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On today’s episode, Nicole will be empowering you to choose the healthiest lifestyle possible when making purchasing decisions for your home and office. She will share her journey with her autoimmune diagnosis and how paying attention to product labels changed her life for the better by putting her psoriatic arthritis in remission.

She will also share information about the number of chemicals used in our products and how many are banned in Europe and the US. We’ll learn about why it’s safer to eat something than it is to rub it on our skin and what Toxic Body Burden means. She will also cover Greenwashing and tips to find a brand you trust.

Here is a list of the top harmful ingredients to avoid and why:

  • Fragrance (Parfum) Legally hides an untold number of chemicals (“trade secret”) Phthalates*, just one of many chemicals legally hidden in the ingredient “fragrance,” are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, autism and ADHD. (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics–2002 “Not Too Pretty” Report)
  • Parabens A group of compounds used as preservatives, derived from petroleum Studies have linked these endocrine disruptors, which mimic estrogen, with breast cancer, allergic reactions and skin rashes. A 2011 study by the California Pacific Medical Center linked BPA/ methylparaben with breast cancer, and the combination blocked effectiveness of cancer drugs, like tamoxifen.
  • Triclosan Active ingredient in “antibacterial” products; registered with the government as a pesticide Studies show that triclosan interferes with the body’s thyroid hormone metabolism and is an endocrine disruptor. It has also been shown to weaken muscles, including the heart. Children exposed to antibacterial compounds at an early age have an increased chance of developing allergies, asthma and eczema. A 2012 study links it to muscle weakness, including the heart muscle, and it contributes to liver and inhalation toxicity.
  • Petrolatum Used in some hair products for shine, and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. Petrolatum is a petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
  • Oxybenzone & Octinoxate Synthetic chemical sunscreen “active” ingredients Easily absorbed, and can lead to skin irritation/other adverse reactions; can generate cell-damaging free radicals when exposed to the sun. Oxybenzone is a suspected hormone disruptor (mimics, blocks, and alters hormone levels).
  • PEGs or polyethylene glycols are petroleum by-products Contain carcinogenic contamination 1,4-dioxane, known to affect liver and kidneys.
  • SLS Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are used in products to create suds or foam Classified as a drug in bubble baths because it eats away skin protection and causes rashes/infection. SLS may also be contaminated with carcinogenic nitrosamines. A study indicated that SLS penetrated into the eyes as well as brain, heart, liver, etc., and showed long-term retention in the tissues. The study also indicated that SLS penetrated young children’s eyes and prevented them from developing properly and caused cataracts to develop in adults. (Univ. of Georgia Medical College) SLS may also cause hair loss.
  • Ingredients ending in “-eth” Including ceteareth and triceteareth Can carry carcinogenic contamination of 1,4-dioxane (a known carcinogen).
  • Retinyl palmitate Found in many sunscreens and moisturizers In the presence of sunlight, retinyl palmitate enhances skin cancer lesions by 21%. (FDA, 2011)
  • Nanoparticles Pulverized metals like zinc and titanium used in products (not required to list on label) Nanoparticles have been shown to cross the cell barrier and drive into organs, including the brain.
  • Aluminum & metals Active ingredient in many anti-perspirants This bio-accumulative neurotoxin stores in fat cells and accumulates, destroying nerve tissue.
  • DEAs Including diethanolomine (DEA), cocamide DEA, lauramide DEA A study suggests that prenatal exposure may have detrimental effects on brain development. Reacts with other ingredients to become nitrosodiethanolamine, a known carcinogen.
  • Formaldehyde releasers Including DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15 Can cause allergic reactions in the eyes, nose, throat and skin, joint pain, headaches, immune dysfunction and can lead to asthma. It may also cause menstrual disorders in women. Research studies suggest that exposure to formaldehyde may increase the risk of various forms of cancer as well.
  • Synthetic color/dyes A mixture of many chemicals; made from coal tar, a derivative of petroleum Coal tar is a known carcinogen. Aluminum compounds and heavy metals found in many dyes are toxic to the brain.
  • Glycol A synthetic petrochemical mix known to cause allergic and toxic reactions Linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and liver and kidney damage.
  • Mineral oil A common ingredient that coats skin like plastic wrap Derived from petroleum; may be contaminated with cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Aggravates acne and negatively impacts skin function, causing premature aging. Disrupts the skin’s natural immune barrier, inhibiting its ability to breathe, absorb moisture and nutrition, and release toxins.
  • Talc Belongs to asbestos family Linked to ovarian cancer; dangerous to inhale.
  • Siloxanes Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” (ex. cyclopentasiloxane) Toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bio-accumulate. The EU classifies some as endocrine disruptors and possible reproductive toxicants that may impair fertility. Research shows some to cause uterine tumors and harm to the immune system.
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)/Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) Found in many cosmetics and personal care products, BHT and BHA slow down the rate at which product ingredients change in color. Immune system toxicant; endocrine disruptor; probable human carcinogen; animal studies show brain, liver, neurotoxin, reproductive and respiratory toxicant.
  • Isobutane A propellant often used in hair spray, gel, mousse, and shaving cream May contain carcinogenic contaminant 1,3-butadiene.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (M1) and other “isothiazolinones” Powerful biocide “preservatives” used to kill off microorganisms, giving products a longer shelf life. A recent study found these chemicals may be linked to nerve damage. Researchers also recently found these chemicals damage brain cells in animal studies – stating, “a brief exposure (10 minutes) to methylisothiazolinone, a widely used industrial and household biocide, is highly toxic to cultured neurons.” Although used in leave-on products, methylisothiazolinone is known to be sensitizing when used in leave-on products. In fact, the American Contact Dermatitis Society named methylisothiazolinone its Allergen of the Year in 2013.

If you live in the United States and would like more information about Pure Haven to join as a consultant, host a gathering or learn more about the products, please reach out at nicolemarkel@comcast.net. If you found value with this information and learned something new, Nicole would love to hear from you about changes you are planning to make with your purchasing decisions.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Messy Middle Road Trip podcast. Nicole hopes you feel empowered to choose the healthiest lifestyle possible.

To find more information about Rachel or if you want to keep the conversation going, visit us on FacebookInstagram or at  Messy Middle Road Trip.com. And if you like what we’re doing, please consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us a rating and review so we can reach more amazing middlers. Thanks for riding shotgun. Until next time

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