Saturday, December 31, 2011

We're in paraben hell.

Parabens skeeve me out. These are all of the paraben containing products I'm tossing out today.

I have slowly been phasing all products containing parabens from our daily use. It's so much harder than I anticipated.
It's hard to toss out products that I spent our hard earned money on.
It's even harder to toss out some favorite products that I have been using for most of my life.

I read a great blog post recently on Breast Cancer Sisterhood.

Here's the gist of Brenda's blog:

Have you ever read the ingredients on the back of your shampoo bottle, your jar of moisturizer or the hand lotion you use? Chances are most of those ingredients you can't even pronounce. More importantly, most of them are chemicals you don't want in your blood stream. Regardless of whether you’re male or female, or if you’ve had breast cancer, you might consider avoiding a class of chemical ingredients called parabens.

Methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparabens are commonly used as preservatives in most of our personal care products. Manufacturers use parabens because they allow everything from toothpaste, to makeup base, to stay on store shelves longer. As informed consumers, however, we should be aware that parabens are known to cause breast cancer cells to grow and proliferate in laboratory environments. Because parabens can mimic estrogen, a hormone known to play a key role in some breast cancers, women who’ve had estrogen positive breast cancer should avoid all forms of estrogen in an effort to lessen risk of recurrence. Many say that should include parabens.

Just as “we are what we eat,” we are also a receptacle for the chemicals we put on our body. According to, the body can absorb as much as five pounds of cosmetic chemicals every year. Parabens are absorbed through the skin and into our gastrointestinal tract and our blood stream. The January-February 2004 issue of the Journal of Applied Toxicology reported measurable amounts of six different parabens from biopsy samples of breast cancer tumors. Because of their estrogenic properties, parabens can also affect male reproductive glands. The January 2009 issue of Reproductive Toxicology reported a probable link between parabens and the possible decrease in sperm production in males.

Studies are beginning to show that a lifelong exposure to estrogen may increase our risk for breast cancer. Many scientists are wondering if the cumulative effects of estrogenic parabens in our personal care products may explain why more girls are reaching puberty younger and younger, some as early as eight, and why more girls are being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Reading this was more than enough of a nudge to just pull the trigger and dump it all.
I want to start new in 2012.

Do I think I got breast cancer from my lotion? Probably not....but I can't be sure.
I don't know why I, and so many other seemingly healthy people, are being dealt this crap hand.
All that I know is, I worked my ass off to fight cancer and I DON'T want it back.

So what if I have to spend a few bucks to repurchase some new products for my cosmetic bag and lotions for my family?
We're worth it.

I hope everyone has a great and safe New Year!

Disclaimer: I'm not posting this so everyone goes crazy tossing out their products. You should make decisions that are best for your family.


  1. There was a story in one of my magazines. I think it was whole living or kiwi about a person who went to Mayo after being diagnosed with cancer. The doctor asked them to bring their beauty products to the hospital. Of course, no surprise to you or me, they told them to get rid of all of it. One good website you may already know about is EWG's skindeep. They are a wealth of knowledge for soaps, lotions, and makeup. They rate all ingredients so it's easy to see what you should avoid and what is completely safe. I never buy anything now without first looking there. On another note, you sound like my hubby. He wanted to toss everything. I'm like, well lets use it up and then start new. Great blog! You really are an inspiration!!

  2. Hi,
    thank you so much for sharing this, I've always had an interest in these kinds of things and always try to avoid aluminium in deodorant, things like that. But there is so much more! It makes me angry that people aren't made more aware of this, to be honest I've never heard of paraben but I am definitely going to do some more research now. Thanks again.