How “clean” are your beauty products?

A few months ago, my daughter began collecting “pocket bacs,” the small, hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works. Personally, I’m not a fan of the store- I feel like I get a headache from the scents just by walking in- but since she wasn’t actually using them (don’t even ask), I didn’t give it much thought.

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But then the obsession quickly grew to include their body washes and lotions, as well as body washes, lotions and bath bombs from other stores. I decided it was time to do a little research to see just what was in all of these products.

My first stop was Skin Deep, a great site where you can type in a product and get a rating on how good/bad it is based on the ingredients.  The only problem was most of the products I was looking up weren’t on there. Hmmm. I needed to do a bit of digging.

Have you heard of the “dirty dozen” for fruits and vegetables? Well, apparently there’s a list for chemicals too!

1. BHA and BHT– Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA).
2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number
In addition to coal tar dyes, natural and inorganic pigments used in cosmetics are also assigned Colour Index numbers (in the 75000 and 77000 series, respectively). Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
3. DEA-related ingredients– Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer.
4. Dibutyl phthalate– Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant.
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives– Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
6. Parabens– Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)– Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
8. PEG compounds– Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol).
9. Petrolatum– Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
10. Siloxanes– Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane).
11. Sodium laureate sulfate– Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
12. Triclosan– Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Pretty scary stuff, not to mention overwhelming. I decided we’d start by going paraben and BHA/BHT free.

Needless to say, my daughter was not thrilled when I began confiscating her products to analyze the ingredients. To include her in the process, I used this very cool, FREE app called Think Dirty. With this app, you can scan products with your phone and it will give you a score (much like the other website I mentioned but the scanner makes it fun!). Within moments, she was scanning away and screaming when she came across a 10 (“OMG! Get this out of here!“). I love that she could see that the items weren’t good  for her so she didn’t resist. She even joked she could become a “paraben hunter” 🙂

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Her products that she will no longer be using.

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My products that didn’t make the cut.

Do you have any favorite “clean” products? I’d love to hear about them!

 

What’s your MISSION?

A Mission Statement

 In most businesses and schools, a mission statement is developed to help ensure that everyone is focused on a uniform goal. It’s always been my belief that if we don’t know what we’re working towards, we’re standing still. I’m a mover and shaker so standing still isn’t my thing.

After becoming a stay-at-home mom three years ago, I struggled a lot with my purpose. Now by purpose, I certainly do not mean the day-to-day to-do lists that fill all of our lives. Go grocery shopping. Drop off dry cleaning. Get a car wash. Ughhhhh. Yes, these things have to get done but they definitely do not provide anyone with a sense of true accomplishment. I was looking for more. I felt I was blessed to have this time with my children but wanted to have a clear understanding of my goals related to myself and my family. Hence, the idea of drafting my personal mission statement.

Now, what goes into your personal mission state is, you guessed it, personal but I’ll share mine with you.

Mission Statement

To nurture myself, my husband, my children, and my pets with wholesome food, kind words and positive energy. To contribute to my children’s schools and my community with my own unique gifts. To be the woman I want my daughters to be~ active, educated, and cultured. To continue to read, learn, grow and be reflective and to surround myself with positive people who share the same goals.

I took this mission, typed it up and printed it and put it in a pretty frame. It now sits on my desk where I look at it often.

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It’s always a good idea to have a clear focus on what you’re working toward, especially within in your home. Have a lovely day!

xo,

Tanya

Start a “Home Learning” Project With Your Kids This Summer

So far this blog as been a little bit of everything that makes up my crazy life but it’s real objective is to motivate myself and possibly inspire others. Each summer I have the idea to start a Home Learning project with the girls but can’t seem to follow through. I’m making a commitment now, for the world to see! Read about our first project below.

It’s time to break out the colored pencils and watercolors! One of the things that saddens me about the state of education these days is the lack of time available to teach some of really interesting and important things such as history and art. To help close the gap in my daughters’ education as well as expand my own, I’ve decided to begin what I’m calling our “Home Learning” projects.

First up, Art!

I decided we would begin in the renaissance period, studying Michelangelo and Da Vinci. For the Michelangelo portion of the project, I had both girls work together on a PowerPoint presentation. My older one found the information and the younger one chose the pictures. My older one scoffed at first but quickly got into it and was very eager to share the completed project. To introduce Da Vinci, I found a cartoon video on youtube. We watched it together and then googled his most famous works of art.

Now mind you, the girls wouldn’t be happy about doing this if there wasn’t real art involved. After checking out the Crayola website, I found a really cool project that manages to encompass both artists. I also wanted to have the girls try sculpting because both artists did that as well. I made a trip to the art supply store and stocked up on clay, new colored pencils, small canvases, Crayola Texture It!, and watercolors. The first day we all tried sculpting and the girls quickly grew frustrated and bored. That’s ok~ at least they gave it a go! Yesterday, we worked on the second project and although my older one lost interest fairly quickly, my seven year old and I spent two hours drawing and painting together. Quality time like that is priceless.

To “cement” what they’ve learned, I bought them both composition books and they’re summarizing what their newly acquired knowledge. Nothing intensive~ just a few sentences. I think music during the renaissance period will be up next, following our upcoming weekend trip to D.C. (government/politics).

xo,

Tanya