Typically, October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We at Beautycounter like to refer to it as ‘Prevention’ month, because we believe we can play an active role in our own health by making a few changes to our everyday routines.
Did you know that around 85% of breast cancers are not linked to family history? This means that there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to environmental factors linked to the disease. With this encouraging fact in mind, we’ve teamed up with an organization spreading the word about prevention: Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP).
Meet our partners in breast cancer prevention
Every October, we support the great work of BCPP—the leading science-based advocacy organization focused on the prevention of breast cancer—to help spread the word about the importance of eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals. BCPP’s main area of focus is reducing exposure to chemicals potentially linked to cancer, including those that may be found in beauty products. The organization takes a science-based approach to advocacy—publishing research papers, fighting for legislative reform, and teaching the public about breast cancer’s avoidable causes. In 2020, Beautycounter and BCPP led efforts to pass two major clean beauty laws in California to protect public health.
Stay informed and educate others
The more you know, the more you can do to prevent exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. That’s why we asked BCPP to share some easy prevention tips to implement in your own life—and to share with others.
Around the house:
- Choose safer cleaning products.
Conventional cleaning products take away dirt but may leave behind harmful chemicals. Try cleaner brands like Seventh Generation (a fellow B Corp). Vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce the chance of sending chemicals into the air—and into your lungs.
- If you don’t know what’s in something, don’t use it.
Labeling loopholes allow companies to avoid disclosing ingredients on cleaning product labels. Only buy and use cleaning products which disclose all ingredients on the product label to avoid possible exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Go DIY when you can.
Use baking soda to neutralize odors and soak up dampness, and vinegar to clean and deodorize. Add a cup of vinegar to your laundry to brighten up whites, remove odors, and lift tougher grime off fabrics. Add a few drops of your favorite citrus juice (think lemons and oranges) or essential oils (try eucalyptus) to a vinegar-based cleaning spray to fill your home with a fresh scent.
In the Kitchen:
- Kick the can.
Many canned food companies continue to use BPA (or bisphenols), an estrogenic chemical linked to breast cancer, to line their metal cans. Research shows that BPA migrates from the can lining into our food and then into our bodies. Choose fresh, frozen, or dried, but keep that can opener away.
- Skip the plastic.
Plastics can leach harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates into your food and beverages—and then into you. Use glass and stainless-steel food storage containers and water bottles. Never microwave plastic—even “microwave-safe” plastic can leach chemicals into food when heated.
- Ditch Teflon pots and pans.
Traditional nonstick pans can be coated in toxic chemicals. While they keep food and stains from sticking, they also stick around in the body for a very long time and may be linked to cancer. Make the switch to stainless steel or cast iron
In the Bathroom:
- Knowledge is power.
Double-check ingredient labels to learn exactly what’s inside your personal-care products. Companies may use potentially harmful ingredients in your everyday products. Check out BCPP’s Glossary of Exposures.
- Be in the know.
Don’t be fooled by short and incomplete ingredient lists, or natural and organic claims. Look for products that disclose all ingredients on the product label to avoid possible exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
- Avoid fragrance.
The word “fragrance” can refer to a cocktail of ingredients that masks countless potential carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals, and can be found in nearly half of all personal care personal care products. Avoid purchasing and using products with the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the label. Be especially vigilant with children’s products.
- Use online tools and look for official seals.
Ditch any questionable products in your daily routine and replace them with safer beauty products. Apps and websites like EWG’s Skin Deep will rate your personal care products for safety and toxicity, and MADE SAFE® plus EWG Verified are making it easier to find safer products by labeling them with a special seal. Visit often and stay up-to-date.
And, as always, remember to choose better beauty—clean living starts skin-deep.