When I was 21 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I will never forget that awful phone call from her telling me not to worry – that she was having surgery the next day. How could I not worry? I was in London at the time and was on my way to work. I told the hotel I worked in that I needed two weeks off and got on the next flight home.
The cancer they said was hormone related. Caused from an overproduction of Oestrogen. Luckily mum had the surgery to remove the lumps and a few lymph nodes, radiation and chemotherapy and was given the all clear. After a few years of regular check ups, she is now in ‘remission’. She is still on an anti-cancer medication that she takes daily and I am constantly reminded of regularly feeling my breasts for lumps and have regular ultrasounds. Anyone who has experienced cancer within their family knows that its a shock that puts it at the forefront of your mind 24/7.
Years passed and I met a wonderful man. We decided to get married and wanted to start a family straight away. I had been having sharp pains on one side and ended up with a referral to a specialist. After exploratory surgery, we were told that I had a blocked fallopian tube, endometriosis and an ovarian cyst. We were told that considering my age, if we didn’t fall pregnant within 4 months, we should consider IVF. 4 months later we weren’t pregnant and the road of IVF began. While going through treatment, I was told I also had polycistic ovarian syndrome – adding to the long list of reasons falling pregnant would be difficult.
‘Its all because of plastic bottles’ our IVF specialist told us. ‘What?’, ‘Plastic bottles contain BPA. This chemical leaches into the water from the plastic bottles and causes hormone disruption. Your typical PCO patient is the one who is constantly at the gym sucking water from plastic bottle.’
This was the first time we’d heard of this but it wouldn’t be the last. Coming from a science background having studied Dentistry and ending my study at University with a Bachelor in Oral Health Therapy. I’ve learnt to be objective, to look at the science and the studies
This was early 2010 and BPA had only just been banned from babies bottles and plasticwear in Australia. I was vigilant in removing it from our home.
We were lucky to fall pregnant and found a great Obstetrician. He furthered this discussion about plastics. ‘Never, ever, ever heat anything in the microwave with plastic wrap on it! I’ve banned plastic wrap from the house – we don’t even wrap sandwiches in it! All the talk at our study groups and conferences now are about the dangers of hormone disrupting chemicals in plastics!’
We took all this on board and made sure that every plastic item we bought declared itself to be BPA free, we limited the use of plastic wraps in the house, we stopped buying water in plastic bottles, we stopped microwaving using plastic containers and stopped cooking with plastic utensils.
We had our beautiful daughter and surprisingly found out we were pregnant when she was 6 months old. No IVF.. We were shocked but overjoyed! Now with one child and one on the way, my husband and I both became more interested in creating a healthy lifestyle. We had always led active lives but we became more interested in what we were eating and what we were feeding the kids. We looked at organic, paleo and sugar free diets and have really grown and changed for the better.
Around this time, I had a friend who was telling me about a fancy event she was going to and how she was getting her make up done by a local lady who only used vegan and organic makeup. I had never really thought about what I was putting on my face and skin before – apart from does it smell nice and is it going to make me feel 10 years younger. It just all of a sudden clicked. My skin is a sponge! If I am concerned about what I am eating and what it is doing to my body then whatever I am putting on my skin is being absorbed and surely that is affecting my body too!
I was shocked to discover that these hormone disrupting chemicals my doctors had been telling me about were not only in plastics but in our skincare products as well.
To make matters even worse, not only is your skin a sponge but whatever it absorbs goes straight into your bloodstream. Unlike what you eat which has the filtering mechanisms of the liver and kidneys to protect it.
But how can this be? We live in Australia and we have pretty strict guidelines for many industries and many aspects of life to protect us. Surely the ingredients in these products is being monitored by someone in the government?
That led me on a really interesting path of discovery and led me to launch Earth & Skin.
We want to engage, educate and empower all of you to make informed decisions about your skincare and everyday living for the benefit of your and your family’s health.
Everyday we speak to people who have been touched by cancer, hormone issues, allergies and skin disorders. Everyday we can help these people who have previously been unable to enjoy a relaxing treatment without suffering afterwards.
We love what we do at Earth and Skin. We are not just a beauty spa, but a centre for education, awareness and relaxation.
We are dedicated to bring you luxurious treatments and products with an holistic view of no harm to others, animals or the environment.