Living healthy

Living healthy became a priority after I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I wanted to be sure that the cancer didn't come back a third time, so my search for safer makeup, skin care, shampoo and household cleaners began. At the time, the search was very difficult, but today there are a lot more options, and makeup companies have realized that people do not want parabens.  Avon still uses parabens, so I can't recommend any of their products.

Did you know that parabens, which are a common preservative in makeup, are estrogenic? That's bad because too much estrogen is linked to endometriosis, breast cancer, and fibroids, for starters.

Cervical cancer is not due to estrogen, but after going through one cancer scare, I was not interested in facing another, like breast cancer. I'm also not interested in having fibroids.

Phthalates are another estrogenic chemical that is particularly bad for women who are pregnant with a boy--they may cause genital deformities. They are almost always found in anything with fragrance because they make fragrances last longer.  They are also commonly in nail polish, but you can look for "5 free" or "7 free" or even "9 free" nail polishes that have the worst chemicals removed from them.  

Your skin can absorb these bad chemicals pretty well, and then your body is affected by them.

Here is a list of chemicals to start to get rid of from your makeup, shampoo, body lotion--anything that touches your skin:

  • Parabens: methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben
  • Phthalates: DEHP, DBP, BzBP, DMP, dimethyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate (common in nail polish), or anything that just says "fragrance"
  • Bisphenol-A: found in the lining of cans of food and plastic baby bottles and other plastics labeled with a "7"
  • Triclosan: found in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers
  • Sulfates: in most shampoos and liquid soaps

It is hard to find products that don't have any of these bad chemicals in them, but you can do it. For makeup, it's gotten easier with the mineral makeup lines, but read those labels, too, because some of them, especially the drug-store brands, still have parabens. I recommend Omiana makeup for really clean ingredients and products that perform as well as luxury brands.

Shampoo and hair products

For shampoo and conditioner, it is especially hard. Sulfates in shampoos strip your hair and scalp, making chemical penetration even easier, which is why sulfates are bad. But shampoos that are "good" for you often don't feel like they cleaned your hair. I finally found one shampoo and conditioner that have absolutely no bad things in them and actually make your hair feel and look healthy. Check out Belegenza below.

Some other brands have caught up, but they are typically more expensive.  Store brands generally have sulfates.  Read the labels!  Aveda has some safer hair products that I use.  I don't use their skincare products, but most of those are also safe.  

For children, I love Earth Mama Angel Baby products.  Not only do they smell great, they are gentle and safe.  The calendula cream is amazing for itchy skin.  

Household cleaners

For household cleaners, you can make your own from baking soda and vinegar.  Or there are many more options that are "clean" today.  I really like Seventh Generation products because they work and are safe. Be careful of anything that lists "fragrance" because that may contain phthalates.  Some of the products will state where the fragrance comes from, like "derived from essential oils."  

Living healthy at first takes some effort, but in the long run, my health and my son's health are worth it. Another great source for health information that is ahead of anything your doctors will tell you is The People's Chemist.  I also recommend the book, Over-the-Counter Natural Cures.

Go back to Prevention from Living healthy 
Go to Having babies after cervical cancer