Going on a road trip gives two people a lot of time to talk. Since Bill is an industrial chemist we started talking about chemicals used in food production and cosmetics. (We're an exciting couple aren't we??)
The upshot of the trip was that we've decided to become an organic family. Now, as this is still a fairly new concept to me I did what I have always done, I dived in feet first.
I proceeded to research all I could on the subject but I have started with cosmetics as Bill is familiar with the ingredients in these items and offered good advice.
He gave me a list of ingredients to avoid.
Here they are ( in case you are interested). I've given you the scientific name and what it may be called on packaging, what its used for and what research has shown it can do to animals and humans.
DIETHANOLAMINE (DEA) Used to make soaps and shampoos lather. Reacts with other ingredients below to form a carcinogen. Companies use the names cocomide, oleamide and lauramide on product labels.
FORMALDEHYDE A known carcinogen. Irritates eyes, nose and throat. Used in many products for shelf life.
PARABENS (Methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben) Linked to breast cancer. Used in shampoos and conditioners and cosmetics.
PHENYLENEDIAMINE (PPD) Used in hair dyes and is a carcinogen.
SLS's (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate) This was in almost everything I owned. It makes stuff like shampoo and soap foam. Residue of these chemicals have been found in the brains, livers and hearts of cancer patients (on autopsy).
TOULENE In nail polish and hair dye. It's toxic to the nervous system and high exposure has been linked to birth defects and miscarriages.
TRIETHANOLAMINE (TEA) used to balance Ph. Causes allergic reactions and is an irritant to eyes and skin. Is absorbed and stored by the body to toxic levels.
HYDROQUINONE It's already banned in Japan and other Eastern countries. It's used for bleaching and is in creams used for skin and age spots.
ALUMINIUM - Used in deodorant to retard perspiration. It clogs up your pores so the perspiration can't get out.
Ok, so if I haven't lost you yet, I went through my bathroom and collected all the products I had that contained these ingredients. All into the bin. See picture one.
Then I found a good organic store and replaced it all with Australian certified organic products. I still checked the ingredients though. Some companies have seen the dollar signs in organic products and have jumped on the band wagon without changing their ingredients.
I have still to replace my make-up but I have the name of a good company who specialise in organic make-up and I plan to investigate their range. My bathroom now holds these products. See picture two.
The products are not that much more expensive if you shop around amd I feel great knowing that I'm not putting toxic chemicals on myself or my little six year old.