Triclosan is a toxic chemical.
So toxic that, last year, the FDA finally banned it from hand soap. The evidence was too glaring to deny: triclosan is linked to liver toxicity, thyroid disruption, and muscle disfunction (including the heart muscle). Yikes.
But before we applaud the FDA, take note: triclosan is still legal in almost every other personal care product, including toothpaste and, yes, even toothbrushes.
And just because you rinse your mouth out after you brush doesn’t mean you’re safe from harm: triclosan makes its way into the bloodstream. Children who were tested a day after brushing their teeth were found to have 2.5 times as much triclosan in them than children who didn’t.
That’s right, 24 hours later and it’s still in our bodies. Mindless choices by toothpaste manufacturers are polluting our wellness. We deserve respect and accountability.
It’s not just our bodies that deserve respect, but aren’t getting it. Our insistence on using this toxic antimicrobial is harming our earth, building up in our water supply and the water that’s sprayed over farmland. Yes, our food’s getting an extra dose of toxic triclosan, too.
In fact, in the environment, triclosan can transform into other carcinogenic chemicals such as dioxins and chloroform.
Given the new FDA ban in hand soap, several companies have chosen to remove triclosan from their toothpastes (thank god! one step in the right direction), but Colgate’s still (unconscionably) holding out.
This is besides the fact that Colgate (and most other grocery store toothpastes) continue to choose ingredients like toxic sulfates, artificial colors, fluoride, and a whole host of other questionable—and often unpronounceable—ingredients. (What the f*ck is FD&C blue no.1?)
Remember, this is a choice: manufacturers are willfully including ingredients that don’t celebrate and respect your body.
But the power is not in their hands, but ours. For the sake of your wellbeing, if you’re still using a toothpaste with a long list of fake + harmful ingredients, it’s time to break up with it up. You deserve to choose self-care products that honor your health + care about our earth. Our longevity demands it.
My Tea Tree & Clay Toothpowder is handmade with remineralizing clays + powders from the earth and minty, organic plant oils. Brushing with it is a deeply rooting experience that will leave your mouth the healthiest you’ve ever experienced.
*After using this toothpowder for a year, I went to a new dentist who told me, “I’ve been in practice for 20 years and you have the healthiest mouth I’ve ever met.”
There are some oil wars going on out there—face oil, that is. Some skincare brands (not mentioning names) are marking their territory, saying “my oil is better than yours.”
Instead of knocking each other down, trying to one-up each other, we should be celebrating: growing access to safe self-care products means greater awareness, greater health, and a cleaner, more sustainable planet.
In this case, more competition is not a downer.
After all, we’re all rooting for the same thing (right?): wellbeing, stretching from our heads to our toes and down into the soil.
I’m in this fight (to save our health + our planet) because it matters. Because the products we use on our skin and the food we eat shouldn’t be poisoning us. Because being mindful of the legacy we leave to future generations is not only good sense, but morally unequivocal.
Do I want you to buy my oil? Of course.
Do I think it’s the best? It’s pretty damn good.
But am I going to (even humorously) start hash tagging #oilwars? Hell no. There are real oil wars going on, and the language we use (even to sell skincare products) matters.
If you haven't read the fine print on your self-care products, you should. It might surprise you to know that the beauty industry is largely unregulated, and what's lurking beneath the pretty packaging may be far less enticing. Here are 3 key reasons why you should pack your reading glasses the next time you're shopping for shampoo.
It’s not just the organs on the inside that matter. More than 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body—and ALL of it goes right into your bloodstream. If your cosmetics come with a side of contaminants like propylene glycol or diethanolamine (that’s a mouthful), you better count on them winding up in your blood. Not pretty.
For the sake of your health, feed your skin well.
“Dirty” beauty products add up. Just think about it: on a daily basis, we don't just use one product. There's shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash, hand soap, toothpaste, lipstick—and I’m just getting started. The average woman uses 12 personal care products a day, totaling about 168 unique ingredients. If these products aren’t “clean,” the damage adds up quickly.
In fact, over 10,000 chemicals are used in cosmetic products. But only about 10% of those chemicals have been tested. And if you’re living in the US, your prospects are even worse. The United States has banned or restricted only 11 cosmetic ingredients, while Europe has banned over 1,500. That’s an astounding, unregulated toxic load for our bodies to bear.
What happens when we rinse our hair in the shower, sending our shampoo down the drain? When you apply a beauty product to your body, it doesn’t stop with you: your actions have wide-reaching effects. The toxins in our skincare + cosmetic products wind up in our water supplies, our soil, our air—everywhere—and they’re polluting our planet and the creatures that live, swim, and fly upon it. For the sake of humanity + all future life, our earth deserves our compassion.
So what can you do?
- Read ingredient labels. If you can’t pronounce it, ditch it. There’s a safer beauty product calling your name—and your health + our planet demand that you choose it.
- Vote with your dollar. If we support only products that are good for our bodies and the earth, companies will have to change their behavior. Your vote is more powerful than you think.
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and your congresspeople. And be sure to head over to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and take action.
Grapefruits are 91% water, making them one of the most hydrating fruits on earth. And, with a healthy dose of electrolytes in them, grapefruits not only hydrate you, but help you stay hydrated.
Yes, grapefruits are a total beauty food.
Rich in both water and fiber, grapefruits are cleansers, encouraging healthy digestion and perking up a sluggish gut.
When our digestion slows because we’re not fueling it right (think: too many processed foods, “empty” calories, not enough water, vegetables, and whole grains to keep things moving), our bodies become storehouses for fermenting, undigested food particles—which means toxins. Toxins can wreak havoc not only on our digestion, but our skin, causing breakouts, redness, itchiness, and all sorts of inflammation.
And the breakouts on our skin are only symptoms of the underlying inflammation in our bodies. If we want to thrive, we’ve got to choose more fruit + vegetable powerhouses.
Grapefruits help sweep these toxins out of our system, leaving behind a gorgeous glow, healthy hair, and boosted immunity.
In fact, a single grapefruit has quite the nutritional resume, boasting more than 100% of our daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is a beautifier, helping to produce collagen for healthy skin and hair, as well as for connective tissues, bones, and wound healing.
A potent antioxidant, vitamin C also protects our bodies from free-radical damage caused by the sun and pollution, both in our food and our environment.
Ready to harness this wellness knowledge + take action?
Blend up this smoothie below and drink to your health!
Grapefruit Beauty Smoothie
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup (or more) tightly packed kale
3-4 ice cubes
1/2 - 1 cup water
Optional: 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
We’ve got our hands on cash register receipts all the time—they’re in our wallets, our bags, our cars, and our pockets.
The problem is what’s all over them: BPA.
BPA (or bisphenol A) is a chemical that’s used as a heat-activator for receipt paper ink—and it’s toxic.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen, meaning, when it gets into your blood, it binds to your cells’ estrogen receptor sites, disrupting normal hormone functioning. According to scientific researcher Frederick vom Saal, “BPA has been proven to cause reproductive defects in fetuses, infants, children, and adults as well as cancer, metabolic, and immune problems in rodents.”
That’s right. BPA is a known carcinogen.
In fact, scientific studies have shown that BPA has caused normal, healthy cells to act like cancer cells, “growing invasively when they’re not supposed to.”
In other words, BPA has the power to turn on genes known as oncogenes, which promote tumor cell growth, and to turn off the genes that suppress, or stop, tumor cell replication.
And the news keeps getting worse. BPA doesn’t remain confined to the receipt paper; it effortlessly glides off the paper and onto our hands—and, if we’ve learned anything in developing a skincare line here at ASHLEY ASTI, it’s that what goes on our skin is easily and quickly absorbed into our bloodstream.
According to the EPA, 94% of receipt paper contains BPA. And, according to vom Saal’s study, it doesn’t take much for those receipts to contaminate our bodies: our blood levels of BPA literally spike after simply handling a cash register receipt.
One touch and BPA is in our bloodstream.
Despite the hard science, the FDA is continuing to move at a sloth-like pace when it comes to acting on this danger.
Renee Sharp, director of the Environmental Working Group’s California office said, “What we’ve seen with the FDA’s handling of BPA is that it’s had its head in the sand. If you look at its assessments, what you see is that it has consistently ignored independent science and consistently used outdated methods.”
So what’s a consumer to do? As often as possible, just say no.
Opt out of taking that toxic receipt home with you along with your bundle of groceries or, when you can, choose an email receipt, instead.
The cancer rate in America is 1 out of 2.5 people. We’ve got to start making some changes.
In 2017, it’s expected that over 252,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
That’s 1 in 8 women.
About 2,500 men in the United States will receive the same diagnosis.
While there may be no absolutes in determining whether someone will develop breast cancer, the best option is to focus on prevention.
This means clean living + detoxification.
So, today, I'm talking breasts—and how to detoxify them to prevent cancer:
*Shop the Warrioress Breast Oil here.
7 more tips for preventing breast cancer:
- Get enough fiber. Fiber acts like a magnet, binding to excess estrogen and sweeping it out of the body.
- Choose natural skincare products. Conventional skincare products are brimming with estrogen-mimickers like parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, and artificial fragrances + perfumes. To decrease your risk, choose natural, organic products made with only real, pronounceable, healthy ingredients that won’t disrupt your hormone levels.
- Avoid plastics. Plastics contain chemicals that are hormone disruptors and estrogen-mimickers, which are linked to cancer. Have you noticed how much plastic you, your food, and your water come in contact with each day? Remember to choose foods + self-care products not packaged in plastic, and to store leftovers in glass containers + mason jars, not plastic.
- Cleanse. Eat these 30 cleansing foods on a regular basis. Not only will they detox your body of cancer-causing toxins, but they’ll enhance your beauty.
- Dry skin brush. All it takes is a few minutes a day to brush your way to a stimulated lymphatic system and oh-so-smooth skin. Find everything you need to know about dry skin brushing here.
- Switch your deodorant. Aluminum + parabens in anti-perspirants are linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Go au natural (and toxin-free) by trying out these alternatives.
- Exercise. Research suggests that getting regular exercise like walking + yoga may give you life-long protection against breast cancer.
Because it's all about a smooth ride.
Tomorrow is a full moon in the watery sign of Scorpio. Despite its watery nature, it carries with it the fiery and volcanic potential for deep transformation. It is a time to send your wishes, prayers, and most soulful needs into the cosmos and to remember that you are not alone: the power of the Universe resides within you.
This full moon reminds you to ground and spiritually expand, extending your consciousness in both directions. It is a time to let go and embrace your own metamorphosis—to turn in upon yourself in order to grow your personal power.
Essential oils to guide you in riding the wave and the fire of this full moon:
(the Signature oil of Scorpio; grounds you; connects you to Scorpio’s sensual energy +
desire; encourages spiritual expansion)
(connects you to the divine, helping you send love and prayers to the cosmos; stimulates an
opening of your intuition and higher levels of consciousness)
(supports your body + spirit in clearing past trauma and dispelling negative energies;
(balances you as you ride the wave of change; connects you to self-compassion and inner harmony)
(bold and sensual, it builds in you inner power)
(opens your channel to consciousness; deepens your intuition)
Essential oils are the life force of a plant, their potency carried in tiny sacs in the plant, like a cocoon, until they are ready to burst and release. They are dynamic, vital, and creative, birthing the energy of balance and harmony in the earth and in our bodies, minds, and spirits.
Essential oils are 70 times more powerful than the plants they come from.
We must treat them with respect for they are magic and they do not belong to us. We are their stewards and disciples, as it is they who are the teachers, offering their powers of metamorphosis only to those who are quiet enough to listen to nature’s messages.
What I love about yoga is each practice is a microcosm for life. Each time I show up on my mat, it is a journey.
So often, I feel like I am bare on my yoga mat—the ideas I came in with and my ideas about my body often break down in the midst of practice. I find myself vulnerable, present, climbing mountains as I move my body, a body which rides my breath.
You cannot hide from yourself in yoga: between the breaths is a space of pure emptiness—of a deep and soulful pause that draws us into communion with the universe. Because there is nothing else in that space but universal energy—cosmic star dust.
We cannot control what will arise in us in yoga class; that is what is most scary and, yet, most exhilarating. Because yoga carries us—inspires us—into the present moment, we stand on our mats in rare form, unguarded. As we get deeper into our practice and begin to allow more—to sink into our practice—all else within us drops away into silence, and histories once held tightly in our bodies break loose, rising to the surface of our conscious minds.
When we are that open, we cannot shove these rising histories back down—we must see them, greet them, look them in the eye. To look away is to deny the experience of yoga, of svadhyaya, self-study.
In these moments when histories emerge, it feels not like we are on our yoga mats, but that we are thrust into an arena, the main stage of our journeys. And, sometimes, it can feel like an epic battleground. “Do I have the fortitude to take this on?” I think, as something uncomfortable rises in me. Sometimes, I feel like it takes all my attention—sweating, twisting, moving, fiercely holding my ground and rooting down into the floor beneath my feet—just to battle through, to dig deep and find the courage and strength to withstand the emotional and physical calisthenics. I ebb and flow through my practice, rising to mountaintops and crawling through valleys.
Finding ease amidst uncomfortability and using your breath to expand into it instead of tightening up is the essence of yoga, and it is not easy. But it is thrilling.
What else can you do in an hour and 15 minutes that allows you to practice setting sail, going out on the undulating sea—one moment, quiet. The next—a rock, a heave, a soar. How else can you so safely come so close to yourself, so in tune, that you can journey and, physically and spiritually, hold the space for yourself to transform?
Because that’s what’s so magnetic about it: to practice yoga is to open yourself to metamorphosis, to literally use your own body and breath and being as fuel to transform. Yoga is existential alchemy.
I go back to my mat over and over again because, each time, the journey is unexpected. Because I delight in the surprise, especially the surprises that ask everything of me, the ones that carry themselves in me for days and weeks and years afterwards.
* * *
Someone asked me recently what my favorite word was. “Revelation,” I said, before adding, “and metamorphosis.”