finding natural in todays toxic world

Friday 5 May 2017

"Ride or Die" is Soo Passé


Study finds that women on average are exposed to 515 synthetic chemicals A DAY!!! Turns out your "ride or die" products are killing you anyways.

I mean it shouldn't be that surprising after all, how are we expecting our cupcake scented Kylie Lip Kits to be cemented to our lips all night, and not suspecting some serious chemical reinforcement.  

In light of this, I started doing some digging and I came across the recently published, "Clean Beauty", by the editors of Goop. I immediately bought it, and read it in one day. I was astonished by some of the facts it shared; "The personal care industry is effectively unregulated—the last piece of regulation (a single page at that), was passed in 1938—which means that companies are essentially free to do whatever they want, with no government oversight, packing products that we use every day (mascara, face wash, shampoo, et al.) with toxic ingredients, including known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors."

To narrow things down for you busy ladies out there, here is a list of the 12 main beauty busters hidden in your cosmetics: *facts adapted from the David Suzuki Foundation "Dirty Dozen Cosmetic Chemicals"*

1. BHA & BHT
- used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers
- classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer
- suspected endocrine disruptor (hormone mimics)

2. Coal Tar Dyes
- identified by a 5 digit Colour Index (C.I) number
- derived from petroleum 
- carcinogen 
- often found in dark hair dyes
- contain heavy metals that are toxic to the brain 

3. DEA-Related Ingredients
- ingredients used to make products creamy or foamy
- used industrially in oil refineries to remove hydrogen sulphide from process gas emissions 
- cause skin and eye irritation
- can react with nitrites to form nitrosamines (which is a prohibited cosmetic ingredient in Canada)
- possible carcinogen 

4. Dibutyl Phthalate
- endocrine disruptor 
- found in nail products 
- used as a plasticizer to prevent nail polish from becoming brittle 
- can enhance the ability of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations 

5. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives
- notably DMDM hydantion, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl ura, mehtenamine and quaternium-15
- used as preservatives  
- formaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen 

6. Parabens
- most common preservative 
- also hidden behind "fragrance" trade secret 
- endocrine disruptors 
- have been found in breast cancer tissues

7. Parfum / Fragrance / Flavouring
- watch out for "fragrance", "colouring", or "flavouring" on the ingredient lists because they are considered trade secrets and therefore producers aren't required to disclose those chemicals in the  "recipes". Some fragrances containing close to 3000 chemicals 
- can be carcinogenic and neurotoxic
- can exacerbate asthma 

8. PEG Compounds
- petroleum-based compounds
- used as thickeners, solvents, and softeners 
- carcinogens 
- also work to increase the permeability of the skin, which increases absorption of the product 

9. Petrolatum
- mineral oil jelly used to lock moisture in skin and hair products 
- contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are carcinogenic

10. Siloxanes
- silicone-based products
- used to make products dry quicker, and to soften and moisten 
- endocrine disruptors 

11. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- commonly used in shampoos as a detergent and foaming agent 
- also found in dish soap and face washes
- contains carcinogens and neurotoxins 
- eye and skin irritant 

12. Triclosan
- used in deodorants, cleaners, hand sanitizers and soaps
- preservative and antibacterial agent 
- endocrine disruptor 
- toxic to aquatic organisms 

If you're further interested the David Suzuki Foundation has put together an in-depth brochure here 

Stay tuned for my "De-Gunk Series" where I take a deeper look at popular cosmetic products and help you decipher toxic from non-toxic

xx Caroline  


Wednesday 3 May 2017


The Natural Anxiety Buster

Allow my to introduce to you my favourite herb: Rhodiola. 

Rhodiola rosea has been discovered as Siberia's super-herb, with an abundance of mental and physical performance benefits. 

Rhodiola is what is called an adaptogen. Basically an adaptogen is a class of medicinal plants that have a balancing function  - hence "adapto-". They work homeostatically to bring that body back to normal functioning. Whether your cortisol (stress hormone) is too high, or too low, these adaptogenic herb will bring the body back to equilibrium, and in this example, optimal stress response. 

Rhodiola in particular was introduced to me as an all natural way to relive an anxiety disorder that I developed after moving away from home and starting university. My naturopathic doctor in Halifax suggested I start out with taking 100mg daily. I was immediately hooked. Not only did it entirely restore my nervous systems functioning but I also noticed and researched a few other side benefits... 

1. Mental Endurance
Rhodiola increases neuron sensitivity to dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters involved in memory, focus, mood and pleasure. By increasing sensitivity, these neurotransmitters are able to increase their performance ultimately increasing mental endurance and mood

2. Boosts Metabolism
Rhodiola is also known to turn on the enzyme 'hormone-sensitive lipase', which triggers the fat burning response in the adipose tissues (fat tissue) of the stomach. 

3. Increases Energy 
Rhodiola increases the red blood cells oxygen capacity which boosts energy and delays fatigue. A yawn after all if your body's way getting more oxygen to the brain. 

4. Regulating the Stress Response
Rhodiola has the ability to manage the stress response by keeping cortisol levels balanced. When cortisol levels are high for long periods of time your body can start to feel run down, age faster and leave your system in a state of exhaustion.

Give rhodiola a try if you're looking to give your system a reboot!!

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