Cambrian: Opinion

I’ve got xylene under my skin (not)

I’ve long been labeled an “Earth Mama”, which quite frankly I have no qualms with whatsoever. Because I never wear makeup, because I wear colorful clothes or drive art cars? Home births. I don’t know. I keep trying to reach MY standard of genuine Earth Mama daily.

According to (for some amusing yet insightful information) “earth mama: a female who embodies the ‘yin’ energy. She is nurturing, kind, gentle, loving and soulful — often going with a more natural earthy look rather than a glam one. Also can describe a hippie chick but earth mamas are not necessarily hippies.” I chuckled. Check out “images” on Google — even funnier.

But to the point, some of you may recall last fall I declared my abstinence from commercial shampoos. I am true to that quest and for the most part am quite content. It doesn’t look any worse than it ever has. I’ve made our own deodorant and tooth powder, my own lotions and creams. I do incorporate unrefined Black African Soap (that’s its color); fair trade, only cooked shea butter.

I’ve been juicing, avoiding processed consumables, mainly white things like flower and sugar — and most dairy. It’s been a little of a challenge but has opened up a whole new territory for exploring, mostly successfully. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Kriss Carr, author of the book, “Crazy, Sexy Cancer,” as well as cookbooks and a blog, embraces all this in an amusing and easy-to-swallow fashion. That’s what got me going this week.

Back to skin. According to the Environmental Working Group (bookmark them on your computer!), “The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily. Many cosmetic chemicals are designed to penetrate into the skin’s inner layers, and they do. Consequently, some common cosmetic ingredients turn up in people’s bodies. Among them: industrial plasticizers called phthalates; parabens, which are preservatives; and persistent fragrance components like musk xylene” (

Here’s my question to you: Do you know how many substances you are putting onto your skin (your largest organ, I may remind you) let alone into it? Cancers, auto-immune disease, all manner of disorders and unhealthiness — obviously stress plays a HUGE factor in these, but what else can you do to minimalize self-inflicted impact?

I know all my girly-girl friends out there could not POSSIBLY imagine going without mascara or lipstick even one day a week. But, I challenge you to do so. Less stress within makes for a deeper glow without! Embrace yourself, every inch and pimple and dimple! I’m talking not even “natural” cosmetics! I dare you.

And hair? How many bottles of shampoo, conditioner, treatments of one kind or another do you have stacked in your shower and bathroom cupboards? Can you pronounce even a third of the ingredients? Do you know what they are for?

Call me an Earth Mama, but all my life I have refused to fall prey to the fashion whims of the masses. I’m happy and healthy! Do yourself and your family (especially kids!) a favor and read your labels. Think before you apply anything to your body!