Welcome to the bronde!
I love beauty products and I always have. As a model and former Miss Canada, I had the honor of working with some of the most talented makeup artists in the business. I learned so much through those experiences and for years, I happily (and mindlessly) spent the bulk of my disposable income at the makeup counter. As far as addictions went, mine was a relatively harmless one—or so I thought.
In 2013, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, a reproductive disease that afflicts an estimated 1 in 10 women. It is mysterious and devastating for many; but worst of all, there is no cure. Over the years I did a lot of research on ways I could prevent the disease from progressing. I changed my diet and lifestyle, and for a while even took synthetic hormones to try and keep my endo in check. Something interesting I noted in recent years was that certain foods and chemicals can mimic estrogen in the body. Since endometriosis is an estrogen dependent disease, I thought surely it made sense for me to avoid these things.
In November of 2017, I noticed that some of my makeup products contained parabens, a group of preservatives known to mimic estrogen in the body. I was so upset by this discovery, I decided to write to a few of the cosmetics companies in question to ask them why they would use parabens, particularly as they have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues in both men and women. One company responded and told me that they were in accordance with all local regulations. This piqued my curiosity and led me to a disturbing discovery. It turns out, the FDA has almost no regulations in place and the cosmetics industry is essentially self-regulated! I was blown away. This means cosmetics companies are free to put almost anything in their products, even known carcinogens and hormone disruptors-- and it's totally legal! Perhaps the most troubling thing I learned was that the companies don’t even have to disclose all of their ingredients on the label. The ingredient "fragrance" for example may actually be composed of dozens of different chemicals, but companies can claim that what's in a fragrance is proprietary information. Frankly, if I am paying for a product, I think it's my right as a consumer to know exactly what's in it, don't you?
To say I was upset by this revelation is an understatement. I was livid (and still am). For years I’d been unknowingly exposing myself to harmful, toxic chemicals on a daily basis, which undoubtedly played a big role in the advancement of my endometriosis. With the help of many amazing resources, I began doing my own research and decided to become my own advocate. Never again will I have blind faith in corporations to put my health above their bottom line. I felt so passionately about this issue, I began speaking out through my various social media pages and the response I received blew me away and encouraged me to continue on this road. Like me, many other people were completely unaware of the shocking truth, and many still are. I’ve made it my mission to continuing spreading awareness on this topic and to help others to become more conscious consumers.
We exercise, we watch what we eat, but it's time for us to realize that what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in our body. It’s time to wake up to the stark reality and make changes that will positively affect our health and the health of those we love. I hope you’ll join me on this nontoxic journey.
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