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Why Use Organic Body Products?

Information for Pregnancy and Beyond~

By Hillari Ladd: MH, NC, HHP, CMT, CIMT

When a woman first sees that little pink plus sign or has the first inclination that she may be pregnant her world vastly begins to change.   Filled with anticipation, she has the desire to make the best possible choices for herself as well as the new little being rapidly growing inside of her body.

Many of us start thinking about eating better (albeit the cravings that are sure to come), the occasional alcoholic drink is replaced with sparkling water and fruit juices, and the word organic becomes a household title word. Exercise routines are implemented and modified due to the rapid changes we see and feel taking place within our body.  Yet how many of us extend that little iconic word “organic” to body care products as well?  We slather a plethora of products onto our skin in hopes of reducing the risk of stretch marks, we wash and rewash our lustrous locks, take bubble baths to relax and pamper our ever growing selves– but how often do we read the labels and find out exactly what we are putting on our fabulous womanly physique?

If we begin to think of our skin as the layer between our external world and internal selves we truly start to see the importance of this magnificent organ. Yes, organ!  The dermal and epidermal layers of skin along with all of its components is the largest organ in (and about)  our body.  It not only keeps the external world on the outside where it belongs, it helps regulate most of our internal condition as well. Anything that we put topically onto our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream where it has the ability to affect other organs and internal systems as well as a growing fetus safely tucked within the womb.

There are countless products out there that are touted as “amazing, all natural, and will do wonders for your pregnant body”.  We want to hear from you, please leave comment. What are your favorite, “can-not-live-without” products?  Do you read their labels?

Reading the back labels of these “astounding” purchases will often times leave one stunned to say the least.  One tends to find unpronounceable words, that have little to no meaning within our realm of vocabulary. Commonly seen are words such as: Alkyl-phenol Ethoxylades, Benzyl, Coumarins, DEA, Elastin, Isobutylparaben, PGE, Phthalates, SLES, and TEA. Let me go into what a few of these common yet stupefying words truly are.
Benzoic/Benzyl/Benzene: Contains known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, may cause birth defects. Found in shower gels, shampoos, bubble baths.

DEA/diethanolamine: A chemical used in wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays, and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus.

PGE (Polyethylene, polyetheylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, oxynol, {any ethoxylated compound including SLES}: May contain ¼ dioxane which is a possible carcinogen, estrogen mimic and endocrine disruptor. Avoid all ethyoxylated products as a precaution. Found in food and body care products.  side note: any chemical that has the ability to mimic estrogen makes the pregnant bodies job of producing progesterone (very necessary for development of a growing fetus, as well as our ability to maintain a vital pregnancy (ie: not miscarry) a much more difficult task).

Phenoxyethanol: Possibly connected to reproductive or developmental harm to fetus, potential for reduced fertility, classified as a toxic and an irritant.  Found in cosmetics and body care products.

Phthalates: Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development of fetus, and increased risk for certain cancers. Gastrointestinal and liver toxicity hazard. Found in body products. (side note: anything that has potential toxicity to major organs are especially potentially detrimental during the developmental stages of these said organs.)

SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate): Ether mixtures may contain carcinogenic nitrosamines.  estrogen mimic, endocrine disruptor that allows other chemicals to penetrate skin more deeply and have better access to blood stream.  Found in shampoos, toothpaste, bubble bath, body wash and soaps.

Though this list is short, and yes unfortunately there are many many more that I could add, we begin to grasp the importance of the quality of products that we choose to use during pregnancy and beyond.  By no means is this list meant to scare the reader, it is simply information that I deem worthy of being shared. The long archive of scary potentials by no means is a definite to any of the above mentioned illnesses and yet we can not begin to change or world or make better choices without information.

Hillari is a mother of 1 soon to be 2 children, wife, business owner, master herbalist, holistic nutrition consultant, massage therapist, international massage therapy instructor, and teacher of urban fusion style belly dance. Her  businesses include an herbal product line (Eaglewood Herbs LLC) as well as a newly formed organic body care line called Recherch’e.

About Recherch’e Products:
The name Recherché is a French word finding its way up the literary ladder from the early 1700s.  Its etymological background refers to a very rare item being sought out with care: exotic, of studied refinement and elegance, pertaining to obscure excellence. Now why would one choose to bring back a literary fossil as the precise descriptive wording for a company name?  It is because within the boundaries of this era things of want and desire have become so easy to find, easy to substitute with something of subordinate quality for a bargain price.  And this word Recherché brings back to life something of the mysteries of what it means to be alive, to have want, to have desire, to seek out.  This natural & organic line of body care products has been created to help one tend to the daily litany of total body devotion.
Love yourself, heal yourself, naturally~

Maman Jolie Maternity is pleased and excited to announce that Recherch’e Organics will be available for purchase at beginning June 1st – Stay tuned!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. These products are so delicious and beautiful. I use them and I feel completely nourished and spoiled.  A guilty pleasure with no reason for guilt. :)

    May 14, 2012
  2. Nice article Hillary.  I remember my master-degreed chemist cousin telling me that the skin didn’t absorb anything, so there was nothing to fear about the chemical soup in body products.  It sounded logical at the time, but the next time I massaged a client and observed how their skin absorbed all that oil I realized that theory and real life were not in synch.

    Of course now we know that transdermal absorption is huge.  Witness all of the drugs delivered with transdermal patches. 

    Transdermal absorption of Fluoride from the fluoridated Bozeman city water likely puts most children at a toxic level.  But that’s another subject altogether…

    Dr. Hans
    Bozeman Chiropractor

    May 15, 2012
  3. Question from one of our Maman Jolie Maternity readers! Thank you Jo!

    “I am a little confused.  I purchased some of the Recherche “Body Silk” and phenoxyethanol is an ingredient…….. Now the article above says that Phenoxyethanol is “Possibly connected to reproductive or developmental harm to fetus, potential for reduced fertility, classified as a toxic and an irritant.  Found in cosmetics and body care products.” So is the author stating that it shouldn’t be used and yet producing a product that lists it as an ingredient?
    I did further research and a study links it to failure to thrive in infants where it was used in a nipple cream.  Please clear up the confusion.


    ” Thank you for directing this question to me.

    Phenoyxethanol is a parabin fee preservative often times considered one of the “safer” options out there on the market. This is an organic compound (meaning not man made) found across the board in a broad spectrum of perfumes, insect repellent, antiseptics, some dies, inks resins, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and beauty products.  Unfortunately often there are trace amounts also found in emulsifying waxes which are a “must have” in lotions of all kinds.  I have and am currently looking for waxes that have no trace of this preservative in it. Though Recherch’e does not add Phenoyxethanol to any of it’s products, upon testing, a few batches have come back with trace amounts of this chemical constituent with in it.  Again emulsifying wax is a very small part (however essential) to the production of Body Silk and any similar lotion like product.  With out the use of this wax the various oils and nut butters would continually separate from one another. And the Phenoyxethanol is in trace amounts (of emulsifying waxes).  Though the amounts of this preservative are truly minuscule in Body Silk I feel that it is of utmost importance for my buyers/customers to be aware that in some batches there have been trace amounts.  And to uphold my accountability to consumers I will continue to label it as an “ingredient” until i find a company that tests 100% free with every batch of this chemical ingredient. I sincerely hope that this clears up any confusion and please feel free to contact me further on this subject.

    Hillari Ladd,
    Recherch’e Organics “

    July 22, 2012
  4. jolene #

    Hi Hillari,

    Thanks for the reply!  While waiting for your reply I decided to put some of those college chem classes to use.  Here is what I found. Organic has many meanings dependent on what it is applied to. Organic applied to food means grown without chemicals.  In chemistry organic simply means based on carbon.  Hence all of those complex carbon containing molecules and their interactions studied in Organic chem classes.  Phenoxyethanol is an organic compound meaning contains carbon.  Phenoxyethanol is in fact man made.  This ingredient starts out as phenol, a toxic white crystalline powder that’s created from benzene (a known carcinogen) and then is treated with ethylene oxide (also a known carcinogen) and an alkalai.  However it is a relatively stable compound and in such small amounts ( not being added to Bodysilk) it seems like a very small risk.  If it were an added ingredient I might think differently.  Thanks for the clarification! I do like the consistency/feel of the product. 


    July 30, 2012
  5. I have read so many posts conhcerning the blogger lovers however this piece of writing is actually a
    good article, keep it up.

    January 10, 2015

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