Sara Vartanian is an urban, green mom of two little boys. She's the founder of Green Moms Collective, a Canadian website dedicated to providing resources and support to moms who want to create a healthy, green lifestyle for their children. If she's not on Instagram sharing all things green mom, she can be found wiping green smoothies off her children's faces, or shopping at a farmer's market. She wrote a special post for Adventures of Little about beauty products and pregnancy. Read on...
I stopped wearing makeup in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. One minute I was sponging foundation onto my face before work, and the next I was dry heaving into the toilet. I tried again a few mornings in a row until I stopped wearing makeup but the makeup smell made me extra nauseated. In hindsight, I like to think it was my body warning me about the toxins I was using since I had yet to swap to green beauty products.
Canadians use between 10-15 personal care products each day, many of them loaded with toxic chemicals that can harm our health. There are ten toxic chemicals in particular that are the “baddies”. Our skin absorbs the creams, deodorants, and oils we use. Once they enter our body, the ingredients can harm our health in a variety of ways including disrupting our hormones, impacting our respiratory system, playing havoc with our reproductive system, and the introduction or aggravation of cancer through carcinogenic chemicals.
Conventional wisdom used to believe that it was just the mothers who were susceptible to these chemicals but recent data has shown that babies can be impacted in the womb.
In 2013, Environmental Defence Canada released a report called, Pre-Polluted. They tested the umbilical cord blood samples of 8 Canadian newborn babies and what they found was disturbing-a total of 137 chemicals that represent common North American toxic pollutants that are linked to human health issues.
Fetuses grow rapidly and they lack the systems to flush out toxins leaving their body’s hormone system more sensitive to toxic exposure. You can see why auditing your personal care products is a step towards healthier living, especially while pregnant! Not only do the ingredients absorb into our skin, our developing babies may also absorb them!
So, what can you do with this knowledge?
Never just throw out all your beauty products. It’s tempting to stop using them altogether but tossing them into the trash is bad news for our planet. Decide whether you will continue to use each item until empty, pass them onto a friend, or dispose of the beauty product following your city’s household waste guidelines.
Determine which products you use most often and prioritize cleaning these up. I enjoy using the ThinkDirty app to scan products because it often has recommendations for better alternatives. Any item that comes up a 3 or below is reasonable to keep. An item that rates between 4-6, I’d think about replacing when it runs out. Items rated between 7-10, I’d take the precaution to stop using, and find a replacement for them.
For a more in-depth look at detoxing your personal care products, as well as greenproofing your whole home, you can sign up for my free Healthy Home Detox.
Sara Vartanian, Green Moms Collective