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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution


Anti-Aging Creams Linked to Breast Cancer

Your anti-aging cream may be costing you more than cash. The Breast Cancer Fund’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has issued a statement informing consumers that some wrinkle-fighting creams contain PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), a contaminant that is found in the non-stick cookware agent, Teflon, aka PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). Simply put, PFOA can cause cancer.

PFOA is added to beauty products because it creates a smooth finish. The toxin is also found in foundation, pressed powder, loose powder, bronzer, blush, eye shadow, mascara, shave gel, lip balm, anti-aging lotion, water- and oil-resistant fabrics, stain-resistant carpet, stain-protectant products for furniture, and drinking water. Almost all Americans have PFOA running through their veins, putting them at risk for numerous health problems.

happy older woman with radiant skin 

How to Avoid It

Unfortunately, cosmetics are poorly regulated and are not held to the same standards as food. That’s pretty scary because even food standards aren’t that great. Products often hit the shelves with unlisted byproduct contaminants.

Anti-aging creams confirmed by the report to have PFOA include:

• Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector
• Garnier Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizer
• Cover Girl Advanced Radiance with Olay, Age Defying Pressed Powder

Cosmetics Without Cancer” is an initiative created by The Breast Cancer Fund and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to push for stricter laws on cosmetic production. The team believes that the only way to know if a product contains PFOA is through lab testing. However they advise consumers to avoid ingredients such as Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether and DEA-C8-18 Perfluoroalkylethyl Phosphate. SafeCosmetics.org is a great place to find tools that will help you choose pure products.

In a previous article, I mentioned the amazing Think Dirty app. Their database is growing everyday as new product information is researched and added. You can find the toxicity and ingredients of many personal care and household products.

The Impact of PFOA

PFOA can cause a variety of cancers, but given that it is October, breast cancer is heavy on all of our minds. It has, personally, impacted family and friends and taken people away from me. Almost everyone I know has been dealt a blow by this cancer in some way.

 My mom’s best friend, Karen, recently discovered she was battling the disease. After a lumpectomy and radiation, she’s doing well, but is still on the journey to recovery. “I'm doing a lot of searching, whether for answers through prayer or researching medical abstracts and documentaries to educate myself. I'm trying to make some obvious small changes to my lifestyle, like more water and exercise. I don't use anti-aging creams per se, although I do still use Bioelements cleanser on my face and sunscreen moisturizer daily. This is an area I'm researching. I know that I need to research every product I currently use to check for toxicity, but I'm a first grade teacher not a scientist so I really have to rely on the research already out there,” says Karen.

When I told her about the PFOA report she replied, “Given the fact that cancer is increasing at such an alarming rate, we need lots of research to help us make informed decisions. I really feel like it is a trillion dollar pharmaceutical business and the truth may be slow in being revealed.”

Well said. Now if the cosmetic industry will just listen!

aloe vera with jar natural face cream 

Healthy Alternatives to Battle Aging

The solution can often be right in front of us. Throw away the creams and go for more effective, natural and cheaper alternatives.

• Protect yourself from the sun.
• Avoid smoking or drug usage.
• Moisturize and care for your skin while avoiding unnatural harsh products.
• Hydrate your body by drinking plenty of water.
• Eat a variety of healthy, nourishing foods so your cells can replenish themselves.
It is never too late to start applying anti-aging practices to your life.

An Important Note from The Breast Cancer Fund

“We can’t just shop our way out of this problem. In order for safer products to be widely available and affordable for everyone, we must pass laws that shift the entire industry to nontoxic ingredients and safer production. We are asking people to demand that Congress give the FDA the authority and resources it needs to ensure the safety of cosmetics and require full disclosure of ingredients so consumers can make informed choices. It’s time to take action!”

Do Your Part

We can make a difference in countless ways. Refuse to buy toxic products, support pure companies, pressure Congress to make changes, and inform others. Cancer is thriving and we can do something to make those numbers go down. Do it for yourself, your family, or your friends. Honor them all during this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness month by supporting change. In the words of The Breast Cancer Fund, it is time to “Rethink the Pink.”

Photos by Fotolia


Karyn WoffordKaryn Wofford is a type 1 diabetic, EMT and Certified Wellness Specialist. For years she has educated herself on wellness and natural, wholesome living. Karyn’s goal is to help people be the healthiest they can be while living fun, happy lives.