Do You Know What Are You Putting On Your Skin?
The skin is the largest organ if your body. We coat our skin in lotions and potions daily, from soap to deodorant, to sunscreen, to face creams, to serums, to makeup.
I get to see the after-effects that prolonged exposure to chemicals and poor ingredients does to people’s health in my health coaching practice.
I’ve experienced this myself with hormonal dysregulation, allergies, digestive issues, and chronic inflammation (to the sunshine it seems now that I’m older!) and see this in clients in the form of infertility, eczema, psoriasis, migraines, autoimmunity, and the list could go on. While harmful products may not BE the sole cause of these unwanted issues, they do not help with their healing or lessen the symptoms.
Our bodies can only handle so much “toxic load” and when this load is larger than the body can handle it will start a cascade of reactions that may cause some of the conditions mentioned above. Choosing healthy skincare and makeup products can aid in reducing this chain of events.
The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce and secrete hormones, chemical substances produced in the body that regulate the activity of cells or organs. These hormones regulate the body’s growth, the physical and chemical processes of the body, and sexual development and function.
An environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is a substance outside of the body that may interfere with the normal function of the endocrine system. Some EDCs mimic natural hormone binding at the target cell receptor. EDCs can start the same processes that the natural hormone would start. Other EDCs block normal hormone binding and thereby prevent the effects of the natural hormones. Still, other EDCs can directly interfere with the production, storage, release, transport, or elimination of natural hormones in the body. This can greatly affect the function of certain body systems.
EDCs can affect people in many ways:
disrupted sexual development
reduced immune response
neurological and behavioral changes, including reduced ability to handle stress
Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products – including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.
By far one of the most controversial endocrine-disrupting chemicals is parabens. Commonly used as inexpensive preservatives, these synthetic chemicals are proven to mimic estrogen in the human body and have been found built up in essential hormone-regulating organs.
Parabens are chemicals with estrogen-like properties, and estrogen abnormalities are involved in the development of breast cancer. In fact, a 2012 medical study confirmed our suspicions that endocrine-disrupting chemicals can increase the risks of breast cancer.
The study found 99% of malignant breast cancer tumors contained 1-5 different types of parabens.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even linked methylparaben, in particular, to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.
Phthalates are one of those elusive endocrine-disrupting chemicals you won’t see directly spelled out on a cosmetic’s ingredients list. Phthalates are endocrine disrupters! Studies have shown adverse effects on the male reproductive system, including decreased sperm count, testicular cell destruction, and thyroid irregularities.
How to avoid phthalates? Look for beauty products without synthetic fragrance. “Fragrance” or “pafum” could be the most vaguely listed ingredients in existence. Because fragrance is considered “proprietary,” companies are not required to disclose its components. This is where sneaky ingredients, like phthalates, can make unknowingly make their way into your products.
Even low doses of endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be unsafe. The body’s normal endocrine functioning involves very small changes in hormone levels, yet we know even these small changes can cause significant developmental and biological effects.
Please start reading labels and choosing wisely with this information. I have cleaner, safer products that I have carefully curated for you in your quest to live a healthier lifestyle.
Check out the “THE NEVER LIST” and review your own ingredient labels for these sneaky, toxic ingredients!