Monday, April 6, 2009

Erica Brockovich, super-sleuth

For those of you who know me really well, you probably know about my occasional obsessive/compulsive behavior. It’s not like I’m sitting around alphabetizing my spices…but I did make an inventory of our spice cabinet, so that we know what we are working with at all times. I like to have a plan and I am not spontaneous. I love spreadsheets and shoe racks and the container store. So does it surprise you that I’m all about the things that I can control about my cancer? I’ve basically turned into a rabbit, eating only green foods, nuts, and seeds. This morning, I put frozen grass into my blender. If any of these things appall you, stop reading now, because I’m about dive head first into something so much more extreme: The evils of the cosmetic industry. (Wahahahaha)

This sh*t is crazy! Now, I know there are arguments on both sides for this extremely touchy topic, but I’m going to err on the side of caution and stay away from all of it. There are preservatives called parabens that most cosmetic companies add to their products for, well, preservation. They hide them with clever prefixes like ethyl, butyl, methyl and propyl (are we watching the golden girls?) but are all basically the same ingredient. When you apply your Bath and Body works lotion, it is absorbed directly into your skin, then into your bloodstream. Are you still with me? Good. Here’s where it gets crazy: The paraben takes on the characteristics of Estrogen and will attach itself to any stray cancer cells, forming a tumor. For example, my tumor is an estrogen receptor positive tumor, so I have to stay away from birth control pills and soy products because they contain high doses of estrogen, making my risk for re-occurrence higher. I didn’t know that every single product I was using was feeding my tumor! Slimer was primed and ready to absorb every bit of estrogen I gave him, the glutton. (Please see earlier blog entitled “Sweet dreams are made of these” for reference.) So if you were me, wouldn’t you stop applying these products? Even if you wouldn’t, I am, so the question is rhetorical. Anyway, I went through all of my products and threw away anything with the word paraben attached to it. I went even further and tested my paraben-free products on this website, My suntan lotion from Whole Foods (or Whole Paycheck -$.10 for your recyclable bags) was 7 out of 10 on the toxicity scale.

Ok, I’m gingerly stepping down off my soapbox. I leave with a quote from Biggie Smalls, also knows as The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Big Poppa, “If you don’t know; now you know.”


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I have been doing research on cosmetic products since a friend introduced me to Arbonne, and their natural products (which I love, btw). She was telling me about all of the terrible things in our lotions and body creams, and how it only takes 26 seconds for lotion to be absorbed into our bloodstream. 26 seconds!

    Anyhow, I could go on and on about what I've found, but I'll stop for now!

    Thinking of you, prayers your way. Kick Cancer's Ass, sister.

  2. Yeah, makeup is bad. I have never been a big fan of it... except on clowns.

  3. I will admit I am a dedicated moisturizer addict, as everyone knows, but I thought you might find it interesting, given your newfound granola approach:

  4. Wow, I had no clue! I am definitely going to look into this further!