Since the recent cancer diagnosis of yet another family member (who never smoked nor drank alcohol), I’ve been digging deeper into the causes of cancer.  It just doesn’t make sense that a few decades ago, one in twenty people got cancer; TODAY, one in TWO men and one in THREE women!  I may just be one little lady, but I have a huge heart and a big mouth, so I’m on a mission!

Here are four myths I once believed and honest answers, resources and calls-to-action.


No point in growing our own veggies when I was (unknowingly) slathering my children with poisonous products labeled ‘all natural!’

Myth #1 My beauty and skin care products are safe because I only buy premium products. 

I’ve been a fan of many Origins products such as their ‘A Perfect World for Eyes Firming Moisture Treatment.’  The company touts its ‘plant to formula’ process and I naturally—no pun intended, assumed all products were safe.  I was shocked after performing a simple search in the EWG database to learn that this eye cream scored a ‘7’ on a ten point scale where 10 is highly hazardous.  After researching all of the products I use, at least half were hazardous.  I’ve used an Estee bronzer for years and was flabbergasted to learn that it contains talcum powder which has been found to cause cancer.  This was a major cause for alarm and propelled my mission.

Myth #2 The US FDA regulates everything I put on my skin so when choosing ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ skin and beauty products for my family, I am protected.

Wrong again! The U.S. regulations that govern its $60 billion cosmetics industry were passed in 1938, and do not provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the power to ask cosmetic companies for safety data or issue recalls of cosmetics found to be unsafe.  Worse yet, the laws have basically remained unchanged since 1938—can you believe that?  Brace yourself:

  • In the U.S., only 11 ingredients are restricted or banned from cosmetics compared to nearly 1,4000 ingredients banned in the European Union (EU)!
  • Beauty and skin care product manufacturers in the U.S. are not required by law to test products nor disclose the results.
  • Many U.S. product labels are misleading as they may state that they are organic, however they may in fact only contain one ingredient that is only one tenth of a percentage point organic. Lies!

Myth #3 What I put in my kids’ mouths is much more important than what I put on their skin.  


I was SO consumed trying to reduce my eco-footprint.  Now I’m consumed learning about a slew of legal toxins in products labeled ‘safe’ and ‘natural,’ all known to cause cancer, infertility, severe allergies & Asthma, ADHD, and other health issues.

I was the mom who pureed organic fruits and veggies when my children were babies.  When the book, Healthy Child, Healthy World, was published, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  I withstood snickering from neighbors when I hung their onesies on a clothesline to decrease my eco-footprint.   I thought that my kids would be just fine because of their mostly healthy diets, until I realized that their skin is their largest organ.  This means that what I put on their skin is just as important as what they eat.  I assumed I was safe using phthalate-free baby wash, but no!  I was duped!

In truth, every squeeze counts.  Small amounts add up.  On top of our families being exposed to toxic chemicals in the air, food and water, most are also exposed when they use the daily average of 12 cosmetics and skin care products.  Even tiny amounts of chemicals used in seemingly safe products have huge impacts.  Endocrine disruptors, which are chemicals like BPA, parabens and phthalates that mimic or block hormones, can have major health impacts because they mirror the function of our real hormones.  Ever wonder why so many couples experience infertility issues?  There’s your answer!  These are the hidden harms.  There are obvious ones too.  Check out the results of an Avengers bath product (I didn’t use) that someone bought for my son!

I speak the truth…these are proven facts!  Scientific studies over the past 40 years have fueled the consensus that exposure to toxic chemicals plays a role in the incidence and prevalence of many diseases and disorders in the US.1

Myth #4 There isn’t much I can do about cancer and other health risks beyond modifying the types of food and skin care I purchase for my family. 

Yes, there is!  Today, 90% of my family’s hair, skin and beauty products are made in the U.S.A. by a company that banned even more ingredients than the EU.  Beautycounter excludes nearly 1,500 ingredients from its products.  Moreover, I have not sacrificed performance for safety.

Am I selling Thirty-One Gifts anymore?  No, January is my last month.  Why?  I want to use the free time I find to have real conversations about the U.S. beauty industry’s smoke and mirrors.  I want to sell products that can ultimately save people’s lives.  I want to make a difference, so I challenge you:

Take five minutes this weekend and enter the names of the products you use most into the EWG databaseGet the facts.  If any of those products have a score of three or higher, let’s have a conversation about alternatives.  Please, please search the database!  You’ll be astonished to learn that the most toxic relationship you’ve ever had was not with your ex-boyfriend; rather it’s with some of your skin care products.

I’m on a mission.  Join me.

Have 14 minutes?  Learn the Ugly Truth About the Beauty Industry.

This post was written in memory of my beloved mother, Judith Roman Scavnicky- R.N., whom cancer stole in August of 2011.  Fortunately, I see her beauty and hear her laughter in my children every single day.

1Sources:; ;