Inspiration from Meghan

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What Stinks In My Pantyhose?


Going Au Naturelle is the recommendation for Day 9 of the 21 Days To Health Program and might just be one of the most important ones.ย It is one thing to change up your diet to one that is cleaner and less processed, but we also need to think about what is going on our body.

I was reminded of this recently. Now, if there is one article of clothing I wish to have banned from the face of the earth, it is panty hose. Ich. Gross. I know you are with me. The only good thingย about wearing pantyhose is how amazing they feel to take off. This is why I have the same pantyhose in my sock drawer today, as I had seven years ago in 2004.

I pulled them out last week for my dress rehearsal for the Marilyn Dennis show and you know what? They smell like the perfume I used to wear in 2004. Back in the day, I was hooked on Victoria Secret's Vanilla body lotion. While on vacation in January of 2004, I met a man. He was an older man from Chicago who happened to be a homicide detective. He took a liking to me, and on our return from holiday, started sending me gifts. Among them was a plane ticket to go visit him (a trip I never took, though my mom thought it would have been fun???) and the entire line of vanilla perfume products from Victoria Secret. I have washed those tights many times in the last 7 years and they have been moved to four different homes in that period too.

You know what? They STILL smell like vanilla! That's not good. Either is spraying toxic perfume all over your neck and wrists. Do you know why we are told to spray it there? Because it gets into our blood stream easily and circulates so that more of us will radiate the fragrance. We inhale that scary stuff too. Additionally, we are putting those toxins directly on our neck's lymph glands which are designed to get the bad stuff out! This direct poisoning will clog that lymphatic system right up.

Have you ever picked your girlfriend up in your car, she gets in and suddenly you feel like you've been asphyxiated by her perfume? Or that guy you went on a date with who was pretty darn hot- but that cologne! Wuff/barf. Being someone prone to motion sickness, perfume in cars, airplanes or public transport is just about enough to put me over the edge. And the thing is- the longer you go without, the more you realize how much most people stink. Perfume starts to smell less like an aromatic signature and more like chemical waste. I have friends that I won't hug because I know that if I do, I will smell their perfume on me for the rest of the day.

I couldn't locate the exact product on the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Database but I did find another perfume spray that got a rating of 10 (out of 10- meaning most toxic rating possible) and got a check mark for the following:

Ingredients in this product are linked to:
yes Cancer
yes Developmental/reproductive toxicity
yes Allergies/immunotoxicity
yes Use restrictions
yes Other concerns for ingredients used in this product:
Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Miscellaneous, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption, Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes

Now, I haven't a clue which of the many chemicals in this product make the smell stick, and stay strong for over 7 years in a fabric, but that is absolutely scary and totally insane. And a perfume is just one of the many products most of us are likely to use on a daily basis. There is no sense cleaning up our food if we aren't going to also clean up our personal care products.

Day 9 of the 21 Days To Health Program asks that we replace at least two everyday cosmetic or personal care products with a natural and safer alternative. That should be an easy one right? Have a look in your cupboards- see what you have lurking behind closed doors.

Question Of The Day: What do you think would be the toughest product to replace with a more natural solution? What was the toughest change you have made?

51 Responses to “What Stinks In My Pantyhose?”

  1. Rachel said…
    I'm finding it difficult to find a shampoo that I like - I've started shampooing my hair only every second or third day and found that I've adapted to that pretty well, but it's tough to find a shampoo that cleans well without having to use a ton of it and also that doesn't leave a residue. I also use the Weleda deodorant - it works really well! It's very cost-effective too - the spray bottle lasts about as long as 4-5 regular deodorant sticks.
  2. Angie said…
    The deodorant debate is interesting. I think I might see what wearing none is like on a normal day. But in the past, I have tried Lush brand natural deodorants, and didn't love any of them enough for it to become habit. But, Lush has made using (mostly) natural bar soap, solid shampoo, conditioner, and really amazing facial washes possible for me. For deodorant, the most recent one I actually don't hate is Tom's natural care in 24 hour protection long lasting. If you can't break the deodorant habit and need a normal over the counter, Dove is decent (I believe it has less aluminum), but I am gonna try to not use it much anymore. Meghan, what deodorant do you use? I would love to see a detailed post on all your body care, it would be interesting and helpful :)
  3. Shannon said…
    I've been using the deodorant crystal or just coconut oil and made it though a summer in Toronto. I wear mostly natural fibers but I do wear jackets for work a lot which are always lined in something. I do notice that I do smell a little when I wear jackets otherwise I've had no problems, so I'm trying to work on that. Haven't been able to find much out about the crystals though... My big thing is hair products of all kinds. I make/use all natural pretty much on my whole body now except for my hair. I know hair dye is just the worst thing in the world but I'm having problems letting go... I love my bright coloured and spiky hair. I keep going back and forth on it...sigh.
  4. Jesse said…
    I just started using this Burt's Bee's nautural deo and lovin' it!
  5. Val said…
    I've actually been wondering about that day since, aside from shampoo and conditioner which I'm trying to use up so I can replace it with something better, the products I use are already pretty good. I use this deodorant, made locally in Toronto.
  6. Karen said…
    I don't use a deodorant but I use a natural soap with tea tree in it which works really well. From what I always thought, when we sweat we release pheromones which is what nature intended us to use to attract the opposite sex. Also works to repel someone who is genetically a poor match. So as long as you wash well every day and don't have a build up (many days) of sweat and bacteria on you, any odor you emit is natural. Wearing more natural fabrics also helps. And I also think your diet contributes to your health and odors. I have noticed that I am much smellier (elimination wise) if i have had processed food compared to a natural diet.
  7. Stephanie said…
    I love perfume... well, loved it. Until you described it and it makes so much sense, I don't know why I didn't think about it that way before. But I found that the less I used it, the more I realized just how strong it really smells, even if you just put a little on. I recently found at the health food store,these essential oil blends that you put a little on your skin as perfume, but it helps with different things. The one I use helps lift your mood and has orange, Bergamot and Neroli oils. It smells very natural and it's not strong at all and I know there's not chemicals. The hard change for me would be shampoo and other hair care products. I have curly hair that can easily turn into a frizz mess. Anyone out there have experience with natural shampoo's or no-poo and have curly hair and it works for them?
    • Jacqueline said…
      Stephanie, I have curly hair: I have been using Aveda products for about 2 years and it has made a tremendous difference in my hair! If your hair is already curly you don't need the "Be Curly" shampoo/cond, let them give you advice in the salon but I use "Brilliant" shamp/cond. I only shampoo 2x/week but condition every day. I do use the "Be Curly" styling stuff, and they have so many others. I also switched to them for hair color as they (supposedly) have the most natural hair color. It's great not having to switch off products all the time (anyone with curly hair knows what I mean); now I need to get rid of all the hair stuff in my closet with all the bad chemicals in them! Unfortunately I think it does have wheat protein in it--any celiacs out there beware. Also, about deodorant, I have tried many natural ones (using Jason now), and they all seem to work about 50% of the mainstream ones, but I just don't want the aluminum/parabens on my body. I think if one wears mostly natural fibers it is best, but unfortunately I wear scrubs to work and can only find poly/cotton ones, which I believe are worse for sweating. If I can find a pattern for scrubs, I will make my own cotton ones!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I have SUPER curly hair and a client recently introduced me to the new love of my life called Kinky Curly. It looks kind of crappy looking in terms of packaging but it is super clean with aloe, agave, marshmallow root- all kinds of herbs and goodies. I got some in the states at Whole Foods. It is soooo good. My Loreal Curl Up was the last conventional product I ditched and this stuff is so good!
      • Stephanie said…
        Thanks Meghan it sounds great, I will google that hair product. I'm in Alberta, but maybe they sell it out here, who knows.
      • Jacqueline said…
        Oh Meghan, thanks for the tip-I just checked out their website and I can't wait to try it! Curious about which product(s) you use from their line. I have always been leery of the silicone/dimethicone ingredients, so glad this product doesn't have it. Also, about Living Libations/Nadine's comment below, I can't wait to try the deodorant! I have started to use the dental products and also want to order some organic hemp facecloths.
  8. Nadine Artemis said…
    Meghan - I Ditched the last pair of panty hose at 18.... and also at 18, I began my lifelong journey as a botanical formulator. It took 10 years for the perfect deodorant to manifest - all of the natural deodorants at health stores still had ingredients that are less then desirable for the body: the deodorant stone, Lush, Tom's still has chemicals that sink into the the delicate lymph nodes and others simply didn't do the trick. Discovering that sandalwood has a phyto-andosterone, like the andosterone released in our arm pits, I realized that sandalwood would have the perfect affinity. Sandalwood is so effective as underarm charm.... My desire for the purity, has created shampoo, conditioner, deodorants, creams, balms and beautiful perfumes that are elegant, effective and worlds away from from panty hose.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I concur. Nadine's products are absolutely the best I have ever tried! Everyone who uses Living Libations products falls in love! My collection keeps growing and they are my greatest treat.
  9. Alex said…
    I'm glad there are other people out there like me...My boyfriend thinks I'm such a weirdo to run through the beauty department at shopping malls with my nose plugged. Once, frustrated with how much I was spending on natural shampoos, I went to shoppers and spent about half an hour sniffing and gagging, and went home empty handed! I can't believe how stinky they were! That being said though, shampoo was the hardest to give up- not because of the smell, but because of the lathering...I miss the bubble action of commercial shampoos.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I miss it too! Now when I am away or at someone else's and shower with lathering shampoo- it just feels weird. Same with lathering tooth paste. Blech!
  10. sarah said…
    My "pet peeve" is the smell of the Bounce dryer sheets. That stuff is everywhere! I have had great success using plain baking soda as deoderant.

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