I get constant questions about safe sunscreen options because, let’s be real, there are a lot of sunscreens.
It’s Toxic Skincare Thursday and I’m covering...
I speak a lot about greenwashing. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly and therefore ‘better’.
L’Bri is a prime example of greenwashing. I did a quick Google search to get to their homepage and immediately saw “PURE n’ NATURAL” further down “NATURAL & SAFE”. Which left me shocked as I looked over their ingredient list…
In their cosmetics they typically use the following blacklisted ingredients:
EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid)
GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)
In their skincare they typically use the following blacklisted ingredients:
PEGs ((Polyethylene Glycol)
- It is unspecified if minerals used are non-nano.
(I’m still waiting for an email response to this question.)
- Not Leaping Bunny Certified cruelty free.
As women, we're a constant target for skincare companies. Did you know that it can take just 26 seconds for certain harmful chemicals to enter your bloodstream after penetrating your skin? We've all noticed the- try this it’s natural, it’s safe, it’s clean… We don’t know better until we know better. And trust me, reading ingredients is a full time job.
Before I knew better, I dabbled in some of these 'make me glamorous like Beyoncé concoctions.' Especially when it came to sunscreen to ‘prevent wrinkles, diminish sunspots, reduce crow’s-feet, blah blah.’ My skin would break out, my eyes would water, my face and/or body would itch- you know the drill.
Go grab your sunscreen and check for:
Phenoxyethanol is found in L'Bri's sunscreen.
I also do not recommend spray-on SPF (to avoid inhalation of chemicals).
They also need to be non-nanoparticles or non-nano. Non-nano means the particles do not enter the bloodstream- with nano, they do.
It is unspecified if L'Bri's minerals used are non-nano.
Secondly, choosing a ‘Reef Friendly’ or ‘Reef Safe’ certified product means it doesn’t contain ingredients that would harm the coral.
Lastly, be sure to still check your labels for unsafe preservatives.
If you're wondering what brand I personally use and suggest- head over to my 'products we love page'!
I use Badger on myself, Derek, and my kiddos.
(There's a discount through Wellevate!)
I use Crunchi’s Sunlight on my face!
As always, limiting toxin exposure is an excellent idea.
Let’s get back to health,
Did you know that most skincare and cosmetic ingredients are unregulated- meaning lots of sneaky, no good, blacklisted ingredients are used?
I had overwhelming support with sharing toxic ingredients in common cosmetics.
I had a lot of questions pertaining to each "blacklisted" ingredient.
As women, we're a constant target for skincare/cosmetics. We've all noticed the this will help you reduce age spots, diminish wrinkles, reduce the tiresome eye bags, give you voluminous lashes, hide your acne, etc. BUT at what health expense?
If you're like me, before I knew better, I dabbled in some of these 'make me glamorous like Beyoncé concoctions.' My skin would break out, my eyes would water, my face and/or body would itch- you know the drill. And I'd sit there thinking, 'it said natural' or 'it said safe'.... These words mean NOTHING on labels. They are just a production of greenwashing.
Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly and therefore ‘better’.
For those of you using Physicians Formula cosmetics, I urge you to look on your label for:
Even if you're not using Physicians Formula I'd check for these.
• Artificial fragrance
• Disodium EDTA
• Loose Titanium Dioxide
• Retinyl Palmitate
For those of you using Physicians Formula skincare, I urge you to look on your label for:
• Disodium EDTA
• Fragrance (parfum)
• Petroleum derived colorants
• Propylene Glycol
Honestly, reading a never ending list of hard to pronounce, maybe never noticed words, is tedious and somewhat overwhelming if you've never done it before.
I am going to dig deeper into 3 of these blacklisted ingredients that are commonly used in both their cosmetic and skincare products.
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
“A toluene-based ingredient used as a preservative in food and personal care products. There is a lot of controversy surrounding BHT because of its suspected potential endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic effects.”1
PEG's (Polyethylene Glycol)
“A group of ingredients with the prefix “PEG-” followed by a number. They are made by the process of ethoxylation in which carcinogenic ethylene oxide is reacted with other ingredients to make them less harsh on the skin. As a result of the ethoxylation process, 1,4-dioxane is created and can be left behind in the product. 1,4-dioxane can be reduced or removed from a product through the vacuum-stripping process. But independent tests show that many manufacturers fail to do so. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has classified 1,4-dioxane as ‘likely to be carcinogenic to humans.’ FDA studies showed that 1,4-dioxane can penetrate human skin.”1
“A common preservative used in cosmetics, skincare, and personal care products. It is a member of the glycol ether family and is the product of the reaction of highly corrosive phenol with carcinogenic ethylene oxide. As a result, it may contain residue amounts of both. The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens, even in concentrations as low as 1%.”1
If you're wondering what brand I personally use and suggest that uses ZERO blacklisted ingredients- head over to my 'products we love page'!
As always- let's get back to health,
Being a mom is hard. Right now, most moms are juggling their careers, while being their children’s teacher, while being daycare for their younger children, while continuing daily home tasks.
Did you know that right now, today, there are more single mothers than ever in history? In 2019, there were 15 million single mother-headed households and 25% of families are headed by a single parent (80% of those households are headed by moms).
Now, this blog isn’t directed solely at single moms. You could be a mom who sometimes feels like a single mom, one that used to be a single mom, or one that simply relates to what I’m going to type. Either way, moms need our support- probably now more than ever.
This blog is for you, my single moms. Mother’s Day is fast approaching- just know, we see you and we appreciate you. (I’m sending extra love to those that won’t have their kiddos on Sunday per their placement order.) I am typing this to bring a sigh of relief, relatability, and positivity. I, too, was a single mom for most of my son’s life.
I am a co-parent. Am I the only one that almost feels dirty saying that? It took me a lot, and I mean, a lot of years to be comfortable saying that. Co-parenting is hard- and I mean extremely hard, painstaking hard. It’s truly exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every holiday needs coordination, every appointment, every life changing thought- not only coordinated with your current significant other, but also your child’s father. Speaking of significant other, you first need to find the one that’s worthy of your love and your child’s love. That loves your child as their own. Once you find that, never let it go. And never, ever trust a man or woman who tries to destroy you when they're angry.
With all of this comes stress, worry, fear and last but not least- anger and frustration. These five emotions are detrimental to your health. These five emotions can destroy your happiness and suck the positivity from your life. Read that back, you caught the ‘can destroy your happiness’, right? It doesn’t HAVE to.
The next time you feel overwhelmed in your co-parenting situation, when you feel like you may succumb to the demons of negativity, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Don’t send that text that you’re angrily typing, don’t say those words that you’ll never get back, just take a deep breath. At the end of the day, you can only control what you can control- leave the rest to the big man upstairs. If the deep breathing doesn’t cut it, go for a bike ride, go for a walk, throw the cheap store boughten eggs at a tree in the backyard. Whatever you do, turn that rush of negativity into positivity, your body will thank you.
The dreaded ‘single mom stigma’ (insert eye roll emoji). Having a different last name than your child isn’t this centuries scarlet letter. The world we live in is full of loving, supporting individuals- just like it’s full of hating, undermining individuals. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. If someone is making you feel that way, that’s not someone that needs to take up anymore space in your life. Life is too short to be anything but happy. I know, that’s incredibly cliché, but it’s true. If someone is projecting their doubt onto you- cut the cord.
If you’re unhappy with your job, find one that makes you happy. If you’re unhappy with your home situation, develop a plan that brings you happiness. Sitting around and dwelling on the ‘what ifs’ is only holding you back. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
The Mom Guilt
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t- is how I feel about it. I’m very blunt, many can attest to that. Remember when I was talking about not dwelling on the ‘what ifs’? A huge portion of mom guilt stems from those two words. You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.
Your mental health is vital. STOP wondering if your children know they’re loved. (They do.) STOP questioning if you’re a failure. (You aren’t.) Staying in a relationship solely because you created children is like staying on the Titanic because you shaped the steel.
As moms, we tend to focus all our energy on our children. But you can’t help your children if you aren’t helping yourself. What do I mean by that? STOP beating yourself up for needing me time. STOP beating yourself up for having to work two jobs to put food on the table and make ends meet. STOP beating yourself up for asking for help. We all need help, at some point in our lives.
To all my single mamas reading this, know you’re not alone. It’s okay to have a rough day- tomorrow is always a new day. It’s not okay to be stuck in a void, just going through the motions. If you feel this way, please reach out! I’m here to tell you there is hope. And remember, you were someone before you were their mom- and that someone matters.
I still remember the days that I prayed for what I have now.
All my love,
Dr. Taryn Stittleburg, DC, CFMP, PSc.D