A few weeks ago I came across this article where Johnson & Johnson awarded a woman’s family $72 Million dollars due to the many years of using the company’s baby powder which contributed to her ovarian cancer and death. Turns out Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder (among many powders) contains Talc, a known carcinogen.
And that stuff is for babies?
I’ve also read a few articles where hundreds of lipsticks that were tested for heavy metals were found to contain high levels of lead, a neuro toxin and aluminum among other questionable chemicals.
So…all these toxins.…who’s regulating and who’s benefiting?
Beauty is a billion dollar industry with sophisticated marketing techniques, big budgets and appealing influencers pitching their products via every social medium platform imaginable, targeting a wide range of age groups and demographics virtually every second.
The FDA, which regulates the cosmetics industry in the United States, has very ineffective laws to make companies responsible & ethical for the health concerns the products they produce raise. The laws are too lax where companies do not have to fully disclose ingredients with the FDA, leaving it up to the general public to really find out what’s in the products we use.
“To date, the EU has banned 1,100 chemicals in cosmetics; the Food and Drug Administration in America has banned only ten.”-Divine Caroline
Potential Health Hazards Associated
with Feminine Care Products
According to ChemFatale, a study done by Women’s Voice’s of the Earth, their research found an alarming number of chemicals and toxins in our everyday Vaginal Care products.
- Tampons: Hazardous ingredients may include dioxins and furans (from the chlorine bleaching process), pesticide residues and unknown fragrance chemicals. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and allergic rash.
- Pads: Like Tampons contain GMO cotton in addition to chlorine which gives it it’s clean and white look of pads and tampons, pesticides, artificial fragrances.
- Feminine Wipes: These contain a number of toxins especially parabens which are essential to preserve the moist wipes to avoid fungus. Parabens have been heavily suspected with cancer, especially breast cancer where paraben traces have been found. These wipes also contain many chemically based “Fragrances” which causes, allergic rash, endocrine disruption & cancer.
- Feminine Wash: Hazardous ingredients typically include stripping soaps that disrupts the vaginal PH balance essential for good bacterial growth. These also contain parabens, synthetic colorants that contributes to vaginal dryness, rashes among many infections.
- Douche: Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals and the spermicide Octoxynol-9. Studies link douche use to bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, low-birth weight, preterm birth, HIV transmission, sexually transmitted diseases, ectopic pregnancy, chronic yeast infections, and infertility.
- Feminine deodorant (sprays , powders and suppositories): Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, and Benzethonium Chloride. Exposure concerns include reproductive harm, endocrine disruption and allergic rash.
- Feminine anti-itch creams: Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, Methylisothiazolinone and an active ingredient, benzocaine, a mild anesthetic. Exposure concerns include endocrine disruption, allergic rash, and unresolved.
The Vagina is Self Cleaning
The vagina does not have to be complex when you break it down into 2 parts. Although it may be more detailed than what I describe below, for the sake of understanding how to clean your vagina and learn of its self sufficient functions and how to properly maintain a healthy balance read below.
- Vulva: The external opening (inner and outer “lips”), pubic hairs, also includes the clitoris and opening into the vagina.
- Vagina: The inner part of the birth canal where good bacteria & bad bacteria breeds, we experience menstruation, sex, & childbirth.
The vagina is at its healthiest when the appropriate PH balance is maintained. This prevents bad bacteria & yeast from growing which is what breeds common infections & irritations many women experience. Proper balance of the vagina also factors in diet & lifestyle such as frequent sexual intercourse, wearing tight pants (which constricts blood flow & desensitizes nerve endings), excess moisture and many other factors such as hormonal etc.
The reason why its very important to understand the type of chemicals we expose our vagina to is because the vaginal walls (like our skin) is highly absorbent, allowing toxins direct access into your bloodstream — be it pesticide residue or a GMO protein.
Basic maintenance however does not require you be a Gynecologist. Using natural and non- stripping soaps can prevent imbalances & recurring infections.
Brand Loyalty & Marketing
Growing up in predominately mixed neighborhoods in NYC, especially if you’re black and/or Latina then you know what Lemisol is. Using Lemisol sort of became a rite of passage into womanhood, right after your quincianera, or 15th birthday. Every woman in my family uses it and if you’re from the “hood” you’ve come across Lemisol at some point.
What is it about this cheesy logo (a green bottle with a woman happily laying on a waterfall) that is used generation after generation of women? And why every time I go into a bodega or local pharmacy for “feminine care” it seems I have no other options but this green bottle?
Brand loyalty is a marketing term a lot of companies bank on and the principle in which many thrive from generation after generation. If your grandmother and mother and many women around you have used a particular product without question you’re more than likely to follow suit without question as well.
Basically big companies can practically change formulations, raise prices on their products and not worry for any financial repercussion because 1. people won’t question the loyalty 2. People simple don’t research.
A Safer Alternative: The Honey Pot
What is it: All natural, organic, vegan plant based foaming vaginal wash for sensitive skin.
• Organic • Vegan • All Natural • Plant Based •
- Organic Lavender Water
- Organic Non-GMO Coconut Oil
- Grape fruit seed Extract
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Marshmallow Root
- Organic Lavender Essential Oil
- Organic Sandalwood Essential Oil
- Organic Rose Essential Oil
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
Who has it: You can visit their website here and also check your local Whole Foods stores that may carry the Honey Pot. I paid $13.99 + shipping and they also have a cool subscription service where you can get an additional 15% off if you subscribe to have it delivered every 30 days.
When/Why: I purchased this a few weeks ago & have been really liking this wash because it’s very light & refreshing. I use 3 pumps every morning and every night while I shower. I picked the sensitive skin formula to be sure I did not have any reactions with the change and thankfully have not had any issues.
The scent is very light and the foam produces a lot of lather. Despite the listed oils in the ingredients, this is in no way greasy. In fact, I notice how silky smooth it feels between my legs after showering, indicating its moisturizing abilities.
I also purchased their no bleach, toxic free pantyliner which you can hear about on the channel below.