start, a real eye opener.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to you and your family's health. Don't think there isn't a problem just because the majority hasn't yet balked and made a fuss. Don't let the influence of the glamour and subliminal messaging behind the cosmetic industry cause you to doubt yourself just because you seem to appear the odd one in your circle. Sure, when you look around, people seem just fine. But if you or someone you love develops a condition where you find yourself far too often in some doctor's office, take another look around you. Our society really does have a lot of health issues.

Don't wait until a loved one develops a condition to pay attention to all the red flags!
My sister is now going through her second battle with breast cancer. Now why? She never smoked, is a vegetarian, has an active lifestyle, yet still has to face this again. To witness what it does to a woman to lose her hair is heartbreaking. All those hair products we pile on our heads to maintain that crown of glory before we feel attractive enough to go out in public, all for naught when just like that it is lying in a heap for the trash.

It is time to fight back and take control of your health and that of your family. Read labels and educate yourselves. Don't expect the FDA or the government to have your family's best interests in mind as long as our society is so influenced by big business. Read this article about what is being found in the tissues of women (and men) who develop breast cancer. Could something as simple as switching your antiperspirant make a difference? Who knows, but it's a start.

Natural Worry Free Deodorant, stick form

Natural Worry Free Deodorant in a 2 oz jar

In the past, I hadn't gotten into making my own deodorant because I just cannot stand wet armpits and assumed without the aluminum it wouldn't work to help with wetness. I really wanted the antiperspirant part included in my deodorant. But the constant worrying about aluminum increasing the risk for alzheimers disease and parabens increasing the risk for breast cancer made me seriously think about making the switch.

Containing arrowroot powder and baking soda, this deodorant cream does absorb moisture, and does its job for a typical day. However, if doing hard physical work or under extreme stress, every body is different, and not being an actual antiperspirant, a deodorant may not totally eliminate sweating under the arms. Give your body time to adjust to the switch and you may be very surprised.

The active ingredient used in most antiperspirants is aluminum. Aluminum minimizes wetness by blocking the pores which prevents sweat from escaping. Our bodies are designed to sweat and it may be harmful to force the body to hold in harmful toxins that should be excreted. Remember that diet has a lot to do with how much we sweat and how that sweat smells. Keep in mind that raw apple cider vinegar and honey (1 tbsp. each) added to a glass of water and drank once or twice a day can help the body absorb toxins. As far as the concern with aluminum contributing to the risk of alzheimers and cancer, The FDA continues to have the "wait and see" attitude until definitive studies are released.

Two other ingredients to look for in commercial products are propylene glycol and phthalates. Propylene glycol is a petroleum based material that is added to soften and give that glide which makes skin care products more easily applicable to the skin. Phthalates are another class of chemicals used to dissolve ingredients so that they blend efficiently. The argument for these ingredients is that they are not in large enough amounts to be a safety issue. The concern is that we use these products every day, therefore these chemicals are always present in our tissues. Kidney problems, cell mutations, hormone disrupters...why worry. Made with all natural ingredients, this deodorant cream has its own nice, creamy consistency that goes on smooth and absorbs quickly.

Arrowroot powder is used for its smooth texture and effectiveness at absorbing moisture.
Aluminum free baking soda also helps absorb moisture, but it is an effective deodorizer as well.

Coconut oil and Shea butter are the two oil bases used. The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil along with the way it softens the skin, have earned coconut oil such a positive reputation that people don't seem to mind dealing with its tendency to melt in warm temperatures. Coconut oil begins to liquefy at around 76 degrees. Beeswax is added to help keep the cream firm, but if your home tends to become very warm during the summer months, you may need to place the jar in the refrigerator to firm it back up. Whether in a solid or loose state the quality of the product is not affected. Needless to say, don't keep it in a warm car.

Shea butter is a wonderful moisturizer and blends very nicely with coconut oil. A rich, therapeutic butter, Shea is gentle on the sensitive skin under the arms. Shea butter also helps add body to the cream.
****For those allergic to Coconut oil, using only Shea butter or adding some Cocoa Butter is an alternative. Just let me know if you need the substitution.****

Being both Coconut oil and Shea butter have a long shelf life of up to two years, no preservatives are added to this cream. Synthetic preservatives such as parabens can be avoided with "made to order" items that are usually used up long before problems arise. Being this cream contains no water, and the chosen ingredients used contain antibacterial properties, you should have no problems. The concern with parabens is that absorption of these chemicals can disrupt delicate hormonal balance and build up organ toxicity. Be aware of this when you see the words methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl.

Rather than be exposed to things like triclosan for its anti-bacterial and odor killing actions, why not utilize the power of our plant world. Certainly safer than using a known carcinogenic pesticide.

A touch of neem oil is added as it soothes irritated skin, and studies show it is very useful for killing harmful bacteria on the skin.

Sage essential oil has antimicrobial qualities and its sharp, clean smell add a scent appealing to both men and women. The actual herb is said to reduce perspiration if drank in tea form.

Rosemary is another very good deodorizing essential oil. It's antiseptic properties help with healing skin, sensitive from shaving.

Tea tree oil is not only a deodorizer and acts as an antiseptic, but also contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

When you make the switch to a natural deodorant, it may take your body a few weeks to get used to the ingredients and eliminate chemicals already in the pores.

Should you be sensitive under their arms after shaving, perhaps you could shave the night before and apply the deodorant in the morning rather than immediately after shaving.

Some people are sensitive to baking soda in that it irritates their skin. The pH of sodium bicarbonate is around 8.3 and skin has a pH of around 5.5, therefore this imbalance can cause sore armpits for some people. Everybody is different so there is no way to know until you try it. If irritation is the case for you, I can reduce the amount of baking soda or substitute.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, easy on the skin souce of silica which absorbs moisture and toxins. Personal opinion differs on whether it works as well as baking soda. If you prefer the switch all together or just want to reduce the amount of baking soda the choice is yours.

******Should you be pregnant or suffer with seizures from epilepsy, please let me know and we will leave out the rosemary and sage essential oils. Lavender would be a safe alternative.************

Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deodorizing Cream comes in a 2 oz. plastic jar with a small wood applicator or as a 2.5 oz Stick Deodorant.

Choose for yourself your own blend