MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
"With awareness, comes responsibility."
This phrase brings so much truth to something I hadn't really thought of until recent. The connection to my own hormones + endocrine system is something that I've grown incredibly conscious of.
I've been engaging in conversation with other women, I've researched, listened to podcasts, but more so, I've took detailed queues from my body. From my mood + food cravings to my moon cycle (yep, my period) I realize I've been so unaware, of course, until now.
My friend was kind enough to lend me her copy of Alisa Vitti's book, WomanCode, it kind of opened my eyes. Although I didn't align with everything in the book, many sections provided outbursts of "holy shit" or "that's what THAT is". I believe my clearest takeaway from all the information is this,
what is put into the body,
truly plays a role in it's function.
For example, at 17 years old, my doctor put me on birth control to "regulate" my cycles + make them "less painful". Now, with the information I've retained, birth control was only masking a problem that I could have combated without medication. Instead of taking control (but who does at that age?), I put modified hormones in my body to provide a sense of regulation. To make things worse, during teenagehood up until my late 20's, I doused myself with chemical heavy beauty products (hair dye, makeup, perfume, all that jazz), enjoyed a deep-rooted tanning bed + Marlboro Light addiction while always toying with low carb diets. So, when I finally cut ties with birth control + started to live mindfully at 30 years old, my body was all sorts of whacked out. It still is, I'm 32 now.
In trying to dig to the root of the problem (the problem? My cycle lasts 11 - 15 days, it's terrible) + wanting to prepare my body for optimal conception in the next few years, I'm often feel like I'm finally facing my damaging past relationships with toxins, birth control + years of an unhealthy, unconscious lifestyle.
I'm so not alone. I've had conversations with so many women, the feeling is mutual when it comes to our past, however I wouldn't take anything back. Not even that case of Fuzzy Navel B&J Wine Cooler paired with two soft taco supremes from Taco Hell.
Taking action + responsibility of our amazing woman bodies kind of happens at that moment when we become aware of how powerful we are as women. Action + responsibility comes in many forms - eating for health, cutting ties with unnecessary medications, steering clear of caffeine on an empty stomach + too much sugar, limiting alcohol consumption + avoiding soy. These handful of "no no's" are proven hormone distruptors, interfering with your healthy hormone function. Although we're never perfect, with mindful routine, you can aim to avoid these harmful triggers. I've listed a few articles below that expands on these subjects.
Ridding topical toxins is equally important as navigating proper nutrition + ditching birth control (if this is your jam). This part, my friends, is where I get pretty heated. Shampoos, lotions, makeup, deodorant, nail polish + even hand soap contain chemicals, additives + preservatives that are absolutely toxic to our endocrine system. Once applied on our bodies, they penetrate below our skin + literally discombobulate the beautiful hormonal orchestration that (most of) our bodies were built so capable of. This disruption is a domino effect, causing adrenal fatigue, tumors, infertility, PCOS, weight gain... the list goes on. Because there is no FDA regulation for bath + beauty products (seriously), it's easy to fall into a trap of thinking body splashes, lotions + makeup are a-okay. Sure, that shampoo might make your hair silky soft or the BB cream gives you a great glow, but its chemical + preservative ridden formulas wreak havok on our health, + our future hormonal health (especially for those who want to have itty bitties).
One of the easiest ways to untangle hormonal issues (irregular periods, thyroid problems, excessive tiredness, etc) or simply provide proper care to your endocrine system is to cut ties with your products. Do not fear! We're at an amazing shift, where natural-based product companies, from toothpastes to mascara are readily available. IT'S ABOUT TIME.
Below is a list of common chemicals, listed as ingredients, to look out for in common beauty + health products, the switch is easy + I've made it easier by listing some great alternatives:
One of the best things I've come across to put your products in check is using the product lookup tool on Environmental Working Group cosmetic database here. Each product is rated, based on their toxicity, including specific call outs on affected systems (yep, endocrine system is listed)
Resources that might be beneficial:
- Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors, by EWG
- Toxic Toothpaste Chemicals by Dr. Mercola
This is another reason why I'm so delighted Maven Made aligned in my life - chemical-free essential + fatty oils are the main components of the product line. You won't find any preservatives, fillers or dyes in your blue bottles, sure that means a shorter shelf life, but I can't see it any other way. My product line is one of many + I never look at it as competition, it's community. So many amazing people are creating lines that boast natural wellness, a movement I'm so excited to see FINALLY come to light.
Have any suggestions for natural, organic + amazing skincare, body or makeup products?