The HIGH Cost of Beauty

For me, living a “cleansing lifestyle” is the only way to go. Its something that didn’t happen overnight but slowly evolved over years, not only does it involve putting the very best foods in my body (unprocessed, organic) but also putting the very best ON my body! I think its pretty pointless to eat organic, drink green juice, partake in a cleansing diet and juice fasts if I’m just going to assault my body on a daily basis with chemical laden skincare and cosmetics. Did you know that whatever we put on our skin ends up in our bloodstream?  It has been proven that if you were to step barefooted on a garlic clove within 5 minutes you will taste it on your breath. We are assaulted by too many toxins on a daily basis – even when living what would be considered a clean life. If there are natural alternatives out there, why not use them?  Our skin is our largest organ – it absorbs everything we put on it – every soap, every lotion, every deodorant, every cosmetic – all absorbed through our skin and into our bloodstream.  As women we are especially susceptible for a few reasons:
A) we are consistent consumer and users of skincare, body care & hair care products – I challenge every woman to compare her amount of products to any man in her life – guaranteed, she will have 10 for each one of his!
B) We are also vulnerable as being the great possessors of one of the most powerful hormones – Estrogen (which can be a double edged sword) – estrogen allows us to hold onto fat – good for somethings, not good for others as fat is the main place where toxins are stored. The chemicals & toxins in many products will be stored in fat stores.
C) THE BIGGIE – many of these chemicals are hormone disruptors, they will mess with the endocrine system big time –  even raising estrogen levels – so this is a double whammy of sorts – the chemicals will raise your estrogen levels, which will promote fat storage, which will in turn allow your body to store more toxins!!!  
Beauty SHOULD not come as such a dangerously high cost.
The list below may overwhelm you, just remember there is an alternative to every favorites shampoo, hairspray, nail polishe, body lotion,  etc.  I’m not suggesting you throw out everything immediately, but as your current products run out, try to replace them with chemical free counterparts.  A good place to start would be the ones that have been banned in other countries!!!  Dirty Thirty is a list of 30 chemical ingredients that have been linked to cancer. Many have been banned by the European Union on suspicion of their toxicity. What you may not know is that many of the biggest manufacturers of these products reformulate without these chemicals for the European market, but continue to manufacture with these potentially dangerous chemicals for the US market.  While the list is a bit exhaustive, read through and decide – are the risks really worth it? For me personally they’re not – Organic, chemical free skincare doesn’t have to be uber expensive, it can be as simple as swapping out using baby oil or other moisturizer in favor of coconut oil.  

Function: Used to control sweat and odor in the underarms by slowing down the production of sweat.
Present in: Antiperspirants. Banned by EU.
Health concerns: Linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease; may be linked to breast cancer; probable neurotoxin; possible nervous system, respiratory, and developmental toxin.

Function: Solvent; hidden within “fragrance.”
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products.
Health concerns: Linked to pancreatic cancer; easily absorbs into skin causing quick systemic effects; animal studies show hyperemia of the lungs; possible gastrointestinal, liver, and respiratory toxicant; possible neurotoxin.

Function: Antimicrobial agent, deodorant, preservative, biocide.
Present in: Moisturizer, sunscreen, facial cleanser, acne treatment, pain relief. Restricted in Japan and Canada. 
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; may trigger asthma; possible organ system toxicant; animal studies show endocrine disruption and brain, nervous system, respiratory and blood effects; possible carcinogen.

Function: Preservative.
Present in: Moisturizer, body wash, facial cleanser, makeup remover, anti-aging products. Restricted in Canada.                                                                   Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; lung and skin toxicant; animal studies show endocrine disruption and gastrointestinal, brain and nervous system effects; irritant.

Function: Solvent in polishes and treatments, prevents chipping.
Present in: Nail polish and nail treatments.
Health concerns: Repeated exposure causes skin dryness and cracking; vapors may induce drowsiness or dizziness; flammable.

Function: Anti-Oxidant; slows down the rate at which product ingredients change in color.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products.
Banned by EU.
Health Concerns: Immune system toxicant; endocrine disruptor; probable human carcinogen; animal studies show brain, liver, neurotoxin, reproductive and respiratory toxicant.

Function: Surfactant, emulsifying or cleansing agent, penetration enhancer.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products.
Health concerns: Animal studies show brain, nervous system and sense organ effects; irritant; reproductive and skin toxin, alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin and increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream; may contain harmful impurities.

Function: Controls itching and eczema, softens and promotes the dissolution of hard, scaly, rough skin, also used in hair dyes.
Present in: Shampoo and Hair Dye. Banned by Canada and EU. 
Health concerns: Known human carcinogen; skin and respiratory toxicant.

Function: used as foaming agents in shampoos and bath products, and as emulsifying agents in cosmetics; foaming and cleansing agents for “mouth feel.”
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products.
Health concerns: Human immune system toxicant; forms carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds if mixed with nitrosating agents; animal studies show sense organ effects and skin irritation; may contain harmful impurities.

10. DIETHANOLAMINE (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)
Function: pH adjuster.
Present in: Sunscreen, moisturizer, foundation, hair color.
Health concerns: Skin and immune system toxicant; possible carcinogen; irritant; studies show endocrine disruption and neuro developmental, brain and nervous system effects; may trigger asthma.

Function: Solvent.
Present in: Nail polish products, mascara, tooth whitening, perfume.
Health concerns: Probable neurotoxin; possible nervous system toxin; possible carcinogen; irritant; highly flammable

Function: Disinfectant, germicide, fungicide, preservative.
Present in: Deodorant, nail polish, soap, shampoo, shaving cream. Restricted in Canada. Banned by EU. 
Health concerns: Immune system, repertory, hematological, and skin toxicant; KNOWN carcinogen and cardiovascular toxicant; can damage DNA; may trigger asthma; animal studies show organ, brain, and nervous system effects; possible human development toxicant.

Function: Anti-microbial preservative Examples: diazolindyl urea, imidazolindyl urea are common preservatives that release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, that is irritating to the mucous membranes and known to cause contact dermatitis, headaches and internal bleeding.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products.
Health concerns: Forms nitrosamines when in the presence of amines such as MEA, DEA and TEA; probable immune system, blood, cardiovascular and skin toxicant; KNOWN carcinogen;studies show endocrine disruption, nervous system and organ system effects; may contain harmful impurities.

Function: Deodorant, masking, perfuming
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; possible neurotoxin; can contain between 10 and 300 different chemicals, many of which have never been tested for safety; see phthalates. Labeling can be confusing. If uncertain, check with manufacture.

Function: Antioxidant, fragrance ingredient, skin bleaching agent, hair colorant.
Present in: Skin fading/lightener, facial moisturizer, anti-aging, sunscreen, hair color, facial cleanser and moisturizer. Restricted in Canada. 
Health concerns: Immune system and respiratory toxicant; probable neurotoxin; possible carcinogen; irritant; studies show endocrine disruption. 

Function: Preservative.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products. Restricted in Japan. 
Health concerns: Human toxicant; possible liver immune system toxin; allergenic.

Function: Colorant.
Present in: Hair dye, hair products. Traces found in some red lipstick. Restricted in Canada.
Health concerns: Probable carcinogen; developmental, respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive toxicant; reduced fertility; studies show metabolic, brain and nervous system effects; suspected nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skin

Function: Preservative.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products. Restricted in Canada and Japan. 
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; animal studies show restricted growth of the axons and dendrites of immature nerves, neurotoxicity and positive mutation results; can lead to a malfunction in the way neurons communicate with each other; especially detrimental to a developing nervous system.

Function: Sunscreen Agent; Ultraviolet Light Absorber, UV Absorber; UV Filter.
Present in: Sunscreens and makeup
Health concerns: Associated with photoallergic reactions and immunotoxicity. Carcinogen and endocrine disrupter; Enhanced skin absorption and bioaccumulates to dangerous levels; biochemical cellular changes. Developmental and reproductive toxicity.

Function: Preservative and anti-bacterial agent.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: May alter hormone levels, possibly increasing risk for certain types of cancer, impaired fertility, or alteration of the development of a fetus or young child; studies have found parabens in breast tumors; probable skin toxicant; animal studies show brain and nervous system effects.

Function: Forms barrier on skin; makes lipsticks shine and creams smoother; inexpensive skin softener.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products. Banned by EU. 
Health concerns: May be contaminated with impurities, linked to cancer or other significant health problems.
Examples: mineral oil, petroleum, liquid paraffin; A petroleum by-product that interferes with the skin’s natural functions, clogs the pores, exacerbates acne, and is highly likely to be contaminated with carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer

Function: Fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, solvent.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, nail polish, perfume, deodorant, hair products. Banned in EU.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; developmental and reproductive toxin; respiratory toxicant; probable neurotoxin; know to cause damage to the liver, kidney, lungs and reproductive system, carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. Causes birth defects, lowers sperm counts and increases breast cancer risk. bio-accumulative in wildlife.

Function: Hair colorant.
Present in: Hair dye, shampoo, hair spray. Restricted in Canada.
Health concerns: Immune system and respiratory toxicant; probable neurotoxin; causes eczema; possible nervous system, skin, kidney and liver toxicant; irritant; may trigger asthma and gastritis; shown to cause cancer in animal studies.

Function: Solvent, penetration enhancer, conditions skin, controls viscosity and keeps products from melting in high or freezing when it is cold. Made from the same chemical that is used to create anti-freeze
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products.
Health concerns: Alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin and increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream; animal studies show reproductive effects, positive mutation results, brain and nervous system effects and endocrine disruption.

Function: Surfactant, penetration enhancer, foaming agent
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream; Irritant; studies show sense organ effects. Known to cause skin rashes and allergic reactions. Often disguised as natural product with the term “derived from coconut” 

26. TALC 
Function: Absorbs moisture, anti-caking agent, bulking agent.
Present in: Blush, powder, eye shadow, baby powder, deodorant.
Health concerns: Carcinogen; link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer; talc particles are similar to asbestos particles and data suggests that it can cause tumors in the lungs; probable respiratory toxin;

Function: Antioxidant, solvent to improve adhesion and gloss.
Present in: Nail polish and hair dye.
Health concerns: Liver toxin; probable developmental, nervous system and respiratory toxin; possible cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, renal and sense organ toxin; possible carcinogen and reproductive toxin; irritant; highly flammable;

Function: Anti-bacterial agent, deodorant, preservative, biocide. Reduces and controls bacterial contamination on the hands and on treated products.
Present in: Antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, mouthwashes, face wash and cleaning supplies. Restricted in Japan and Canada.
Health concerns: Probable endocrine disrupter and carcinogen; easily bio-accumulates to dangerous levels; irritant;  studies show reproductive and other broad systematic effects; potentially contaminated with impurities linked to cancer and other significant health problems; studies have shown it can actually induce cell death when used in mouth washes. 

Function: Fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, surfactant.
Present in: Hand & body lotion, shaving creams, soap, shampoo, bath powders and moisturizer.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; possible carcinogen; animal studies show endocrine disruption; may trigger asthma; forms carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds if mixed with nitrosating agents.

30. 1,4 DIOXANE 
Function: Penetration enhancer
Present in: Body lotion, moisturizers, sunless tanning products, baby soap, anti-aging products…
Health concerns: EPA classifies it as a probable carcinogen found in 46 of 100 personal care products marketed as organic or natural, and the National Toxicology Program considers it a known animal carcinogen. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4 dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs

7 Easy Steps to Eradicate Cellulite

It is what some women consider to be the bane of their existence!  They employ various tricks to try to hide it, spot reduce it, cover it up and some even go through such extents of having it sucked out and even burned off!! The much talked about affliction is CELLULITE! It affects any age, shape and size!! Virtually anyone can have it.  Doesn’t matter if you’re thin as a rail or curvy, whether you’re a couch potato or gym rat and once you get it it’s a royal pain in the bum to get rid of it!! However, don’t lose hope because there is a surefire way to rid yourself of it for good!! First off – one must understand what cellulite is!  It’s basically toxins trapped in fat cells – that’s it, no “special kind of fat” like some would lead you to believe, it’s not due to a “malfunctioning body” either – it can be eradicated you just have to know HOW to fix it and fix it for good! Women are more prone to it due to our fluctuating hormones – too much estrogen allows us to store fat which is the main place toxins are stored! The first step is to stop taking in toxins that are causing it.  That would processed foods (especially wheat & dairy), cooked fats (which are basically rancid with the exception of a few) and sugars. You can go a step further and adopt an organic diet to further relieve your body of toxic burdens.  Then employ my 7 easy tips for eradicating cellulite and before you know it you’ll be proud to show off your body.

1. Flush out your body! – put down those diet sodas and coffee, they’ll only do more harm than good.  Pure fresh water, even better with a squeeze of lemon and if you’re so inclined a few fresh pressed juices and green smoothies (alkalinity is the key here.

2. Get your lymph moving – lymph is a clear fluid that carries waste & toxins out of the body – cellulite = waste, clear the waste and banish cellulite. Top ways to move  lymph is by walking, exercising on a rebounder and skin brushing

3. Clean up your diet – toxic foods = toxic bodies.  Choose unprocessed organic (if possible).

4. Brush brush brush – Every day you brush your hair and your teeth – now it’s time to brush you body! Dry Skin brushing is PHENOMENAL for detoxing the body and minimizing cellulite
5. Alkalize – fresh fruits and vegetables alkalize your body which in turn will keep it running smoothly – an alkaline body is lean, not puffy!

6. Get SUPER – infuse your body with high octane nutrients in the form of superfoods. Nutrient dense foods not only cleanse, alkalize and heal your body but will allow your body to get the most out of the foods you eat.

7. Put your skincare products on a diet! – shun chemical laden skincare and choose only natural, organic products.  Chemicals absorb through your skin, getting trapped in fat cell which in turn only make issues worse – chemicals promote fat & toxin storage, eliminate the vicious cycle.

Toxin Free in 4 Steps

I’m sure you’ve heard by now: You are what you eat. And, you are what you breathe. And, you are what you put on your skin! We live in some scary times; it seems there’s a new precaution at every turn. You may be asking yourself, how many preventative steps do we really need to take? Take a deep (cleansing) breath while I shed some light on some necessary tips to decrease your body burden

1. Organic when you can. In your quest to consume the most perfect foods, you can breathe a sigh of relief that NOT everything needs to be organic. Adhere to the “Dirty Dozen” & “Clean 15” lists; According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), the foods on the Dirty Dozen list contain between 47 and 67 chemicals when grown conventionally. (The DD are: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens and lettuce, green beans, cherries, potatoes and imported grapes.) The bright shining light in what seems like an endless tunnel of pesticides and other chemicals is the Clean 15. These fruits and veggies contain virtually no chemicals and pesticides when consumed conventionally. Tests show that 90 percent of these had one or fewer pesticides, and none had more than five types of pesticides. (The 15 are: onions, avocados, corn, pineapple, mangos, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi fruit, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.)
2. Change a few key items. While most non-organic products contain a shocking amount of chemicals (see my blog on the “Dirty 30” chemicals in skincare, here are the products you should absolutely insist on being chemical free are:
  • Perfume – I cringe when I think of the many years I faithfully sprayed perfume all over my “pulse points.”  If you’re like most women, you liberally spray perfume all over your neck . You know what else is smack in that “spray zone?”  Your thyroid! This delicate “master gland” is called as such due to the fact that it controls hundreds of metabolic activities and functions in the body! And you just sprayed it with carcinogenic hormone disruptors full of parabens, phthalates and synthetic chemicals!
  • Deodorant – Aluminum, parabens and other chemicals smeared under our arms in a quest to smell clean – but is it worth it when the risks are Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer? Unfortunately, our underarms are another “sensitive” area as they contain lymph nodes (glands that are part of the lymphatic system, the body’s main detox network). Again, every time you use deodorant, you are putting chemicals right on an ultra-sensitive key gland of the body. Seriously, if I didn’t know better, it seems all of these so called “beauty” products are geared to “clog” up our bodies with toxins! Parabens have shown up in 99 percent of breast cancer cases!
  • Toothpaste – Here we go again; yet another area of high sensitivity. Everyone knows that sublingual medicine works faster, but do you know why? The mouth, and more specifically under the tongue, contains millions of capillaries that are a direct route to the bloodstream. If medicine is deposited into the bloodstream quicker, so are chemicals! Time to give up your conventional toothpaste – opt for one that is fluoride and chemical free – trust me, your mouth won’t know the difference, but your body will!
3.Do some housecleaning. Another area of chemical abundance is in household cleaning supplies. These days, it’s very easy to swap out your conventional products for healthier options. Give up bleach and ammonia in favor of hydrogen peroxide. Think you need that bleachy, scouring concoction? Sea salt and baking soda do the same thing. Lemons and vinegar disinfect and brighten and leave a fresh scent. My favorite DIY home recipe is carpet refresher: I simply take baking soda, blend it with purifying essential oils and sprinkle on my carpet, let it sit a few hours and vacuum to a super soft, clean smelling, chemical-free carpet! Another household area that is rarely considered is food storage – do you use plastic containers? Wrap your leftovers in aluminum foil or plastic wrap? Frequently reheat things in the microwave in plastics, etc.? Before I recommend you throwing out your microwave (remember – baby steps!), I suggest you start stockpiling glass storage containers; most of them can be used to heat foods in the microwave or oven, and the best part of all is they’ll last forever. Plus, they’ll never “smell” like your recent leftovers, or become stained.
 4. Maintain the temple. The easiest way to clear your body of toxins is to get ample exercise. Not only will you release toxins from your sweat, but also through breathing! The top choices are: rebound exercises, sauna and yoga. Finish off with a soothing detox bath with Epsom salt, and you’ll be on your way to a cleaner body.
 While this list is certainly not the definitive list on releasing your body of toxic chemicals, it certainly is a start. Aim to begin these immediately, and in no time you’ll be ready to take on some greater feats (like ditching the chemical-laden cosmetics and throwing out your microwave!).

Natural Beauty

Do you want to look and feel good? Well, here’s how you can do so the natural way:

 1. Ditch the “Toxic Offenders”
Come on, you know what’s really good for you and what’s downright awful. But did you know the no- so-good stuff will dramatically affect your appearance? It does! It goes without saying that a diet full of fruits & vegetables will add vibrancy to your skin. However, if you continue to eat the “toxic offenders,” you’ll never see full results. For the most even, toned, glowing and luminous skin (free of dry patches, uneven skin tone and puffiness), eliminate the following:
Wheat containing products, especially processed foods.
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Dairy
2. Get some sunshine, but not too much
Sunlight is HEALING! It has numerous benefits besides being a great non-supplemental source ofVitamin D. Check out the below on all the reasons you should sun yourself (in moderation of course!).
  • Improves liver function. Sunlight aids the liver in toxin removal and a body free of toxins will not suffer premature aging.
  • Balances hormones. Anyone with hormonal imbalances can attest to changes in their skin.
  • Encourages circulation and stimulates the amount of red blood cells in the body, increasing the amount of oxygen.
  • Adds a nice, healthy glow. Overly pale skin is typically associated with being ill or old.
3. Consume Enzyme Rich foods
Each one of us has a certain amount of enzymes. They are in essence the spark plugs of our body: the more we have, the better, and the less we have—not so good! The older we get, the less enzymes we have. What is open to debate is whether or not enzymes affect the aging process and how. What has been proven is that those eating an enzyme rich diet tend to delay the again process substantially. Eating foods devoid of enzymes forces our body to dip into our enzymes stores, and once the reserve is depleted, it can’t be refilled. By choosing naturally enzyme rich foods we eliminate the process and therefore delay aging. While all fruits and veggies are an excellent source of enzymes, for best results eat the following foods that are especially super high in enzymes:
  • Cultured veggies
  • Sprouts
  • Banana, papaya & pineapple
  • Avocados
4. Let the Lymph Flow
The lymphatic system is the body’s pump that clears out toxins. A clogged lymph equals a toxic body and everyone knows that a toxic body will suffer from bad skin tone, acne, rashes and premature aging! Here are some surefire ways to get the lymph flowing:
  • Dry skin brushing daily. Not only will this move the lymph but it also enhances circulation (and a great side effect of that is healthy and glowing skin) and combats dry skin.
  • Jump on a rebounder. THE exercise that stimulates and clears the lymphatic system.  Many report an extraordinary “side effect” of rebounding as TIGHTENED FACIAL SKIN!
  • Hot water and lemon. This age old remedy is making a big comeback. Drinking this daily tonic will cleanse your lymph AND stimulate digestion.
5. Go Au Natural
Clean up your skincare! Many commercial/drugstore and department store products contain chemical ingredients that may make big promises but can hardly deliver. Toxic chemicals such as petroleum & glycerin actually clog the skin.  Some products with added so-called vitamins actually use chemical vitamins. Why put fake vitamins on your skin if you don’t put them in your body? Chemicals and toxins from these products absorb into the bloodstream only adding to the body’s toxic load that we are trying to reduce! A body free of toxins doesn’t need fancy anti-aging products or concealers. Some great all natural skincare products to try are:
  • Coconut oil. The wonder oil with a zillion benefits. Use as a deep conditioner, makeup/eye makeup remover, all over moisturizer – even as a deodorant!
  • Grapeseed oil. High in antioxidants and rich in vitamins. Tones and tightens skin. Makes a great all over body oil for warm weather.
  • Baking Soda. For home and personal use. Great as a toothpaste, deodorant, hair clarifier, “shampoo” and face scrub.
6. Maintain a Positive Attitude
You may be asking, “REALLY? That’s the best you can offer?” I’ll shout a resounding YES! We all have those people in our lives that are all about doom and gloom: Negative Nellies, Debbie Downers, Sad Sam’s. Do they look young and vibrant to you? In life, sometimes stress is inevitable and wreaks havoc on our appearance. I’m sure you’ve seen someone after a loss; whether it’s a job, a relationship or a sought after dream, the stress of a significant loss is usually written all over our faces. Stress is a powerful thing. However, sometimes people just get into a rut over not-so-major events and soon their attitude just turns for the worst and they see negativity in everything. That stress and negativity will wear a person down and age them very quickly. Put everything into perspective and if you’re healthy, have friends and family that care about you and a job (whether you like it or hate it, if you have one you’re lucky!), put a smile on your face and consider yourself blessed.