I have always loved essential oils and natural products. But it wasn’t until 2018 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I decided to take a long deep look into my lifestyle. My mother also had breast cancer and although I could just blame it all on the genetics, I believed there was definitely more I could do to help my own recovery and well-being. This has taken me on the biggest healing journey for the last 3 years.
I was 52 when I had my double mastectomy and at that stage in my life, I had already had two miscarriages, was under quite a lot of work and family stress and I wasn’t shy of a few glasses of wine each day to knock me out so that I could go to sleep and then get ready for another stressful day ahead tomorrow.
I wore the badge of honour as many women do and put everyone else in my life first – I was always last (I can only blame myself for that).
When I asked my oncologist if there was anything else I could do to help my recovery apart from the ‘casually’ offered chemo and hormonal tablets he said there was no evidence of anything else helping.
I was shocked and decided to do my own research – So I dug deep, my eye’s widened and I felt like I had been living under the comfort rock for decades – there was SO much more I could do and so I did!
I started working with naturopaths and wellness centres trying every healing modality there was – I took note of what I ate and drank, how I felt and how much exercise I was doing or in my case was not doing and I really had a good look at my household cleaning products and more closely at my body and hair products. I was overwhelmed to read that women put over 515 chemicals onto their skin daily.
Our skin is also our largest organ and over 60% of what we put onto it is absorbed into our system and into our organs like liver, kidneys, heart and thyroid just to name a few and into our lymph system which is so important.
I can still see myself now plastering all the highly priced and overly fake scented creams, lotions and perfumes that were advertised as ‘nourishing and beneficial’ – on reading about the ingredients it was shocking to learn that many had never been tested to be safe and some descriptions of ingredients online were known to be carcinogenic.
I immediately gave all my Clairns, Clinic and Estee Lauder and big brand names cosmetics away – out went the perfumes with them that I had doused myself in daily – friends were eager to lap up the free goodies but I did warn them that they were toxic – ‘No one seemed to care’ – well, that is because they are not in my shoes (yet!)
What toxins should you look out for when reading your product bottle, jar or container? Here are just a couple of the many found in your everyday Dove deodorant your Pantene shampoo, or Clinic face cleanser.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate / Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and other sulphate-based detergents: These are used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and 90% of personal care products that foam.
Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol and various ingredients formulated with PEGs and PGs: PEGs have been found in everything from personal care products, baby care and sunscreens. Dioxin is a by-product of the process used to create propylene glycol.
Dioxin has been linked to cancer, reduced immunity, nervous system disorders, miscarriage and birth deformity.
Over the last few years, I have done loads of trials on myself and I make sure that it has to be great or it doesn’t go onto my skin. I have discovered so many incredible products like Fran’s ‘Nourished By’ face creams.
Once you train your sense of smell towards natural scents and beautiful nourishing oils your body will tell you when something is toxic – the minute you are near someone with highly perfumed deodorant, cream, perfume or aftershave. My nose starts to twitch and itch and I have to move away.
I still remember the first words my then 12-year-old daughter said to me when I was diagnosed was ‘Am I next’ – she had watched her grandmother die and myself be diagnosed all in the one year which was terrifying to her. I assured her I would do everything in my power to make sure she was filled with knowledge and power to heal herself. Now at the age of 15 she recently wrote a school project on the benefits of going natural with health and beauty products and often tells me how much she hates the stuff her friends put all over themselves.
The great part about living in Australia is that we have so many wonderful passionate people (Like Fran) ready to save the world and our health, developing products to heal and nourish rather than destroy.
From our washing powder to our handwash, shampoo and makeup – I read, educate myself and then purchase. I have rarely been disappointed and love the feeling knowing that I am protecting my health and my families and not destroying it more.
Go natural, give yourself time to get use to a new product and once you do you will never go back. I wish everyone good health and happiness. xx