As cancer becomes more and more prevalent in our days, an increased attention should be made to cosmetic and personal products , especially after surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The majority of cases of cancer are attributed to environmental and lifestyle factors ( around 90%) and only a small percentage (5-10%) to genetic factors. So, prevention is possible by paying special attention to daily life choices: from the food we eat, how we cook them to the stress we are exposed or the beauty products we use.

That  you are already diagnosed with cancer or you want to prevent getting it, you should look into different, safe, easy and often inexpensive lifestyle tips that will keep you healthy and radiant. Much was written about the anti-cancer superfoods or how important the exercise is, but there is an aspect that many ignore: the cosmetics and personal care products that we use every day and that unfortunately, often include toxic ingredients that you should avoid at any price.

If you are already an oncology patient, then, you already know that the traditional cancer treatments result in a myriad of side-effects that profoundly affects the daily life of those concerned. Im sure you experience some of the following symptoms: from abdominal pain, allergic reaction, increased skin sensitivity, anxiety, armpit discomfort, bleeding, bruising, itching, coughing, dehydration, dry skin, fatigue, gas, infection, to  liver problems, lymphedema, sweating, swelling….. and the list goes on and on. The good news is that many of these side-effects can be reduced or even completely eliminated by modifying some of your daily habits and creating an anti-cancer mindset.

An anti-cancer lifestyle means: an anti-inflammatory, healthy unprocessed food, proper breathing, good sleep, exercise and stress management techniques. As I mentioned above, you should also pay special attention to what you put on your skin and to what toxins you expose yourself. Some are well known as carcinogenic (like parabens), while others still need more studies to be made, to confirm their safeness.

Even if food has a huge impact, I think that one of the first things to pay attention to is: peacefulness and reduced stress. There is no healing that can be done while in a fight and flight state. It doesn’t really matter what you eat, how much you exercise or what supplements you take, if you are constantly feeding yourself with stress, obsessed with self-performance and high- achieving, you will burn your candle faster than you think with dramatic consequences.

When you are able to connect spiritually with a higher power and see the big picture, you stop worrying so much about dying, which allows you to relax and get into a parasympathetic state ( rest and digest) and to be in a healing state.

Now, let’s look to commonly used products. Unfortunately most of them are toxic and dangerous. I’m talking about household cleaning products, cosmetic and beauty ones.

Many of the ingredients used are massive hormone disruptors. More than that, the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University said that “ 95% of all cancer is due to diet and the accumulation of toxins”. Even babies are born with more than 200 toxins already present in their bodies. So, from the beginning our “bucket” is almost full, so using a variety of products in the “ name of beauty” full of toxins and hormones disruptors will easily overwhelm the body’s natural capacity to detoxify through liver and kidneys.

Let’s look at some cosmetic and personal care ingredients that are researched well- enough in order to be considered a danger for your health.

Mercury: often from eating contaminated fish like tuna, from vaccines and dental fillings. Many of the oncology patients are struggling with oral infections. Mercury affects the brains and kidneys. Many of symptoms of mercury toxicity include tremors, insomnia, neuropathy, irritability and personal changes. Some cosmetics and hair dyes can contain some mercury traces. As mercury displaces vitamin C, you can struggle with easy bruising as a vit C deficiency consequence.

Check the labels of  “anti-aging or skin lightening” creams to see if words like” mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed. Carefully examine cosmetics that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes, and wrinkles. Adolescents may use these products as acne treatments. It is important to read not only the labels but also the directions given by the product company. If you have to avoid contact with silver, gold, rubber, jewellery  that could be another indication of mercury presence.

A much bigger concern are companies that do not even list mercury as an ingredient. How could you know and protect? Look to product certifications. Is it organic?

One of the best certifications that you can find in the cosmetic world is : COSMOS ECOCERT.

Products like DRUIDE are ECOCERT Cosmos certified which means that they DO NOT contain:

  • Chemical preservatives
  • Petroleum bi-products
  • Artificial fragrances
  • Ethoxylated products
  • Flycols
  • Artificial colors
  • GMOs
  • Added estrogen
  • Parabens
  • PEGs
  • Sulfates
  • Mercury, aluminum or other heavy metals.

For more information about EcoCert certification, please check this article: THE ECOCERT & COSMOS ORGANIC CERTIFICATION: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Often inorganic mercury is found in white lightening creams and soaps, while organic one in products like lipsticks, mascara, eye makeup cleansing products. Many soaps sold online or in stores, for example, contain up to 3% mercury iodide, while creams up to 10% mercury ammonium.

Another heavy metal commonly used in all sorts of products: from drugs, food additive, nasal sprays, cooking pots to cosmetics and personal care products is aluminium.

Do you eat a lot of soy foods? Cook with aluminium pots ? or Use antiperspirant deodorant? Then, you probably  have a high level of aluminium in your body. This metal is often linked with increased risk for Alzeihmer’s and breast cancer. In addition, the aluminum is commonly used in deodorants. It also mimics estrogen and the research shown that is easily absorbed and stored in breast tissue. If you want to know more about the aluminium in deodorants and the human breast, see this article from pubmed. It is a nerve poison that stops sweating. Another  interesting article in pubmed linked aluminum to increased inflammatory cytokines. As we all know, one of the most important markers tested on oncology patients is inflammation level. The highest level, the worst chances to survive.

As sweating is often a side-effect of the standard cancer treatment, oncology patients should carefully choose their deodorant. In addition, the underarm is directly related  to the lymphatic system, an essential part of our immune system so, whatever we put there will easily be absorbed. There is also a higher incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast than in the lower one.

After breast cancer surgery, the skin under your armpit becomes more sensitive. Using strong deodorants that contain fragrance and aluminium can create rashes and increased sensitivity. Don’t use products with alcohol (a strong astringent).

Many things you put on your skin will fast penetrate into the bloodstream, while whatever you eat or drink will first pass through the liver to be filtered. It is not for nothing that many drugs are administered through “ transdermal skin patches”. They are up to 95% more effective than oral medications. As the armpits are areas with high blood flow and sweat pores, there are high absorbing places. So, best is to avoid any deodorants that contain chemicals that create more irritation and their toxicity, even if not proved to directly cause cancer can increase your risk when combined with other cancer-causing lifestyle factors.

Play on the safe side and choose products certified organic which are free of aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, alcohol, triclosan,phthalates, no animal testing and no animal byproducts. Don’t put on your armpit a chemical cocktail that will easily be absorbed. Use a hypoallergenic, non comedogenic and biodegradable formula. For soothing effects look for extracts of bearberry, licorice root, white willow and virginia witch hazel. For antibacterial and antifungal try Tea Tree essential oil and Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, while for absorbing properties cyclodextrin and zinc oxide with zinc ricinoleate.

Other ingredients you should avoid in all your cosmetic products are:

Parabens are also known to mimic oestrogen. Unfortunately, most of the antiperspirants and deodorants on the market contain it. Journal of applied toxicology  reported in their paper Concentrations of Parabens in Human Breast Tumours by Darbre et al. (2004), that parabens can be detected in samples of tissue from human breast tumours.

Propylene Glycol: In deodorants despite the fact that is a neurotoxic mineral oil is often used as a humescent preventing the escape of moisture or water.

Triclosan. It is also often included in many deodorants despite the fact that it is a carcinogenic pesticide.

Other cosmetic products should be carefully checked before using them. For example, much of the clay used in masque is high in aluminium. The sparkly appearance of cosmetics like foundations is also aluminium.

As you saw, even if you struggle with a life-threatening disease like cancer,  you don’t have to live in pain and discomfort. Don’t  just try to survive , but to thrive. After you put in place an anti-cancer strategy that involves a whole good organic diet, exercise, reduced stress, deep breathing techniques and a good sleep management, you should look into all sorts of sources of heavy metals that can make the difference between staying healthy or getting better and getting worse or not improving, despite your efforts. Watch for the main sources of heavy metals in all the products you use: from shampoos, soaps, creams, deodorants, toothpastes and makeup. Check their labels and certifications. Stick with trusted companies, certified organic, especially if you are diagnosed with cancer. Become an informed detector who chooses products that will support you in your efforts to stay healthy and radiant.