Written by: Christine Egan
Ladies, love lathering on body products and I was certainly one of them for years. But just as I eliminated plastics, after my breast cancer diagnosis, I also had to give a good, hard look at my bathroom closet. While many products smelled good or made my skin feel silky smooth, I had to check out the ingredients.
If you commit to cleaning up toxins in your diet and eating organic, then the next step is to consider your skin. You know, your biggest organ and the one that absorbs what you put on it. I learned that some of the products I was slathering on myself could be adversely affecting my hormones.
I researched the effect parabens have on the body. The word itself sounds simple enough. I can pronounce it! The definition sounds harmless too: a preservative found in common personal care items such as shampoo, lotions, soap, sunscreens, and makeup. The problem with parabens, like plastics, is that they mimic estrogen in the body. As someone who was diagnosed with an abundance of estrogen, which led to breast cancer, I wanted to stay the heck away from anything that could increase estrogen levels in my body.
A recent study in the UK showed nearly every woman with breast cancer has one or more paraben chemicals in her breast tissue, suggesting a possible link between the chemical and the disease.
I started researching all of my health and beauty aid products, only to realize the skin lotion I had been using for years listed parabens as one of its ingredients! My stomach sank as I read the words clearly labeled on the side of the bottle. I had been using this Costco size lotion for the past 20 years on my body everyday after my shower. Now, I’m not saying that the lotion gave me breast cancer, but I’m thinking it probably didn’t help my estrogen levels.
Today, I am much more vigilant about reading labels to be sure I am not putting things on my skin that are not healthy for me. My go-to skin moisturizer now is coconut oil. I scoop out coconut oil from the jar and put it in a small jelly jar along with some drops of essential oils. Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant, and leaves my skin (and my teenage daughter’s) feeling so smooth.
Stay tuned for next month’s toxic ingredient!
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Christine Egan is the author of The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer. It wasn’t until her diagnosis that she showed her body the love it deserved. Don’t wait for something horrible to happen for you to give your body the love and respect it deserves.