As kids we depend on what mom tells us to do, to protect us from harm. During our vacations at the beach in the 70's and 80's, my mom, like million others, would apply sunscreen and sunblock from head to toe. Coppertone was hers and my favorite sunscreen. Little did she know about all the chemicals in those "apparently" safe products we all grew up with.
As I grew older, protection in the form of sunscreens and sunblocks were always kept in my bag when heading for the beach or the pool, especially during swimming practice. I didn't tan during the high peak hours of the day and used common sense. 25+ years ago, I stopped tanning completely.
Fast forward 25+ years later and about a year ago I noticed something growing in my face, right below my right eye. Busy life and a myriad of other reasons -- mom with Alzheimer, dad with inoperable brain tumor, later passing away this past December 1st, plus brother in law passing this March -- kept me away from the doctor's office until not too long ago.
Today, October 6, 2011, just a few minutes ago, I received a little green paper from my doctor's office where it says, I have skin cancer... I wish my doctor would have been more "humane" and gave me a call, or put the little postcard in an envelope instead of letting my mailman get the news about my cancer before I did. Although anyone would feel devastated, I'm not, I'm really mad. Mad, because for all the good reasons I started my own organic, pollutant free skin care line, yet I got to it too late to save my own skin.
If you haven't read the reports about harmful chemicals in sunscreens and sunblocks launched by the Environmental Working Group, you have to. There are carcinogens and pollutants in hundreds of the big name brands of sunscreens you must know about. So if the sun exposure won't hurt you, those harmful sunscreens will.
I don't believe the sun exposure I had as a kid ago was the cause for my skin cancer of today, otherwise my entire generation would suffer from skin cancer, and any doctor giving me that excuse would really have to sweat a scientific explanation for it, and it better be a good one. I'm 100% certain all the chemicals I've been exposed to, in the form of makeup, anti-wrinkle creams, sunscreens, sunblocks and lotions filled with artificial fragrances and everything else, are the ones to blame.
As a fashion model back in the day I would wear loads of makeup. If they had a known label, I would rub it on without hesitation and without reading the label, "hey! it's a famous brand and they have ads on tv and magazines, so they know what they're doing, plus it smells so good!" sounds familiar?... Who am I kidding, I would wear the unknown brand just because the colors looked amazing! Many times I was too exhausted to take the makeup off and would even sleep with it.
Today, I'm paying the prize like many millions around the world. Even people who have never tanned in their entire lives, today are suffering from some form of skin cancer, an listening to the lame excuse given by every single dermatologist in this planet "the sun exposure is to blame", just because it's easier than blaming the big irresponsible cosmetic brands.
The Cosmetics Industry not regulated in the US as it should. Any unscrupulous cosmetic brand whose only purpose of existence is money can add whatever they want in their race to prevent aging and make you beautiful. Mercury, lead, petrochemicals, artificial anything, sulfates, phthalates, and lets not forget the beautiful Chromium Oxide Green used so much to make those gorgeous green tones in Mineral Makeup, which is a natural carcinogen, are added freely on everything from makeup to skin care to even hair care and baby products and we're rubbing them on like there is no tomorrow.
As someone in the industry and trying to do my part to change things, I get some of the most horrific news of ingredients been used in all kinds of cosmetics which many moms use on their own little daughters. One of the most notorious cases is the Brazilian Blowout which has finally gotten the attention of the FDA. I'm horrified by all this and the lack of care and responsibility cosmetic brands show for our health, and the health of our entire eco-system. I'm thankful I'm contributing to make a difference and providing an alternative with my products, but I regret I got to it too late for me.
Just because is late for me, doesn't mean is going to be late for you...
If you have been reading I hope I got to you and please pass it on. I urge you to read the labels of each and every lipstick, eye shadow and cream you use. Check the ingredients and educate yourself, and if you have to, toss that make up out and find an honest brand that first and foremost won't hide their ingredients and second that uses all natural safe ingredients in the making of their products. If you're going for Mineral Makeup avoid the green tones or anything contain Chromium Oxide Green as this is a natural carcinogen.
I'll fight this cancer and I know I'm going to be ok, I'm a fighter after all, you just don't have to go through this. Read the labels.