My life has been forever changed by my ovarian cancer diagnosis, but you may be surprised to know most of these changes have been good. I mean, really really good. For example, I’ve become so much more aware of how I live my life. From the nutrients I put inside my body to lotions I put on my body, I want to know exactly what ingredients affect my health – and I’m not alone.
Did you know that it only takes 27 seconds for a lotion or shampoo that you put on your body to be absorbed into your skin, the largest organ you have?! Scary right?!
My dear friend Jessie Benningfield was shocked to learn of the chemicals in store-bought deodorant, so she began making her own, all-natural deodorant. For 10 years, she did this in her own kitchen, really not talking about it publicly but just educating friends and family. When I got sick, she would bring me little Tupperware containers every month with her homemade deodorant because she was so passionate about her holistic training and didn’t want me putting anymore toxic chemicals on my body than they were already pumping in me.
Having children can change your perspective in life dramatically, and Jessie is no exception. As a mom to two young girls, she has always been passionate about teaching them healthy practices – but then her daughter came home one day, asking about using deodorant just like her friends.
“To learn that girls as young as 8 years old are using antiperspirants filled with toxic chemicals on their underarms was horrifying!” Jessie said.
Jessie shared information about the active ingredients found in most antiperspirants:
- Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Parabens disrupt hormonal balance and lead to early puberty, also have an increased risk of causing hormonal cancers and has been linked to organ toxicity and birth defects.
- Propylene Glycol can damage the central nervous system, liver and heart.
- Phthalates, which are linked to birth defects, can disrupt hormone receptors and increase the likelihood of cell mutation.
- Triclosan has been classified as a pesticide by the FDA and as probably a carcinogen by the EPA.
“As a doctor on the natural side of healthcare, I have helped hundreds of women with fertility issues, hormonal issues and thyroid issues,” she said. “Over the last several years, the women who come to me with these concerns have been younger and younger. If we continue to put these chemicals on our bodies every day – chemicals that may lead to hormonal cancers, neurotoxicity, Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects, early onset of puberty – how can we expect NOT to have more cases of cancer, infertility, hormone issues and other things? It has to stop!”
Jessie founded the Evelyn Kay Club to sell her homemade product in February 2016. “We have been working on just the right formula – one that’s safe, non-toxic, organic, non GMO and effective – for the last two years,” she shared. “We finally got it just right.”
“The entire purpose of my company is to raise awareness and change the way women and girls use products,” Jessie said. “I want to encourage them to ask better questions, not just assume the products they are using are safe.
“Women and young girls should not have to risk their health just so they don’t stink. Better, safer and more effective products can be made.”
The Evelyn Kay Club has partnered with Girls on the Run (GOTR) in the Charlotte, N.C., area, “an amazing program dedicated to teaching young girls about positive body image, healthy habits, and knowing that they are perfect, just as they are,” Jessie explained. At the end of the program, the girls run a 5K.
“We are committed to donating a tube for every girl participating in three counties this spring,” Jessie announced. She hopes to be able to broaden this initiative over time.
Amy Spear is events coordinator for GOTR of the Greater Piedmont. “I have personally started using the product and really like it,” she shared. “I have tried natural deodorants in the past but have never found one that was effective. Jessica’s product has a light, fresh scent that is long lasting and keeps me dry and smelling nice even after the toughest workouts.”
“We look forward to having EKC support our mission by encouraging girls to ask questions about their health and products they use.”
Jessie is also donating a tube of deodorant for each swag bag at this year’s Catwalk for a Cause, taking place May 18 in Mooresville, N.C., to raise funds for childhood cancer research.
We’ve always said our swag bags are the best, but this year we can also say they absolutely don’t stink! This year’s theme for Catwalk is a beach theme, and now I know everyone will leave smelling like coconuts!!! 😉