Its Baaack!

Well, hello again! It has been a long time, has it not?

Many things have happened since our last post on May 3, 2012.  I got married and my dear partner-in-crime moved out to the beautiful city of Calgary.

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It has been a fast and furious time for both of us… but now we’re back!

We started this blog in an effort to encourage ourselves to think critically about what we are putting in our bodies.  Over the last year, my interest in this has only increased… and I’ve shone the spotlight on my personal care products.  I have always been a beauty product junkie (ask any of my friends), but never considered the chemicals they contained.  Skin is our largest organ and is incredibly absorptive… why didn’t I think of this before?

A few months ago, my mother-in-law sent me a link to the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide 2013, which assesses the ingredients in thousands of products with SPF.  Since I wear a facial sunscreen every day (yes, even in the winter), I decided to check out my favourites. The EWG Guide assesses several factors: among them, UVB/UVA protection/balance/stability and health concern of the product based on its ingredients. My report card was less than ideal.  My daily sunscreen received a rating of 7/10, 10 being the most harmful.  Yikes!  The protection was “moderate”, stability was “excellent”, but the health concern was “high”.  Oxybenzone, one of the sunscreen ingredients in many Neutrogena products, has a chemical rating of 8/10.  Studies show that oxybenzone effects “enhanced skin absorption, biochemical or cellular level changes, development/reproductive and organ level toxicity, and endocrine disruption”.  Whaaaaa?  And I’ve been putting this on my skin everyday?!

As my fervor over product ingredients grew, I found EWG’s Skin Deep Database, which profiles over 65,000 personal care products.  Jackpot!  Thus started my obsessive descent (or maybe ascent?) into a medicine cabinet exorcism.  My poor husband.  For years I have used ENJO cleaning products, which are absolutely fabulous and wonderfully effective… But I am committed to reducing our household’s chemical footprint even further.  It is scary how many chemicals we eat and wear on our skin, the risks of which are not made clear by the companies who use them.

Many of the posts you’ll see from me will stem from my efforts to do this.  There will be some successes, definitely some challenges, but it will be, without a doubt, a fun time 🙂

– Jess

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