Now that I have swung my feet over the top of the proverbial Hill, I find another demon to wrestle…my vanity.

See, there I was, minding my own business, perfectly content with my cosmetics and my skin care, with my frozen pizzas and my toxic toothpaste… when suddenly, out of the blue, BAM!!  One little meeting sends me into an information tailspin.  Next thing I know, I’m tossing out makeup, shampoos and half the contents of our pantry.  For almost two years now (gosh, has it been that long??!) I have worked diligently to nix the petrochemicals from our midst and provide healthier options for my family.

It ain’t been easy, folks.  That is one seriously bumpy road.

Those who have followed my journey will recall that I have two predominantly unnatural addictions: my hair color and my sunless tanner.  I worked very hard to find suitable, affordable alternatives that I could trust.  Knowing that it was completely laughable to think that there would be purely natural applications to yield purely unnatural results, at a minimum I insisted on no parabens (hormone disruptors) and no petrochemicals.

Toxic Beauty recently turned me toward Bubble and Bee’s website, which I found to be so full of information that my head spun.  Hopping through links, I landed on an article about the dangers of sunless tanners and, thinking I already knew everything, clicked to have my suspicions confirmed.

Oh my holy stars.  What I learned almost drove me to Starbucks in the middle of Lent.  Or to Thrifty Liquor.  It’s really a coin-toss at this point.  But I digress…

DID YOU KNOW that sunless tanners, even the natural, “safe” ones I have touted, contain Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – the chemical responsible for the faux bronzing of one’s skin.  Without DHA, your sunless tanner is practically useless.  (Remember my homemade tea tanner?  I rest my case.)  There are a ton of things I find disturbing about DHA, but I am most bothered by the fact that DHA messes with the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D.  You need Vitamin D not only to shield you from the sun’s harmful rays, but also to help the body absorb calcium.  Calcium helps your bones. ..Hello…

Studies show people exposed to DHA usually have a Vitamin D deficiency.  I’m deficient enough in other areas…I just don’t think I should risk this one.  I really can’t afford to break a leg trying to run from the Osteo-monster, ya know?  (For those of you who want all the sciency jargon, the studies are linked here, here and here.  Oh, and here too.  Thanks to Bubble and Bee for laying it all out there.)

Long story short, a half-full bottle of “natural” sunless tanner now rests at the bottom of my trash can, and my vanity will have to find another vice.  Like, fake eyelashes or a surgical butt-lift.

I kid…I kid…

If I have to be so ridiculously pale in the dead of summer, can I at least be a Cullen?