I have always believed in the benefit of leading a healthy lifestyle, but becoming a mom inspired me to turn it up a notch. Like most parents, I wanted to provide my children with a healthy foundation and protect them from chemicals that did not belong in their bodies. After my first son was born I began to realize I was only scratching the surface. I had a lot to learn about food additives, dyes, artificial flavors and sweeteners, preservatives and chemicals with unpronounceable names. The more I learned, the more I distrusted the well-known brands that were a major part of our diet. My kids even picked up on my new habit. Imagine my embarrassment when my 6 year old blurted out at a birthday party, “Hey Mom, there’s high fructose corn syrup in these fruit snacks!”
By the time my second and third sons came along, I began to learn about the chemicals not just in foods, but in cleaning and personal care products. I became more suspicious about toxins in skincare products when my son became ill during the application of one of those Halloween face painting kits. His throat started to burn and he vomited white foam. When I looked at the back of the product label, I noticed the warning to avoid using certain colors near the eyes or mouth. But wait – this was a FACIAL makeup kit! How could it possibly create this kind of reaction?
All along I was experiencing some unexplained rashes, and developed Raynaud’s syndrome. My doctor started to watch me closely for Lupus, among other autoimmune diseases. During that same period several close friends and family members were diagnosed with cancer. I became concerned for the health of my family and myself. I became a mom on a mission committed to reducing our exposure to toxins in foods and household products. I started to investigate the ingredients in diaper creams, lotions, and baby shampoo and again, found good reason to distrust the brands I once thought were safe. I had already discovered that my own makeup and personal care products were loaded with toxic chemicals that are linked to a variety of serious health concerns.
This marked the beginning of a change in making product selections. Our first step in this journey was to educate ourselves. We studied ingredients. We bugged manufacturers about their products and manufacturing processes, referenced independent testing firms and other reputable sources. We joined forces with groups that were proactively seeking to change the lack of chemical regulation in this country and created or own list of “Big Baddie” ingredients to avoid.
The next step was to find products deemed to be toxic-free in our local drug stores and supermarkets. Not so easy. Even products claiming to be “natural” or “organic” still contained toxins. We grew tired of coming out of stores empty-handed. So by the time my fourth son arrived, we decided that the need to find a place to shop for safe but effective products for the whole family was obvious. As a result, our online boutique, The Choosy Chick was hatched!
The following quote by Dr. Herbert Needleman, MD most noted for his research on lead poisoning struck a nerve with me years ago and continues to be a source of inspiration. “ Since 1950 at least 70,000 new chemicals have been invented and dispersed into our environment. Only a fraction of these have been tested for human toxicity. We are, by default, conducting a massive clinical toxicology trial, and our children are the experimental animals.”
The Choosy Chick was founded to help people “opt out” of such an experiment. The online boutique company is dedicated to researching and selecting the finest, non-toxic personal care products families deserve. The staff strives to stay at the forefront of the healthy living movement to eliminate harmful and toxic chemicals from personal care products.
Margot White, Health Educator and founder of The Choosy Chick, has a BS in Community Health Education from Western CT State University and an MS in Education from the University of Bridgeport, CT. She is a mother of four boys and taught in the public school system for 17 years. She is passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and raising her children to make healthy, informed choices.
Get tips and resources for choosing healthier everyday products such as cosmetics, food and beverage containers and household cleaners during our webinar, Environmental Health: Making Healthy Living Choices, on Wednesday, August 12 at noon ET.