When women ask me, "How can you get your eyebrows threaded? Doesn't it hurt?" My response is always, "Ladies, beauty hurts," but until recently I did not realize that it was actually true.
I was on the Internet seeking safer cosmetics and found The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. They have an abundance of information on what is really in our cosmetics and beauty products and it is startling to say the least.
An interesting page I stumbled upon was titled Pink-Ribbon Cosmetics. Within this page, they discussed pinkwashing, "a term used to describe companies that position themselves as leaders in the fight against breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease." Given our practice of oncology care, this intrigued me. What I learned was disheartening.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has requested that certain companies that utilize pink ribbons in their advertising pledge to remove carcinogens, chemicals linked to birth defects, learning disabilities and other harmful ingredients from their cosmetic products. They asked three of the largest cosmetic companies utilizing the pink ribbons in their advertising (Avon, Revlon, and Estee Lauder) to do this and report that these companies have been "unwilling to make this public commitment to eliminate carcinogens and other chemicals of concern from their products."
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics listed several harmful chemicals found in cosmetics (both pink ribbon and not) which they feel are harmful. It is so important that we not only check the labels on the food we consume but also on what we put on our skin, which is our largest organ.
Here are a few of the potentially toxic chemicals they list:
Where: found in lotions, shampoos, and cosmetics
Issue: endocrine disrupter by mimicking estrogen
Where: nail polish, synthetic fragrances, plastic packaging
Issue: Hormone disrupters -- some acting like a weak estrogen in cell culture systems. Linked to early onset puberty in females.
Where: perfumes and scented cosmetics
Issue: May include phthalates, synthetic musks, and ethylene oxide. There is no requirement to list this on product labels. (Scary!)
Where: some cleansers
Issue: have been shown to act as a hormone disrupter.
Where: sunscreen products
Issue: estrogen behavior, linked to breast cancer cell proliferation
Issue: Possible contamination with 1,3-butadiene -- classified as a probable human and mammary carcinogen
Where: Found in a variety of cosmetics. Alternate names: dimethicone, PEG-40, ceteareth-12 and other compounds with the syllables "eth" or "PEG."
Issue: processed with ethylene oxide, possible contamination with 1,4-diocane
Where: cosmetic colorants, sunscreens, or contaminants
Issue: Metals such as iron, nickel, chromium, zinc, cadmium, mercury, and lead are found at higher than average levels in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Some metals (listed and not listed) have been associated with estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells in lab studies.
Where: lip products and lotions
Issue: possible contamination with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) endocrine disruptors and carcinogens
Where: some nail products
Issue: possible benzene contamination which is classified as a known carcinogen
Where: anti-microbial soap
Issue: May affect both male and female hormones and thyroid hormones affecting weight and metabolism. They note that more research is needed to evaluate its relationship to breast cancer.
We all want to look beautiful, but at what cost?
Now don't get me wrong, I love my mani/pedi days, however, I use the brand OPI because they have removed several of the harmful chemicals. But writing this blog made me take a deeper look into my cosmetics bag and closets. What I found was disturbing -- almost everything I use has some of these chemicals in them.
Now that I am armed with information, I am going to try to make some educated decisions in limiting my exposure to some of these toxic chemicals. While I realize I can't live in a bubble, I think that if we can limit our exposure to the harmful effects of chemical exposure, we will be better off. It is, however, a challenge because many of these healthier options also come with a heftier price tag. We can only do our best.
The 2013 Nurse Compensation Survey Results Are In Michelle Bragazzi, BS, RN, 5/3/2013 32 In February, TheONC surveyed more than 600 oncology nurses to find out more about their careers. We wanted to know if they felt adequately compensated and satisfied within their ...
TheONC needs moderators!
You're already here -- why not make it official? Moderators are charged with moving the conversation forward on TheONC by posting responses, questions, and joining in exchanges. Everyone is encouraged to post here, but moderators commit to doing so. Interested in participating? Contact:
Nurses, this community is for you. We're also happy to hear from other professionals who work with oncology nurses, like physicians, psychiatrists, hospice providers, or social workers. If you are a professional in oncology and work with nurses regularly, come on in.