Can beauty product chemicals mess with your hormones?
Feeling hormonal? As women, we sometimes joke about feeling hormonal, especially at certain times of the month, but have you considered it may not just be caused by your monthly cycle?
Recent studies have highlighted the dangers of certain chemicals used in everyday products such as toothpaste, shampoo, lotion and lipstick. Have you checked the chemicals in your beauty products? What are you putting on the largest organ of your body (your skin) every day?
Could these chemicals be causing you to feel “hormonal”? If you’re struggling to lose weight even though you eat a healthy, unprocessed diet; cut out refined sugar; manage stress and get enough sleep, you’re probably suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
Hormones are created and secreted by the endocrine system, a collection of glands that uses hormones to communicate with other body systems and cells in the body. They regulate metabolism, growth, development, tissue function, reproduction, sleep, mood, appetite, sex drive, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, fertility and much more.
Hormone are like instruments in an orchestra, they all have a particular job and when one instrument is off key everyone knows. When the hormones are out of balance, the body lets us know through the signs and symptoms of a hormonal imbalance; which include infertility, insomnia, weight gain, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, just to name a few.
For example, cortisol, this is the hormone the body secretes to help you wake up and be alert so you can function during the day. When you face a threat or are chronically stressed the body will over secrete cortisol, and it can disrupt your sleep, appetite, libido because high cortisol levels decrease the levels of the hormones responsible for metabolism, sleep, and reproduction. The body’s primary goal is to maintain homeostasis, and this happens when all the hormones are balanced and doing their jobs.
How many beauty and skin care products do you use on a daily basis?
According to EWG, 25% of women and 1 % of men use 15 beauty or skincare products daily each and these products contain over 126 different ingredients.
Do you know what the chemicals in your beauty products do to your hormones?
Did you know that your beauty products have chemicals that that act like your natural hormones? These chemicals interfere with normal hormone function and can lead to hormonal imbalances that can affect your health.
Today we are going to take a close look at seven chemicals found in your beauty products that may be causing a hormonal imbalance.
7 Beauty Product Chemicals That Can Cause Hormonal Imbalances
Check the label for benzophenone and ingredients containing benzophenon (benzophenon-2), BP# (BP2), oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, sulisobenzone sodium
Can be toxic to development, reproduction, and organ systems
Found in these products:
Lip balm, nail polish, foundation, fragrances, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, and moisturizers.
Polyethylene glycol or PEGs
Check the label for ingredients with the label “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol)
Polyethylene glycol is harmful to the nervous system.
Interferes with the function of growth hormone
If used on broken skin, can cause irritation and systemic toxicity.
Found in cream-based cosmetics.
BHA and BHT
Check the label for Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene
May cause cancer
Long-term exposure caused liver, thyroid and kidney problems in animal studies.
Found in lipsticks and moisturizers
Check the label for vinyl, PVC, phthalates, DEHP, DBP, fragrance, perfume
Toxic to reproductive systems
Reduce female fertility
Premature breast development in young women
Altered fetal development – according to a study in 2004 by University of Rochester, the effect on boys,
altered levels of testosterone, genital development
Lowers sperm count, reduces sperm mobility and damage sperm
Not regulated by U.S. Federal Government whereas the European Union banned DBP and DEHP from personal care products in 2004.
Phthalates are found in cosmetics with “fragrance” as phthalates are used in “fragrance” mixtures.
Check the label for PFOA, PFOS, Teflon, Gore-Tex, stain-resistant, “-fluoro,” “-perfluoro.” Look for the words “fluoro” or “perfluoro” on labels.
PFC exposure reduces woman’s fertility
Exposure before and during pregnancy can lead to lower birth weights, affects organ, and skeletal growth
Increased rate of miscarriages and neonatal deaths in mice
Induced tumors in rats
In 2006 the Environmental Protection Agency classified PFOA as a “likely human carcinogen.”
Found in nail polish, moisturizers, eye makeup, shaving cream, and dental floss.
Check the label for triclosan, or the word “antibacterial.” The FDA has banned the use of antibacterial soaps.
Interferes with thyroid hormone activity
Causes growth of breast cancer cells
Interferes with the activity of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections
Found in face, and body washes, acne treatment, lotions, deodorant,and creams.
Check the label for methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparapen and ethylparaben
Acts like estrogen (a natural occurring hormone, when in large amounts can cause all sorts of health challenges)
Linked to breast cancer
Found in and used as a preservative in shampoos, conditioners, sunscreens, deodorants, toothpaste and cosmetics.
As you can see, not only are these chemicals disrupting your hormones but also they are putting you at a greater risk for cancer. Is it worth it? What is the alternative?
Find safer, less toxic alternatives
Thanks to a 2004 campaign called the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, there are nearly 500 companies that have promised to:
– Avoid chemicals banned in other countries;
– Make effective products without using ingredients linked to cancer or birth defects;
– Fully disclose ingredients wherever and whenever possible; and
– Work together with nonprofit health groups to increase market demand for safe, sustainable products and practices.
To check out these safe cosmetic companies, go to http://www.safecosmetics.org/safe-cosmetics-companies/
If you want to check the safety of your current cosmetics, check out this website: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.
You can enter the name of your product and receive a hazardous score ranging from 1-10. 1-2 is considered low hazard, 3-6 Moderate hazard, and 7-10 High hazard.
What safe products have you tried and enjoyed? Share in the comments!