Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In the beginning...

For decades I wondered why my head would suddenly begin to pound, my ears fill to the point of deafness as if I'd walked up too many stairs (think Statue of Liberty) too fast. I couldn't understand why my entire head vibrated like a hummingbird's wings. There had to be some reason I'd suddenly feel dizzy, have dangerously severe trouble thinking and feel the desperate need to sit down before I fell down. Then there were those itching, scales all over my face that seemed to come from nowhere and last for far too long...

Eventually, while stumbling like a drunk through a highly scented candle aisle at a huge craft store I was able to link the symptoms as my response to the overwhelming fragrance emanating from the candles. But I still didn't know why I had this same response when I was nowhere near strawberry or vanilla scented candles.

One evening while "Googling" a particular shampoo I'd heard was "all organic" I stumbled on the Environmental Working Group . This hard working group dedicated to exploring what's in shampoos, conditioners, hair spray, nail polish and many other beauty products was a gold mine of information. Basically any product, from the gorgeously, voluptuously fragrant and sudsy, to the bracingly astringent: deodorant to under eye brighteners, all of it could be investigated, named and cataloged and it's ingredients exposed for all to see.

I typed the name of my product into the "search" box and was shocked to find that although it was chock-a-block full of organic goodies, it still contained several elements that might cause anything from cancer, organ system toxicity, biochemical or cellular level changes to developmental or reproductive toxicity, as well as allergic reactions.

My mind was officially blown. Never again would I smile and nod dreamily as I read the latest hype about an all organic, wonder product that would add what ever I lacked and subtract anything objectionable from my: face, hair, body. Now every ingredient in every product would be looked at with a jaded eye.

And it's work, a journey...the road less traveled for me. But that's what this blog is all about: what's safe to use, what those fancy names really mean,  what the real risks may be for me or anyone else. I never thought I'd be doing anything like this, but I'm driven to stop throwing my money at dangerous dreams. I want to know that what I'm putting on me - and eventually in me through absorption will not have any dangerous side effects.

So this is your invite to come along for the ride. I'll be doing my best to be a good navigator and move us successfully through the blinding white water rapids of product hype and glossy promises-  the flat dogs* of beauty product ingredients waiting to swallow consumers whole.
Hopefully as I discover better alternatives to the the ingredients in shampoos, conditioners, styling aides and other other beauty products that were weighing me down, stealing my vigor, making me ill and in a few instances turning me into a scale-y faced elephant woman I can help you do the same. 
Hopefully you'll share your experiences and recommendations too! 
Here's the link if you want to do your own research: Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep
*BTW  flat dogs= hungry crocodiles. Seemed appropriate.

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