The Stink about Deodorant.

Deodorant is a daily ritual for most, and sometimes, during high noon on a summer day, we will find ourselves hating that big guy on the bus who smells like he forgot to apply his Old Spice. Or maybe he swapped his Speed Stick for a fish stick...but I digress. 

Our offense to odor has grown incredibly since the time of our first pheromones. This is evidenced by the mass amounts of sweet scented lotions and soaps available for our slathering. Though many consider an individual's body odor to be repelling, recent studies indicate that what we use to cover up or prevent our smells are full of equally unattractive chemical ingredients. 

Deodorant products in particular have been under question as of late. Research has uncovered concerning ties between cancer and common ingredients, such as parabens, which are used as antimicrobial preservatives to promote shelf life. Parabens are absorbed through the skin every time deodorant is applied and, as their preserving nature suggests, have been found lingering in the body, disrupting cellular function. Whats worse is this and other harmful chemicals don't only exist in deodorant but are allowed by the FDA to be used in many other cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and even in some food items. Our exposure is at an all-time high, and we don't even realize it. 

Did you know that deodorants and antiperspirants are two separate product categories with two different chemical compositions? I didn't until I started looking into potential health risks of our trusted daily odor defender. Apparently antiperspirants are for the most part comprised of the same harmful ingredients as deodorants, but in addition also contain aluminum salts. These are used to block the pores from which our sweat is excreted, thereby preventing the release of fuel for our BO fire. Aluminum is also a nuerotoxin, and has been linked to nuerological diseases, including Alzheimer's. Though some stakeholders argue antiperspirants are safe for use, you cannot ignore the vast amount of aluminum people are exposed to daily:"It is often used in cooking utensils, containers, appliances, and building materials. It is also used in paints and fireworks; to produce glass, rubber, and ceramics; and in consumer products such as antacids, astringents, buffered aspirin, food additives. Another use for aluminum is in water purification, and it can therefore occur in your drinking water." Phew. 

I encourage a glance at this insightful article to get the rest of the facts on deodorant/antiperspirant health concerns. 

With a laundry list like that, I myself am compelled to search for an alternative solution to odor in an effort to cut back on my own unplanned chemical consumption. Once educated about this issue, why go out of your way to apply chemicals straight to your body? It just doesn't make sense. 

This is where I put down the Dove and begin my pursuit of a finding my deodorant soul mate. I hypothesize there is a product out there that works without health implications. I also believe that pleasant body odor can be achieved through a combination of natural products, hygiene and a healthy diet, as corroborated by Bubble and Bee.

The first product I will test is Aloe & Almonds Natural Deodorant (seen here for under $3!) that my sister recommended. Check back for updates and reviews. 

Wish me luck on my quest. I hope I do not scare away my future husband...but if he can't deal with this he's not man enough anyways. 

Over the weekend, I participated in my very first 10K race in the 2012 Race for the Rescues in Pasadena, CA.  In addition to solving environmental problems, pet adoption is something I’m VERY passionate about! It was a great morning – who doesn’t love a grassy lawn full of doggies?! My pups were very excited to get out and be social, and even participated in the 1K dogwalk with my parents.

That’s Gizmo on my leg, and Lucky not paying attention (pre-race)

I ran a good personal time, and did everything I could to prep for the race – from weekly training runs and a good diet to the right breakfast that morning and appropriate clothes/bodycare. Now, I mention bodycare because that is something many people may not think about – but I’ve learned through experience that wearing hairspray, lotion, or even sunscreen can cause MUCH discomfort during a run! When the products inevitably run down my forehead and into my eyes or mouth, I’m forced to endure burning eyes (a condition I lamented about last week) or a bitter taste.

All those chemicals not only inhibit my running but are very likely inhibiting my health as well! I don’t know about you all, but navigating the ingredient labels and monstrous selection of products at stores is overwhelming, and unavoidably, SOME harsh chemicals make their way into my bodycare regimen. **SIGHHHH**

There’s just sooooo maaannnyyyyy options!

BUT – there may be hope! Read on to hear about some promising developments for regulating the chemicals in consumer products…and MORE! (you know, In Case You Missed It)

·         In a recent blog post, Greenbiz.com announced California’s release of the nation’s first comprehensive approach to reducing toxics in consumer products – read more about the Safer Consumer Products proposed regulation hereLegislation is slow, but slow progress is still progress!

·         This article from Greatist.com does a fabulous job of briefly describing some of the dangers in several cosmetic products and practices…and appropriately citing its sources. There are few things better than a well-cited article.

·         For any Eco-Nerds out there, check out the SXSW Eco site to find out what happened at this Eco-tastic convention. They had an ECO HACKATHON! 

·         Sometimes, bedsheets can make or break a bedroom. Treehugger lists several organic options that are as luxurious as they are eco-conscious. If only I could afford those Turkish sheets…*sigh*

·         A recent study linking Mercury to ADHD development is especially worrisome given that the Greatist.com article also lists Mercury content of skin creams as a cosmetic danger – and mentions that its adverse effects can be experienced through second-hand exposure.  Better read those ingredient labels!

·         The Pregnancy Fitness article off the Huffpost Healthy Living site describes the commitment of some celebrity moms to health during pregnancy.  A fitness DVD program donates $5 per item sold to Christy Turlington’s advocacy project Every Mother CountsFamous moms staying fit…well, it’s better than the tabloids.

That’s this week’s roundup. Have a great week! Stay safe, stay healthy!
Our First Favorite Friday

Happy Friday Mamas! Starting this week, we are finding out what products moms like you have grown to love during pregnancy or motherhood. By sharing our favorites, hopefully we all can find the absolute healthiest skincare products that still get the job done.

Our guest star this week is a close friend of mine, Haley, who is pregnant with her first child (a baby boy!) and just entered her third trimester. Her sister, who is a mother to two adorable preschoolers, highly recommended that Haley try Dr. Hauschka’s Blackthorn Body Oil to minimize the risk of stretch marks. Considering that the woman had a knock-out post-baby body with zero stretch marks, Haley knew she had to give it a try. And even though this is not a mommy specific product, Haley considers it a must-have for her pregnancy skincare regiment (please watch the volume on the video- I apologize for the echoing, it was my first time using ecamm call recorder for Skype). 
Dr. Hauschka Skincare has also earned top beauty awards from Instyle, Natural Health, The Green Beauty Bible Awards, and UK Cool Brands. With over 40 years of experience, this company knows a thing or two about developing a great product. But what we think is great is that they only use organic and wild-crafted ingredients (such as avocado oil and rose wax) and leave out the rest—you know, the bad guys like phthalates and petrochemicals. And not only are their products healthier for you and your little one, but are leading the way as skincare environmental stewards. This company minimizes its environmental impact by investing in energy reducing technologies and uses recycled rather than raw materials whenever possible (if you find these projects as cool as we do, click here).


Why we Love Moms

Welcome to the first edition of Where we Stand, an article released every Wednesday from your very own webmaster and one of BabyLove's originators. I will be using this space to share insight into the development of our business concept, reasoning behind certain decisions we've made and to hopefully spark conversation among our community and followers. Please comment with any responses you might have, we can't wait to hear from you! 

To begin I would like to talk a little bit about why we love moms!

You may be wondering why BabyLove has chosen to focus its efforts on serving new mothers and moms-to-be. Isn’t everyone worthy of healthy skin care? Aren't there separate demographics with a similar interest in trying natural products? We believe the answer to these questions is YES, and we hope our site does not discriminate against any individual looking for a cosmetic revolution. Yet at this moment it is clear our primary consideration goes out to mothers, and we have decided this is an important stance for several reasons:

An Unmatched Consciousness
Nothing will alter your mentality quite like having a child in your life. Suddenly you are no longer living for yourself alone, but are responsible for looking after another. Moms are in need of safe options for skin care to protect their families from harmful chemical ingredients, and from what we've found there are few resources that wholly satisfy this need. While some websites will explain the hazards of cosmetic use and others provide natural alternatives, they are sparse and are unable to address every angle of the issue. A mother's concern for safety should be met with thorough and transparent guidance. 

Leaders of the Next Generation
Mothers are also charged with the difficult task of preparing our generations to become successful inheritors of the future. If mothers lead healthy lifestyles, chances are similar morals of self-importance and environmental awareness will be imparted to their children. BabyLove will make it easy to find a risk-free regimen for moms and their families, so our growing generation can continue a more sustainable tradition.

Looking for a Helping Hand
In addition, moms are often pressed for time and deterred by high priced cosmetics that lack a guarantee for their effectiveness. Moms, do you agree? BabyLove was designed keeping these issues in mind. We believe mothers should have a quality service that meets their needs efficiently, they deserve only the best!

Moms are awesome, inspirational and... always right. We want these ladies to have tools that make life easier and healthier, for themselves and their kids. And to BabyLove, not many things are more important than that.

Summer might be officially over, but this current heatwave has kept the sun out in FULL force. I pretty much melted biking to class today...

Growing up with nicknames like Casper, Snow White, and just "pale", applying sunscreen is now actually an involuntary muscle contraction. As I rubbed in my Neutrogena face sunscreen (SPF 50+) this morning, I rather clumsily got some in my eye. The ensuing BURN got me thinking (and crying) - what is in this stuff?

Naturally, I took to the interwebs, and ended up at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website's 2012 Sunscreen Guide and turns out my daily sunscreen is............ 

While I didn't delve deep into the science of this score, I did learn it exceeds the 0-2 "safe range" and that there are what EWG considers "healthier" options out there (lower scores = better performance).

Now here's the In Case You Missed It Monday Montage of recent skincare and sustainability stuff from around the interwebs:

  • As I referred to above, the EWG SkinDeep 2012 Sunscreen Guide provides consumers with a "Hall of Shame" that profiles some of the sunscreen industry's worst offenders. Tsk, tsk. 
  • The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in Paris next month will for the first time cover the impact of technology on the cosmetics industry. Read more hereI wish I was going to this...
It's funny how one Google query can turn into a multiple-hour internet exploration, isn't it?