when we were young…

writing with passion, living with vision and acting with intention

Who wants to wear that???


Up to this point, I have felt I have been avoiding a lot of toxic stuff by buying whole foods as opposed to prepared, organic and non-GMO instead of unmarked (when I can) and exercising when my boys aren’t crawling all over me.

But for some reason, I haven’t had the same consideration for what goes on my body as what goes in it.

I’m talking about the shampoo I use, the moisturizers, make-up, sunscreens. I think that the cosmetic industries are failing hugely because when I go to the hair and skin care aisle, it is practically impossible to find a product that isn’t laden with hormonally disruptive, skin aggrevating and lead based ingredients.

I never thought I would contemplate actually buying a tube of mascara for $35/$40. Why would I do that when I can get a pack of two of CoverGirl at Costco for $21.99?

Short answer – my kids.

When my summer came around for my firstborn, I started looking into what sunscreens are good for baby use. At the time, everything I read recommended not using sunscreen for kids under the age of one and furthermore, most sunscreens contained ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene – all found to cause hormonal disruption and skin allergies. Ingredients were also found to alter the thyroid, reproductive system and decrease sperm production in animals. Uh no, I cannot knowingly put that on my kids. But that’s just sunscreen.

toxic, not healthy, bad, unnatural

I started looking at my own baby products – Aveeno Baby, Johnson & Johnson (which owns Aveeno Baby) and L’Oréal Kids. Turns out they all contain at least three known carcinogenic ingredients.

toxic stuff, not on my skin, not for baby, unnatural

I’m not sure if I have dismissed known toxins in my hair and skin products because I wash it off or simply because the word toxic is fairly vague. It doesn’t really give me an idea of what that means to the health and well being of my body. Let me share what I have learned since.

*     *     *     *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Check your cosmetics, skin and hair products for these FDA approved toxins. Their use is unrestricted in Canada with the exception of some Coal tar derived colours.

Parabens: A widely used preservative in cosmetics, everything from your mascara to your shampoo. Parabens have been found in human breast cancer tissue and may also cause problems in male reproductive functions. That anti-aging cream might be doing the exact opposite as a particular paraben (methylparaben), accelerating aging and damaging the DNA.

I love my Angel fragrance but I can’t know if it contains parabens because manufacturers are not required to reveal their trade secrets on the ingredients list if parabens are used in the fragrance recipe.

Sodium laureth sulfate: Used to make shampoo and body wash sudsy – may be contaminated with “measureable” amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane human carcinogens found to harm the nervous system and developement.

PEG Compounds: Used in creams, also contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, potentially causing cancer as well as not breaking down and leaving toxic waste in our environment.

BHA and BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene): A preservative that induces skin allergies and interferes with hormone functions – potentially causing thyroid, liver and kidney problems for you in later years. Classified under the The International Agency for Research on Cancers a possible human carcinogen and may cause cancer.

Coal tar-derived colours: Used in many hair dyes and and linked to the development of many different cancers. Also often laced with heavy metals that are damaging to the brain.

DEA (diethanolamine): Used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy. Lab studies have shown high doses cause liver cancers and other precancerous changes to the skin and thyroid. The European Union restricts the use of DEA and classifies it as harmful and seriously damaging to health with long term exposure.

Triclosan: Used in many anti-antiperspirants and deodorants as well as cleansers, and hand sanitizers. Suspected to interferes with your hormones, agitates skin and eyes and is extremely toxic to aquatic life as it does not degrade once down your drain.

That’s just a few. The thing that hits home for me about all of this is that many people fit into the category of long-term use and exposure. I myself shampoo my hair every two or three days and wear make-up almost every day.

How often do you wash your hair, apply make-up and moisturize?

This is why I am excited to be a part of the Arbonne team and help promote health, beauty and wellness. The big thing many folks get stuck on is the prices of products. I could talk about how you pay for what you get but I get it, we are all doing the best we can to provide for our families and make ends meet. But consider these points:

  1. A given bottle of Arbonne face wash or moisturizer will last you up to a year if not longer because all Arbonne products only require a small amount and spread incredibly well!
  2. Because you aren’t trying product after product and spending dollars every month on the most colourfully marketed hair or skin care product, you are actually saving! If you aren’t satisfied with the product, send it back, no strings attached and your money back!
  3. If you order through me, I give a first order discount of 20 % plus you save on shipping if you take advantage of a group order.



Arbonne, toxic free, safe for babyArbonne, healthy hair, toxin-free, green, lush locksanti-aging, effective, collagen tightening, toxin-free, Arbonne



Order today through http://www.Arbonne.ca and enter my referral code 116501659 or send me an email at virginiaannebowen@gmail.com if you live on the coast and as I am putting together a group order!

Read more on David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen cosmetic chemicals to avoid.





Author: whenwewereyoung...

A stay at home mom of two boys under two, love TED talks, swing dancing and of course, writing. When we were young is my sharing of motherhood, the beautiful, the ugly, the happy, the sad and the world my boys are growing up in.

9 thoughts on “Who wants to wear that???

  1. I would like body lotion, sun screen. Nana.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Good for you! I did a similar cleanse last year. Feels great!

  3. I’ve recently become aware of this as well. It’s so confusing, though, as you say because companies aren’t required to list everything in their products and because even if they do, I don’t know what half the products are. Thanks for sharing some of them. It’s also good to know that there’s a brand that’s working at using better products and I can just trust the brand instead of reading all the labels. 🙂

  4. I am with you on this one. I will fork over the extra cash if it means the products I put on my children are safe and free of toxins.

  5. Awesome post! I agree with Bonnie, it’s so hard to know exactly what to do because the more you research the more you come up with things to avoid.

  6. I’ve actually been thinking about that lately as well. Thanks for the list, it’s really helpful.

  7. It is so hard to keep up with all this stuff. Thanks for the info!

  8. Very true! I will be contacting you soon.

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