As we age through our 30s, 40s and beyond, our hormone balance change. Did you know that the ingredients in your skincare products can also cause a hormonal imbalance?
Knowledge is power, so today I’m sharing with you top ingredients that may disrupt your hormones.
In the United States, skincare products are not well regulated or screened for true safety. While the European Union (EU) has banned hundreds of ingredients in personal care products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have banned only 11 ingredients
The skincare products most Americans regularly use contain harmful ingredients such as lead, phthalates and formaldehyde. Some skincare ingredients including parabens, phthalates, triclosan and oxybenzone are toxins that have been found in the human body. Research shows these chemical ingredients are hormone disruptors and that some may be carcinogenic.
We’re exposed to these chemicals when we inhale them from sprays and powders, ingest them from the lips, and absorb them through our skin. Statistics show that women use an average of 12 personal care products daily, while men use an average of six daily. That means we’re exposed to anywhere from an average of 80 to 126 different ingredients daily
Exposure to chemical toxins in our air, water and food and personal care products can cause oxidative damage. We know that our skin is highly sensitive to inflammation, irritation, and dehydration. And these effects can make a huge impact on our appearance
One of the biggest types of toxins is endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs include substances in our environment, water, food, and personal care products that interfere with the production, transport, breakdown, binding and elimination of hormones. Exposure to EDCs ultimately affects the hormonal system and homeostasis of the body, and thus the skin.
Here are 10 harmful ingredients to look for in your hair, skin, nail and other personal care products. If your products contain these, throw them out.
1. Formaldehyde: A known carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, and some shampoos. Banned in the EU.
2. Fragrance/Perfume: A source of hidden chemicals such as phthalates, which have been linked to hormone disrupting effects. Fragrance is also connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/cosmetics/productsingredients/ingredients/ucm377016.pdf
3. Lead: A known carcinogen and hormone disruptor found in certain eyeliners, hair dye, and lipsticks but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient. The FDA has not set limits for lead in cosmetics.
4. Mercury: A known irritant and allergen that, with body accumulation over time, can impair the brain and nervous system. Found in skin lightening creams, mascara and some eye drops. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=700.13
5. Parabens (Propyl-, Isopropyl-, Butyl-, and Isobutyl-): Used as preservatives, found in many products. A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology in 2004 detected parabens in breast tumors and discussed the estrogen-like properties of parabens. While this doesn’t create a direct connection with cancer, I recommend avoiding these ingredients until research shows their safety.
6. Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.
7. DEA/TEA/MEA (Ethanolamines): Used as emulsifiers and foaming agents for shampoos, body washes, soaps and topical application has been associated with cancer in animal studies. (http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm109655.htm)
8. Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.
9. Coal Tar: A known carcinogen banned in the EU, but still used in North America. Used in hair dyes. Also, a coal-tar hair dye containing p-phenylenediamine (PPD) can cause dangerous skin reactions in some people.
10. Diethylene glycol (or DEG): A Central Nervous System depressant and potent kidney and liver toxin. Sometimes found in fragrances. Glycerin and Propylene glycol are sometimes contaminated with DEG, which are common ingredients in personal care products.
These are just 10 of the many possible ingredients that have been linked to harmful health effects. The concern is that skin care ingredients are not well regulated by the FDA, so we need to be careful. I’m not intending to scare you, but I just want you to be aware so you can make smart choices.
Scientists have found some of the ingredients above, like phthalates and fragrance components, in human tissues and samples, so it’s safe to say they’re being absorbed through the skin. These ingredients reach the bloodstream and, once there, have been linked to hormone disrupting effects.
Why is this a problem? Because research shows that these and other hormone-disrupting chemicals have been linked to a number of health problems including infertility, lowered sperm counts, obesity, diabetes, thyroid imbalance, and certain types of cancers.
In addition, some ingredients have been linked to birth defects, low birth weight and pre-term birth of babies whose mothers use them during pregnancy. Some of the research is from animal studies, but I suggest we not wait for human studies to take precautions now.
Stay Beautiful Inside and Out by Focusing on Nutrition and Detoxification
You don’t have to resort to a flurry of potions and lotions, chemical peels, or surgical facelifts to get fresh, glowing skin. Diet and exercise should play vital roles in your skincare regimen.
Besides working up a good sweat to keep nutrient carrying blood circulating throughout your body, be sure to feed yourself plenty of nourishing foods such as healthy fats (such as omega-3 fish oils or flaxseed oils) and antioxidant-rich colorful fruits, veggies and legumes.
Drink six to eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and help your body naturally flush out toxins that might otherwise show up on your skin. I also recommend a good cleanse program once or twice per year.
Remove Harmful Toxins & Chemicals With a Cleanse
I have created a 14 day cleanse that specifically helps to calm inflammation and improve skin tone.
This is accomplished by providing the nutrients needed to support and balance phase I and II metabolic pathways and to promote healthy liver function and elimination.* Everything is consolidated into packets to make the program easy to follow and to ensure that individuals on the program do not miss any necessary nutrients.
You can find it in our store: Dr Trevor Cates – 14 Day Cleanse – click to start your cleanse today
Remember, if you wouldn’t eat the ingredients, then it shouldn’t be put on your skin!
Avoid chemicals in skincare and choose products with natural actives, such as The Spa Dr. Daily Essentials 4-Step Skincare System.
Now it’s your turn!
Check out the labels on your favorite products and see if you can find any of the 10 chemicals listed above. If you do find any of the ingredients in your products leave a note in the comment sections. I would love to hear what you find.
Do you have any brand recommendations for toxin-free makeup?
Sara, I wish I had a great recommendation for you but I don’t. Choose a mineral makeup that is free of the toxic ingredients. If you find one you love, let me know…
As an Olivia skin type with adult acne that likely isn’t hormonal in nature (excepting when highly stressed or on my period), I have found pür to be fantastic. It’s all mineral and I haven’t had any issues with it causing inflammation. This may sound odd, but I also haven’t had issue with L’Oreal’s Outlast liquid foundation. If anything, I find it calms the skin and prevents itching while also helping to pull sebum pustules to the surface faster even when I’m an idiot and accidentally sleep in my makeup. (I know, total no no lol.)
Do you have any recommendations for non-toxic hair dye?