I am not a doctor. I am simply a mama who is passionate about my family’s health and wellness. This is my personal opinion based on facts that I have accumulated in my own research. I am not, nor will I ever, be giving medical advice.
Some people get excited about sports; the competition and thrill of winning a game. Some love art and the fulfillment it brings when someone compliments their work. Everyone has a passion in life; a burning desire to make oneself known for a particular skill or mindset. My passion happens to be health and wellness.
I have always been fairly health-conscious. In high school, I started paying close attention to the foods I put into my body. What I have recently learned is that, while being conscious of what we put into our bodies is crucial to our overall health, what we put on our bodies is of equal importance.
I remember seeing the label “Non BPA” on many different items, like Jhett’s sippy cup and plastic bowls that we received at my baby shower. After doing my own research, I started to understand why it was VERY important that they were free of this nasty chemical. I also heard about parabens and how they aren’t good for our health, so I chose to buy paraben-free body soaps and lotions. At the time I never really thought much about it and carried on with life.. until recently.
FYI: I am completely and totally aware that we have very little, to no control over many things in our lives. Ultimately, God is in control. BUT we do have control over what food we decide to eat and what products we choose to purchase and use on/in our bodies.
Since the day Jhett was born I’ve been what some call a crazy mama regarding the things that go into/on his body. I’ve been very conscious of what I give him to eat. I’ve made sure he has only organic, natural soaps and lotions for his sensitive skin. I’ve only given him Tylenol a hand-full of times when I thought he absolutely needed it. I’m that mom. But guess what… some of those “natural” super expensive soaps and lotions are full of toxins and nasty chemicals that disrupt our endocrine system within seconds.
Word of advice: Don’t trust something just because it says it’s “natural” or “organic”. I learned this the hard way.
Before being introduced to a natural, chemical-free way of living, I never even thought to look at the ingredients label on the back of the products I bought. If it looked natural and “organic”, I bought it and trusted that it was a product that would be good for our health. Come to find out – manufacturers in the United States are not required by law to list all of the ingredients contained in their personal care products. Many of the chemicals that are found in these products have never even been tested for safety… Mind blown.
If you haven’t already, I HIGHLY recommend downloading the app “Think Dirty” on your phone. You can scan the products in your home and the app rates them on a scale from 1-10 on the level of toxicity. Sadly enough, Jhett’s body wash scored a 9 and his lotion scored a 5. This blew my mind! I couldn’t believe that the big, name-brand companies were knowingly putting toxic chemicals in MY baby’s personal care products and I was lathering them on his precious skin on a DAILY basis, not even thinking twice about it. After becoming more educated and actually taking the time to read the ingredients label and researching the effects that these chemicals can have on our overall health, I decided to go completely chemical-free and I haven’t looked back since. I am not completely chemical-free YET. But I am making progress on a daily basis and could not be happier with the decision I have made for my family!
Some of you reading this are probably thinking I’m crazy and I just need to
“chill out”. Well, sorry not sorry – this mama bear ain’t chillin’ out ANYTIME soon. Not when it comes to my baby’s health! (and Jarrod & I’s too). I have found it very empowering to educate myself further on the effects these toxic chemicals have on our bodies and I hope you do too!
So, you probably already know that our skin is our body’s largest organ and first line of defense. Our skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands and layers of cells – all playing a huge role in our overall health. Applying toxic chemicals that are found in our body wash, lotion, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant (+ a lot more) on a daily basis creates what is called bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation is when the rate at which we take in toxins is faster than the rate at which our body can excrete them. Our body naturally flushes out toxins on a daily basis. But when we are consistently exposing ourselves to these toxins, it can be very detrimental to our health.
Chemical exposure has been linked to rising rates in asthma, autism, infertility, cancer and other major health problems. Guys, a lot of the harmful chemicals that are in our personal care products here in the U.S. are banned in many other countries. How sad is that..
Some of the most harmful chemicals to be aware of are:
(there are a lot more not listed)
Parabens – Parabens are found in about 80-90% of our personal care products. They are known for being endocrine disruptors. These guys have been known to mimic estrogen and can lead to reproductive issues & have even been linked to cancer. I found FOUR different types of parabens in a very expensive body lotion that someone bought me for Christmas last year. The label said it was “natural” and it looked healthy, but clearly you can’t trust the packaging.
Fragrance – The ingredient breakdown of scents in a product are not required, by law, to be individually labeled. This term can even be used for hundreds of chemicals, all compiled under the term “fragrance”. A lot of these compounds are made of coal and petroleum-derived chemicals. These can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. Coal should be put in stockings for kids who are on the naughty list, not in our lotion or body washes!
Aluminum – This is a hazardous chemical found in many antiperspirants and sunscreens. Aluminum is used to temporarily clog our sweat ducts (one way toxins naturally exit our bodies). Long-term use of aluminum can effect the health of our brain, nervous system, respiratory tract, and bone health. It has also been linked to cancer and can be damaging to our reproductive system.
Formaldehyde – Sadly enough, this is found in A LOT of baby care products. It was one of the many nasty chemicals in my mascara, too! Formaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen. Because I didn’t exactly know what formaldehyde was, I looked it up. This is the definition I found: “Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature and has a strong odor. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause adverse health effects”. This was according to epa.gov – pretty sketchy if ya ask me…
Phthalates – Banned in the European Union for their toxicity, phthalates are known for being hormone disruptors and can cause reproductive and developmental toxicity.
Sooo, why is it banned in the Eurpean Union, but not in the United States!?
Triclosan – Many antibacterial products contain triclosan. It is known for being a endocrine disruptor and has been shown to affect hormone regulation. It is also a suspected carcinogen. Although it was banned in hand soaps last year, it is still used in other products such as hand sanitizer, toothpaste, deodorant and cosmetics.
Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) – These three chemicals are mainly found in shampoo, hand & body soap, bubble bath and face wash. They are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing agents. Research shows a link between these chemicals and kidney and liver cancer.
Propylene Glycol – The active ingredient in antifreeze. It is commonly found in makeup, toothpaste and deodorant. Most stick deodorants have a higher concentration of PG than allowed for most industrial use. Direct contact can cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. The EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with it, yet the FDA says it’s okay to put in our mouths… hmmm.
The list goes on and on, but you get the point. I highly encourage everyone to be your own advocate for your/your family’s health. Do your own research. Be conscious of the ingredients found in the products you’re using. Read the label before spending money on a product that could be very harmful to your health.
With that being said, please don’t feel overwhelmed or think you’re doing everything wrong.. you’re not! Even just switching to a more natural deodorant is a huge step in the right direction. I was overwhelmed at first, until I decided to take it one step at a time. Once we’re out of a certain product, I replace it with a new, more natural one. Any progress is PROGRESS.
I like to think of my new-found passion for creating a healthier lifestyle for my family a “God thing”. I stumbled across Young Living Essential Oils on a complete accident and I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical at first. But it was the best “accident” that could have ever happened to me and my family and at the most perfect time.
I ended up purchasing a Starter Kit with Young Living – which came with 11 oils, a diffuser, sample packets of the oils, 2 samples of Ningxia Red,
(my new-found love), a roller ball + more! It was by far the best $160 we’ve ever spent. There are so many different ways to use the oils – I now use them for cooking, cleaning, diffusing, & even in my hair/body/skin care routine. I have been putting lavender (with coconut oil as a carrier oil) on the bottom of Jhett’s feet as part of our bedtime routine and it has made a world of difference.
The oils contain countless health benefits as well. Within 20 minutes, essential oils affect every cell in your body and are metabolized like other nutrients. Essential oils are wonderful detoxifying agents as well! We use them to support our immune health, digestive system, soothe sore muscles, help reduce stress/anxiety, & as I’m typing this, I’m breathing in some peppermint oil (one of my personal favs). Peppermint supports healthy brain function and I need all I can get right now since it’s now 2:00 am..
I could go on and on about how much I love Young Living’s essential oils and the countless ways that I now use them in my everyday life, but I’m saving that for another post 🙂 My goal of this post is to empower everyone to read labels & be informed. Knowledge is POWER. We ALL deserve better!
If you want to learn more or join me on my journey to a healthier/safer lifestyle, please feel free to send me a message or comment below!
Thanks for visiting!
Live well friends.
(I feel like I’m in college all over again, but this is actually fun!)