Chemical in our Cosmetics

It's Mother Earth month at Elan Family Wellness Centre!  I'm happy to have a guest post from our Health Coach Janis Isaman.  She is writing about the chemicals in our cosmetics-these chemicals can have a devastating effect on our Mother Earth.  How can you have a similar positive impact?  

I spent a decade of my life working in the fashion media.  Part of my job was to look and feel polished from the moment I left my apartment until the moment I tumbled home.  Like most women, I dyed my hair, polished my nails, applied makeup and deodorant daily…and so on.  Due to my profession, I probably did (and still do) apply more than the average 12 personal care products that women use in a typical day (men use 6).  Although I was in the throes of attending nutrition school and paying close attention to the link between physical activity and nutrition and my health, I didn’t pay mind to my daily grooming routine until I got pregnant. 
Like many women during pregnancy, I had a heightened sense of smell and was suddenly and strongly intolerant to chemical smells of any kind.  Out went the shampoo.  The conditioner.  The nail polish. The hair products….(you get the picture). 
So what was going on?  I learned that an adult is exposed to approximately 130-150 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products alone, and that 89% of those have not undergone safety testing.  Skin is not a solid barrier, it’s a penetrable organ -dermal absorption is commonly used to transmit chemicals to the bloodstream, notably with nicotine and birth control patches.  “As much as 60% of topical skin-care products are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream,” says Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D. an Iowa-based physician (via Women’s Health Magazine).
Here's just one example -- Diatomaceous earth (DE) is one of the two components that make up dynamite. It’s also the stuff that makes your fish tank slimy.  DE makes a pretty good abrasive and is found in most mild exfoliators, natural toothpastes, deodorants and powders.  Ummmm...not something I want in my blood or as part of my child's body. 
I began to research natural cosmetics and skincare products, and found that the market has expanded considerably beyond the 70s patchouli and neem scented creams and zinc oxide sunscreens that coat the skin with a ghostly palor.  For example, in 2007, Stella McCartney opened a new world of luxury all-natural products, and the marketplace has bloomed ever since. 
Thus, I extensively researched what beauty lines existed that could help me in an affordable, manner yet maintained the feeling and efficacy of a luxury brand. Due to my line of work, I was lucky enough to get to experiment with  I literally hundreds of different products – some I loved that were inhibitively expensive, some that I simply didn’t like or that were “greenwash” products (here’s looking at you, Burt’s Bees, now owned by the Clorox Corporation)
Somewhere along the way, I discovered a body lotion that I adored, manufactured by a brand called 100% Pure.  The ingredient list is literally natural, organic, vegan, and made of fruit and vegetable pigments and essential oils….I can and have tried to eat it!  I have since switched nearly my entire beauty closet over…the final frontier was my shampoo and conditioner and I have never looked back. The brand manufactures a line of children’s body wash, lotion and shampoo, so I know that I have ended the chemical cycle with my child and it smells like chocolate so he loves it too. 
I’m pleased to offer you the option of trying this product at Elan!  It’s one of the few places in the country that stocks this incredible brand of chemical-free product.  I have product in stock that doesn’t fit on the shelf, so if you are looking for body moisturizer, liquid hand wash, hand lotion, body scrub, bath products, bar soap, liquid bath soap, facial skincare (lotion, cleansers, toners) or color cosmetics, shampoo/conditioner or children’s bath items and body lotions, I have some available through Elan – just ask and I’m happy to let you sniff and sample! 
I have cut at least 160 daily chemicals out of my life.  Count how many products you are using and start upgrading your life by cutting this number in at least half. 


  1. Wow! I'm blown away by this statistic, "I have cut at least 160 daily chemicals out of my life. Count how many products you are using and start upgrading your life by cutting this number in at least half." Thank you for bringing to light an important issue and helping us with a means to make it better in our lives.


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