So its been all over the news that they are finding parabens in the breast cancer survivors breast tissue. My ears perked up with this because I have been in the beauty business for years as a cosmetologist, and parabans seem to be in EVERY beauty product. I have also met way too many young hairstylists that also battled breast cancer, and it has made us all say “hmm.”
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood.
Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors (Darbre, 2004). The particular parabens were found in relative concentrations that closely parallel their use in the synthesis of cosmetic products (Rastogi, 1995). Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults (Ye, 2006a).
Parabens are estrogen mimickers, with the potency of the agonistic response being related to the chemical structure (Darbre, 2008). They can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007). Nevertheless, parabens as a class do not fully mimic estradiol in the changes in cellular gene expression nor are the effects of all parabens identical (Sadler, 2009).
“Parabens are estrogen mimickers.” This really made me pause, as my cancer and the majority of breast cancers are fed by hormones. I had symptoms of estrogen dominance for years and I often wonder if this contributed to my diagnosis.
As I have been trying to avoid parabens, I have been on a kick of making my own beauty products, and in my quest to avoid chemicals, I have also been back on track of making some of my own cleaners. There are some wonderful healthy products out there, but they usually end up costing an arm and a leg, so have been quite motivated to make my own.
Here are a few that have caught my eye on
1. Anti-Eczema Lotion Bars.
My youngest deals with a few patches of eczema every once in awhile. I like to have something on hand, and I usually buy it from our local health food store. I compared the ingredients in these bars to the product we use and love and they are super similar. Makes me happy as the one we buy is not cheap!
2. Peppermint Oil Insect Repellent
It is natural, smells good, and is green, too!
3. Coconut Scalp Treatment Oil
This post is by Destri at The Mother Huddle
, whom I love. She, too, is a licensed cosmetologist and knows what she is talking about when it comes to the scalp and hair.
4. Instant Olive Oil Sugar Hand Scrub
This one is also from The Mother Huddle. Love that I can grab 2 ingredients in my kitchen and have soft hands within minutes.
5. Natural Wood Polish
Equal parts olive oil and vinegar! So easy. So cheap!
6. Homemade Air Freshener–those store bought sprays are full of chemicals and can trigger allergies, not to mention the propellent in aerosol sprays!
7. DIY Super 40 Load Dryer Softener Sheet
Take your favorite liquid fabric softener and soak an old hand towel or flour cloth completely with it. Wring it out and let it dry completely, then throw it in with your next load. This mega-fabric softener sheet should be good for at least 40 loads of laundry WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! (If you want to be super green, I have heard that vinegar in the rinse cycle is great for making clothes soft.)
8. DIY Organic Dry Shampoo
This intrigues me. The link has great directions on how to make it, just not how to use it. If I make it, I will let you know what I figure out.
9. Spring Clean Your Mattress
Use baking soda and essential oils.
10. Goo Gone Substitute
Coconut oil + baking soda. Gets the sticky off!
11. Bathroom Air Freshener
Put a few drops of essential oils into the toilet paper roll.
12. DIY Cough Syrup