Why I Went Chemical Free
About seven months ago I decided to rid my life of toxic chemicals in pursuit of healing myself of hormonal imbalances such as ovarian cysts, chronic fatigue, and anxiety. Now let me tell you, I haven’t regretted it for a second. But I will be the first to admit it was far more difficult than expected to rid my life of all of my Naked Palettes, Better Than Sex mascara, and more simple things like my beloved Joico shampoo and conditioner regimen. But with some huge changes, I have now been seven months without any cysts, lots of energy, and astronomically low anxiety (just ask my sisters).
Now you may be asking, “why should I go chemical free?” That, my friend, is an excellent question. The products that we know and love contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These chemicals often act as estrogen and cause our bodies to either over produce or under produce estrogen in both men and women. However, moving forward I will only be speaking on how endocrine disruptors effect women (because I am, you know, a woman). My best friend and I were working out one day and, naturally, I was complaining about how I could not lose weight and I still struggled with cystic ovaries. She mentioned she had been reading WomanCode by Alissa Vitti. The book details her cure of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, caused by polycystic cysts on ovaries often accompanied with the inability to process insulin correctly. However, I have follicular cysts instead of polycystic cysts.
I read the book and never looked back. It was a nice thought to start small, but I ditched the deodorant that had harmful aluminum, the soap that had sodium laurel sulfate, and toothpaste that had a whole cocktail of harmful chemicals. Then I moved on immediately to makeup, ridding my life of my most cherished products. Often, I think I went a little too far too fast but, hey, it is what it is. I found out very quickly that all natural products are very expensive but honestly, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I have never felt better in my life.
When I first had issues with cysts, I was told by a team of doctors that birth control would be the only thing that would help me with my condition. I found my first cyst in the eighth grade and was in the ER for fear of appendicitis (stick around and I’ll tell a super fun story about how my sisters thought I was faking appendicitis until I was wheeled back to surgery). After several ER visits and countless doctor’s appointments, I went on birth control when I was barely 15 years old. I remember lamenting over the decision (that ultimately was my parents’) but thinking “oh wow, a period that will self-regulate for the rest of my life!!!!” But magic always comes with a price. Birth control wreaked havoc on my body and my mind. I began to experience heightened anxiety and gained a ton of weight I could never lose. I found myself always in a tizzy but somehow always at ease. It was like having a perfect dream but having the looming fear that something bad is going to happen. I continued to get cysts after I went to college. I gave myself a million explanations about why I still had them but none of them were true or gave me the comfort I so desperately needed. My right ovary struggled the most with cysts, so I decided if I ever had my appendix out then I would quit birth control because I knew the pain would not be from appendicitis. And so, when my appendix was removed, I went off birth control and let me just tell you, going off birth control is a very interesting roller and a story for another day. There have been times where I have missed the regulation that birth control put on my body but in the long run I have been so much better off without it.
It was scary to jump out of the life I always knew and found somewhat safe. But after learning about all of the garbage that are in our everyday products, I never want to go back. Tampons are made out of the cotton that is sprayed with the most pesticides. Most beauty products contain known carcinogens. But consumerism in America has still perpetuated the need for toxic products. It is so important that we understand that we are worth more than putting paint that is filled with chemicals on our faces. It is so important that we teach each other that we can do better and there are safer alternatives.
So, what are you going to do to put an end to harmful chemicals in our everyday products? If you’re already using non-toxic products, I’d love to hear some of your faves!