Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm Going Granola - The Dangers of Cosmetics!

Apparently I have been living in the dark ages. Seriously. It’s as if I have been walking around completely unaware (blissfully unaware, I might add) to the dangers of the cosmetic industry. I’ve mentioned my addiction to all-things-cosmetic before, yes? Makeup – love it. Hair products – love 'em. Skin care products – love 'em. Honestly – I am Sephora’s dream consumer.

So imagine my surprise when my cosmetic dependent world came tumbling down last week.

Same Sweet Girl posted a rather informative post regarding the benefits of the Oil Cleansing Method last week. (Click here and here for her posts regarding oil cleansing.) I was intrigued to say the least. After a few emails back and forth with SSG, I decided it was time to call in the expert – my BFF, Khristi.

Khristi spent years working in a health food store and as a result knows everything about everything related to health foods and health products. She is constantly telling me why I should eat this and not that (for example – did you know there is much controversy over the healthiness of peanuts? Oh yes – consider walnuts or almonds instead!)

So I emailed her the information that SSG provided me and waited for her response. According to Khristi, this was a good idea. Such a good idea in fact, that we both ordered our essential oils that day. I utilized this site to determine which essential oils were best for my skin and chose Castor Oil (main cleanser), Grapeseed Oil (carrier to dilute the potency of Castor Oil), Lavender Oil (great for everything!) and Lemongrass Oil (acne, large pores, blackheads.)



I opted to purchase my oils from VitaCost because it was the most cost effective method I could find. I spent $28 – with taxes and shipping! SSG unfortunately spent closer to $50 at her local health food store. (My oils arrived within two days – totally worth the wait if you ask me.)

While chatting with Khristi that night about how excited I was to try the oil cleansing method she dropped a bomb on me. “Oh yeah! I mean this is a completely all natural form of skin care! Completely paraben free and surprisingly inexpensive considering how long these oils will last!”

I’m sorry paraben free?? Unfortunately, I asked Khristi to explain the importance of paraben free skin care and basically this is the long and short of it:

Parabens are a preservative (chemical) found is almost every skin care product known to man. There is convincing research that parabens cause your body to produce artificial estrogen which can lead to cancer. That’s right – *cancer*. (I know – everything causes cancer these days – but really…I did the research – it’s pretty convincing!) I think this article gives a pretty fair assessment of the research/dangers of parabens.

That night I spent half an hour reading the ingredients on the cosmetics in my bathroom – and everything has parabens! Shampoo/conditioner/hair spray/mousse/eye cream/acne medications/EVERYTHING! The only item that was paraben free was my Neutrogena Daily Foaming Face Wash. That was it!

So now I’m on a quest to formulate a paraben free cosmetic cabinet. Obviously my oil cleanser is a great start (I will update you on how much I *love it* later!) Khristi suggests Estee Lauder’s Daywear Plus as a paraben free moisturizer. My cosmetologist-in-training sister discovered that Joico products are paraben free (and also environmentally conscious). Now I just need to find a paraben free body lotion!

Unfortunately, going granola is not proving to be cheap. That Daywear Plus is $40! And Joico products aren’t inexpensive either. But I guess sometimes you just have to pay the price to rest easy at night. Like the article above said – when there is a potential for harm, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Does anyone have any suggestions for paraben free products? Any other healthy living tips??

I was not paid by any company/website to suggest the products listed above.  These are just helpful suggestions regarding facts I have learned over the past week that I want to share with my readers!

25 comments:

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Yay for you!!!! It's so exciting to get into natural stuff. It's sad how much crap they stick in all of our cosmetics, shampoos, soaps...even food! They don't care if it harms us...they only care about making money! Going natural is so hard but I'm trying to do it too. I haven't found a natural deodorant that actually works yet though. :( I found some great natural toothpastes and shampoos though. I've also been trying to eat less processed food by eating fresh fruits and veggies. It's a hard and expensive transition but I know it's worth it! Thanks for the great info Amber! :)

Tiffany said...

Oh my gosh! That's scary!! I had no idea (even though I should after finding out how much crap goes in our food!). I'll be excited to hear about the oils!

Tiffany said...

P.S. you might like this blog: www.moneysavingmom.com, she has lots of ways to save money on healthier stuff!

amy anne said...

Good luck! I can't wait to hear the results after SSG's amazing report...My only other suggestion/addition would be Tea Tree Oil for trouble spots, especially the one mixed with Vitamin E!

Stacey said...

Okay here is another thing that I have been sharing for years too. Look on your deoderant lable - the first content is aluminum. And where are we putting this? Right next to our lymp nodes. It is known that Alzeihemers patients have a high content of aluminum in their brains...you see where I am going with this? So I do look for the deoderant with no aluminum. You have to look - not easy to find. But they are there. We have to do all we can to prevent cancer!

Ms. Emily Ann said...

Wow! I am glad I read this post! I guess ignorance is not bliss, especially if it will cause me cancer! How scary! Thanks for sharing the site where you purchased the oils! I am excited to hear how you like them, and I will be checking all the labels on my products as soon as I get home!

Gracie Beth said...

The vitamin shoppe has has some wonderful skin products. I get all my cleansers, toners, and lotions there.

Mrs. Muffins said...

The cosmetic companies do a good job of making themselves look innocent but you're right. There are tons of dangerous ingredients in sooo many products. The major changes I made were spurred by finding out how many companies still test on animals. Not only that but they contain animal products... To me, that's just unnecessary and I would rather spend a little more to make it clear to those companies that I will not tolerate and to make sure what I'm putting on my body (which is absorbed INTO my body) is safe.

You can learn more about companies that do and don't test by going to caringconsumer.com I've found lots of great natural companies by using their site.

xx

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

Oh girl, you have NO idea how into this stuff that I am. First of all, for a book, I would suggest reading "Super Natural Home". It's fabulous. I use Aubrey organics moisturizer. There are a lot of things that are paraben free. I also like Dr. Bronner's stuff - it's fabulous! That is the only brand I have found where absolutely everything is safe and ok. What I have to do is look at each individual product within a brand name and so I have a mix of all types of things.
You should also be really careful about deodorant. That's areally big deal because the parabens go in the same spot every day and have been found in breast cancer tissue. I use Crystal deodorant and really like it. I did a blog post on that. I also use natural cleaning products (vinegar/water/essential oil/baking soda/hydrogen peroxide).


http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ is where you type in a product and it will tell you what is in it and how high the hazard ranking is.

Okay this post could get really long so I'll le tyou ask any questions that you have. I'm really into this stuff. Some people think I'm like a hippie.

~Kathryn

Meghan said...

I've been hearing more and more about the cosmetic industry lately. Thanks for sharing! What's even scarier is how filled with dangerous chemicals our food is! We are in the process of making some major changes to our diet...

Angela Noelle said...

I really like Terralina skincare and it's paraben free. I'm VERY acne prone and their moisturizer doesn't break me out (though I still use it sparingly bc my skin isn't really dry). It's not cheap. The moisturizer is $42 for 1.5 oz, but I've been using one jar for about 6 months now and have about 1/4 of the jar left.

I'm interested to hear about how you like the oil method and definitely much more likely to try it using the cheaper oils you found!

Cassie said...

I'm not 100% sure but I'm pretty sure that Arbonne products are free of the paraben. The lady that sells it is great and she is all about not putting extra hormones in your body. I use a few of their products and love the. If you would want more info just let me know.

Mrs. Pick said...

WOW! What an informative post! I've always purchased paraben free moisturizer b/c I have super-sensitive skin. I was told it wouldn't irritate my skin the way other products can. No frangrance for this girl when it comes to lotion! I never knew the cancer connection with paraben! I might have to raid my bathroom this afternoon!

Mateya said...

Yikes! I don't even like reading about this stuff...it just scares me to death! It seems like everything is bad for us these days!

Mrs. Lukie said...

Welcome to the hippie side :) I LOVE the oil cleansing method and I love when other people discover it! As for paraben free shampoo & conditioner, I use Organix (and can usually find a BOGO free at CVS or Vons from time to time). Hope that helps!

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Amber,

My first stop over. So, tell me...where were you when "I" was a newleywed fifteen years ago!?

You are a doll!

Brittany Ann said...

I'm really intrigued by this oil-cleansing method! I'm considering making the jump myself! You should do a how-to!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Very informative doll!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

You are a winner on my blog...Send me your information to

annah99@aol.com

Congratulations,
Teresa

Jen said...

Honestly, this is the first I've heard of all this! Paraben? I don't even know what that is! But I'm having so much fun learning more about it by reading everyones comments. Love "learning" posts like this one!!

Stacie said...

Love this post, I've been moving into "green" and healthy products so this is great!

An Inquiring Mind said...

Hey there! I'm a new follower, found you from Same Sweet Girl. Thanks for posting this, I am going to be checking my stuff for parabens and trying to find a paraben free replacment for them! Scary stuff!

That's What She Said... (No, Really!) said...

I know I'm a little late commenting on this post, but I wanted to share with you what a co-worker and I learned in a briefing at work (we also both posted a blog entry about it.) Estee Lauder was a company specifically named for being a bad-guy when it came to putting lead and other hazardous chemicals in their products. Just an FYI! There's an interesting little story on safecosmetics{dot}org. Hope you find it as informative as we did! (Btw, love your blog! I'm a new follower!)

Miss Chelsea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Chelsea said...

I'm ordering this stuff from Vitacost right now! I don't have the most beautiful skin and I'm really excited to try! I've gone with the same combination that you did, because it seems like my skin is similar to yours.

I'm really excited to try it!



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