Chemical Free = A Natural Me

I decided I would copy this blog post from my old blog and put it in a post on this blog.  I did this because this is one of my more popular posts and it seemed to help a lot of Cysters and others who are doing things naturally.

Warning this is long, but may be worth a read for you… especially fellow Cysters 🙂

Okay so I promised my first post in this series would be about why I am choosing to making the switches I am.  I’ve been taking supplements and watching what I eat and put a lot of time and research into that, but then when I thought about it isn’t what we use on the outside of our body just as important as what we put in our bodies… I mean the knowing what we are using and what it does.

I just felt like I was caring for my inward parts a little more than the outward parts.  What is in my shampoo, make-up, body wash etc.  And after thinking about it and how we Cysters should stay away from chemicals I started thinking about everything I use and how it has it too.  I was so caught up in concentrating on the food I eat and staying away from chemicals and processed foods that I didn’t stop to think about how many chemicals are in our other every day things we use.

So I started looking into things and came across SLS items and how they are not good and are believed to be the cause of hair loss.  Well, with PCOS already causing issues with hair loss, thinning and breakage this caught my attention.  I know I talked a little bit about this in a previous post, but thought I’d try to go a little more in depth as to why I am trying to stay away from SLS products.

SLS FREE Because….

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SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is a common in shampoos, soaps, detergents, toothpastes, body wash etc.  Basically, if it is a foaming type agent you can bet it’s in it… why because that is what helps it give it’s foam (and it’s cheaper to use).  They are chemically known as surfactants.

SLS can go by over 150 different names, but one common one is SLES, which I guess it is closely related too, but SLES is not as harsh as SLS, but still cannot be metabolized by the liver 😦 which makes it’s effects last even longer.

I was shocked to learn that something like that was used, but I guess the reason that it’s used is because it’s cheap… how sad is that.  However, what was even stranger to me is that if it’s so cheap to use why in the world do some of those shampoos that use it cost so darn much.  I felt like the price difference in the more natural stuff that didn’t have that was not that big of a difference: cause you still have your store brand ones, mid-grade ones, and high end ones.  To me the switch wasn’t that hard to think about when the price really wasn’t that big a deal.

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And then when I read that SLS is used in car engine cleaner too that kinda freaked me out.  I guess it helps cut oil and grease… eeeek is all I could say.  I really don’t wanna be putting that on my hair.  But the biggest reason I don’t want to be using it is because of it’s biggest effect on the body…. it has the ability to mimic the hormone Oestrogen (which is a form of estrogen)…. which most ladies with PCOS already have an abundance of.  Studies have shown that PCOS tends to cause an overproduction of estrogen, which in turns causes issues with fertility and your monthly cycle 😦 which is not something you want when you are trying to make babies.  It is also thought that Oestrogen is the increasing cause of breast cancer and other female cancers.

So if that wasn’t enough for me to change then I don’t know what is.  I don’t need my hormones being anymore messed with that they already are and I sure don’t want something that causes miscarriages too. Having to much of the estrogen doesn’t allow for proper supply of progesterone which you need during pregnancy to help carry to term.  And since I’ve had two I don’t want to feel I am adding to the problem.


Here is one of the biggest things this chemical causes and I felt like sharing it so fellow Cysters can see the major issue it causes:

In the last 100 years or so, many new health problems have come to light. These include PMS / PMT, the so-called “menopausal symptoms” which never used to exist, and more recently a massive drop in male fertility which threatens our continued existence in many western countries. SLS is most likely a major contributor to all of these problems due to its oestrogen mimicking activity.Oestrogen is a hormone found quite normally in both men and women. Like all other hormones, it’s circulating levels are rigidly controlled by the glands of the body due to the potent effect of its presence on virtually all cells. Not only does SLS irritate the skin, it is also absorbed through the skin (high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low concentration). Once in the body, the SLS molecule attaches to oestrogen receptors, mimicking the effects of the hormone in various body systems.
The result is hormonal chaos. The body can no longer control it’s own oestrogen levels (or at least, what it sees as it’s own oestrogen levels – it can’t tell the difference between endogenous oestrogen and SLS) and therefore loses control of many normal endocrine (hormonal) functions.
In men, whose oestrogen levels are normally extremely low, this massive increase causes breast enlargement, reduction of male hormone levels and a massive drop in both sperm count and sperm motility (ability of the sperm to fertilise an ovum). Gender confusion may also be related to SLS levels, either in the male himself or in his mother during pregancy.
In women, the reproductive system, which is totally controlled by oestrogen and progesterone, goes haywire. Rapidly shifting oestrogen levels and their effect on progesterone levels mean that the body is totally confused, leading to menstrual problems, menopausal symptoms and potentially infertility. Because this subject is so important, we have devoted a whole section of this site to womens health.
So that is why I am eliminating SLS from my products.  While I was looking for make-up that was SLS free the lady showing me the make-up asked why I was wanting SLS Free and I told her because of what I have and shockingly she guessed it was PCOS.  She knew because she has it one and she use to work in the medical profession.  So when showing me a make-up she also pointed out that parabens were bad too and I should stay away from them.  However, she couldn’t tell me why so when I got home I decided to look into it and this is what I found:
Paraben Free Because….
I found out that parabens are a chemical used as preservatives in cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, toothpaste, shaving gels, pharmaceuticals and other things.  On top of that they are used as food additives :s
They are efficient as preservatives and they are low cost.  They were considered a great substitute to natural alternatives such as grapefruit seed extract, but are now causing controversy.  They also have been found in breast cancer tumors and also (like SLS) mimic estrogen.  On a side note: it is said an over abundance of estrogen is thought to cause breast cancer and infertility issues.  Which is probably why women with PCOS have a higher risk for it; being that we already have an abundance of estrogen.
Some common parabens are: methylparaben, ethylparaben, proylparaben and butylparaben.  So when looking at products it is best to stay away with anything that paraben in the word or ending in the word.
They are suppose to be easily desecrated by the body, however, they still cause damage.  A lot of bad things can be flushed from the system, however, they still do damage and long term use eventually gets you in one way or another.  Cause some how some of it manages to stay in the body… you’d think.  Having another thing mess with my endocrine system is not something I need or want.
And though there are tests on both sides saying it’s safe and others saying it is not I find it best to stay away and that is why I am choosing too.  Obviously if some testing has shown bad effects I don’t want to use it.  Even more so when it’s something that messes up my endocrine system worse than PCOS already does.
After finding out that stuff I got a wonderful article from Holly the Health Coach of the SCWLC… it was an article to share with those in the challenge and reading it was awesome.  She really knows her stuff and is really out to help those Cyster’s with their health.  But reading her article highlighted on stuff I already was finding from my research to stay away from.  Another thing is phthalates.
Phthalates Free Because….
This is a plasticizer and used in every day plastics and used in shampoos and carpeting even.  The evidence is of course a controversy too, but I find a lot of things are, but I can’t bring myself to ignore the studies that have shown the side effects of these things.
And because this chemical doesn’t bind to things it is easily absorbed through our skin and into our food and through inhalation.  Eeek.
Now this has a huge long list of things about it, but the ones I want to touch on is that there have studies showing the effect it has on the endocrine system and a disruption in the metabolic system.  It is thought that it may cause insulin resistance which in turn has shown to cause some to develop diabetes.  So with PCOS causing a high risk of developing diabetes and we already have hormone issues etc.  this is something we really really want to stay clear of.
They are starting to take the use of it out of plastic etc. because of the harm it is thought to cause.
Now knowing you can breath this stuff in and it’s in a lot of things around us… I fully am aware that I can’t eliminate it altogether, but I will eliminate it as much as possible.  Having PCOS I really need to not add to the issues I have.
If you want some other things that it can cause please look at sources below.
So these are some of the things I want to avoid and why.  This is again my life style choices and I am by no means a medical professional.  But being that I have had nothing but great success from switching to organic and natural things that I eat and taking natural herbs… I want to try my best to make every effort I can to do that with the things I use every day.  So what I use on my face, in my hair or on my outward body is in need of a natural approach… my outward body is just as important as my inward.  Why only take care of the inside if I ain’t going to take care of the outside… cause there are these things called pores and we absorb things through our skin too… and the stuff we put on and use affect sour inner body as well.
I know this seems like a lot and I am by no means knocking anyone who does not use them, but I am trying my best to beat this PCOS naturally and why not.  I think taking care of my body in general is important… though I am sure PCOS has opened my eyes to that importance more so.
It’s just that I’ve read great outcomes from going natural and some from every day people not living with PCOS too… but the ones that live with PCOS stand out more to me cause they suffer with what I have and knowing that taking these things out of their system as much as possible has greatly helped them…. is so worth trying to me then.  They’ve had great changes in their health and their PCOS systems improving and going away because of eliminating those things.  Cycles regulating and fertility improving…. all this along with the great success I’ve already had has me wanting to go further into the natural way of life 🙂
I know it ain’t for everyone, but it’s working for me and others 🙂  And by sharing this I hope it will help others too.  I know sharing my supplements and why I take them has helped numerous Cysters already and that makes my research and time of typing these things up so worth my time and energy.
Now that I’ve share that part stay tuned for my other blog posts about the things I’m using that are free of such things.  Not sure which will come first: make-up, or skin care.  We will see 🙂  cause I will also be going over laundry soaps, house cleaners etc that I am switching to too 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and if you have anything else you’d like to share please do so.

2 thoughts on “Chemical Free = A Natural Me

  1. Lynne Wallace says:

    I’ve bee nattempting to go as natural as possible. I loe how much cleaner and softer my hair has felt from switching shampoo and conditioner. I’ve also been buying my bar soaps from people at the farmer’s market. I didn’t realize how much better my acne was until I switched bar soaps again to something I was given but couldn’t read (packaging was in asian dialect). Something is in that soap, aned I’m glad I’ve used it all and can switch back to better soap.
    I also just started using natural laundry soap in the washing machine. The blend I use has Dawn in it, so the clothes come out really clean 🙂

    • The Ohler's says:

      🙂 I love the way I feel since switching my stuff to natural stuff.

      I use Charlies laundry soap and often times Mrs Meyers.

      My hubs started using natural soap too and is acne has gotten better to pretty much nonexistent. His was more on his back and chest. Who would have known switching soaps to natural would help 🙂

      I think it is worth the change and I always shop around for things on sale etc and stock up when they are.

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