Sunday, August 22, 2010

Parabens for the twins

I've been mulling over the paraben phenom for a few years now, but until I was diagnosed I hadn't committed my brain to anything organic, for my underarms or any other body bits. Now I'm getting all worked up.

Parabens are an oft-used preservative in all the cheap and expensive things that make us smell and look good. There have been a billion tests that prove parabens show up in breast tumours, which may mean nothing but the fact that the buggers leak through our pores and get under our skin. The freaky thing is, they've also been proven to mimic estrogen, which means if you already have cancer cells in your body (which many of us do), they could prove handy little fertilizer.

So a girl finds out she's got a couple of cancer eggs taking up residence in her breast, which happen to be estrogen-receptive, and the first thing to go into the garbage is the Dove pit stick with the lovely grapefruit smell. It's been trial and stinky error finding a good natural replacement, but I did me some research, I did, and found out that Avalon Organics deodorant spray was tops and selling out all over the U.S of A.
You'd think being in former hippie-ville would guarantee me access to some of the junk, but alas, Avalon everywhere and none of the spray gold. Fortunately, my dear cousin was down in the States recently and brought me back a couple of bottles of the stuff and it's indeed fabulous. The thing is... I actually think the chemo has killed (temporarily?) my sweat glands. Either the stuff is so good I'm flying to Avalonville to become a robot spokesperson or stinky pit sweat is taking a hiatus along with my hair follicles. Strange indeed, but can't complain.

The next thing, of course, is to unload the rest of my paraben-laden products, which does pain my cheap little heart a tad. The handsoap and hand lotion are in the middle of transitioning to Avalon. The dishsoap is all Method all the time. The body lotion is Korres (thank you, Sephora). The bald head moisturizer (oh yes, I do have some) and kids' body wash is Kiss My Face. But that merely scratches the surface of this committed product hog's cupboards.

If you have any recommendations, let me know, otherwise I'll keep trolling the intertubes for paraben-blasting products that don't leave me smelling like the Victoria hippie I'm slowly turning into.


  1. If you are a product junkie (like me) you may already be familiar with Origins. The great majority of their products are paraben free. I use their stuff almost exclusively on my face and body and I never feel too hippy-ish (anything remotely resembling patchouli makes my husband gag - a sad side-effect of living on Van Isle most of our lives). Also, thank you so much for your honesty and humour as you travel this journey. It is a gift to me to be able to read about it.

  2. When not obsessed with food, I've spent an embarrassing amount of time online researching makeup and personal care products! You may find the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety database helpful ( This is by the same outfit that published the Dirty Dozen list of fruits and veg. I'm loving my Dr. Bronner's soap and the aluminum/paraben free deodorants from the Body Shop. I've also just ordered some stuff from Mint & Berry (

  3. Carissa, you have become my healthy food guru! I am learning, one food at a time that I can change the way we eat. I don't have to throw out everything in my cupboard and refrigerator... I can make a little change everytime I go to the grocery store. Not big but a step in the right direction. I now ask at the deli counter if they have deli meat without nitrates. They always have at least one kind (e.g. ham)and, because it is not one of their special, precut types, I get great service. They have to open a new ham, slice it specially for me and I walk away, very smug that all the people in line are not eating as healthily as we are. Small steps but all positive! Tomorrow, what will I try to change?

  4. I'm loving the Eau Thermal Avene Rich Compensting cream. Paraben Free. From France, sounds fancy, sold at good old London Drugs.