That Cream is Killing me…the truth about toxins in our beauty products

I had this amazing patient over the last little while. I was doing cataract surgery on her in the same week that she had a mastectomy to one of her breasts to treat her breast cancer. This woman was an example of a stellar attitude. She was strong, vital and loved life. She was going to enjoy every moment no matter what and embraced life in a way all of us could aspire to.

It got me thinking of all the other friends, acquaintances and colleagues that have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last 10 years. I could not help but think that this diagnosis is far too prevalent. When I looked at the stats I found that it truly is more prevalent now than ever. Before World War II breast cancer was diagnosed in about 1 in 30 women. Now in North America the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 1 in 8.

It’s not all genetics. Much too much of it is environmental. Yet most of the organizations working on cancer are working to find a cure. Only three percent of the monies that are donated to breast cancer research go to finding causes for breast cancer. I am not saying that finding a cure should not be top priority. I just think more attention needs to be paid to the 300,000 toxic chemicals in use today, any of which could potentially lead to breast cancer.

I think society has the mindset that we are never going to get rid of all the toxic substances so let’s find a cure. I also think that there is more money to be made in finding cures that finding causes. This is so unfortunate. I think we all must work toward shifting the societal mindset towards prevention and towards phasing out many of the toxic substances still mainstream in household and beauty products.

Many of the things we use everyday such as creams, lotions, shampoos and makeup contain ingredients such as parabens, and phthalates. Both of these substances have been linked to an increase risk of developing many cancers.

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I became interested in how many toxins we are exposed to when I was pregnant. I so wanted to do everything possible to give my baby the best start. It frightened me to realize that one of the most popular stretch mark creams sold at the drugstore and advertised in Shape Fit Pregnancy magazine actually ranked an 8 out 10 in toxicity. This was something I was going to rub on my belly while I was pregnant. When I started digging further I realized many of the products I use could be slowly killing me.

Make sure that you are proactive and take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. Check the toxicity levels of any products you are using on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database . This is an excellent resource that will rate most cosmetic products on a toxicity scale of 1-10. It is an environmental working group database that is, as far as I can tell, objective and accurate. It is a great free resource to enable all of us to make healthier choices by searching for products with lower levels of toxicity. We have the power to make healthier choices. Let’s make sure we exercise our power.

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