Hormone Disruptors in Your Personal Care Products?

Hormone Disruptors in Your Personal Care Products?

Apr 20th 2019

Chemicals

The products we use to improve our personal appearance and maintain personal hygiene should be effective, but they should also be 100% safe. The unfortunate truth though is that there are still numerous products on the shelf that contain harmful hormone disrupting chemicals.

These chemicals are most often used to ward off bacterial growth and to increase shelf life. These are both important attributes of course. The flip side is that too many also act as “endocrine disruptors”. This means they interfere with your body’s natural hormone balance when they absorb into the skin and enter the blood stream.

The chemicals we’re about to talk about increase the circulation of certain hormones by mimicking their activity in the body. They can also have the opposite effect of reducing the level of sex hormones in the body by blocking their activity. All of this activity can impact female or male fertility. It can also lead to early menopause - and can even influence things like mood, length and severity of the menstrual cycle in women, body weight and muscle mass and other traits associated with male and female hormones.

Phthalates

You’ll not that all of our products are free of a chemical called phthalates. These are a family of chemicals that are used in most artificially scented products. This includes air fresheners, candles, scented body products like lotions and of course most commercial perfumes. They are used as a fixative for artificial fragrances to help stabilize the scent and prevent it from fading quickly.

Phthalates are also used to soften and elasticize plastics. They are found in vinyl products and other plastic-like products with a consistency more along the lines of rubber. They are also found in products such as hair straighteners and hairsprays, and nail polish. One study facilitated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that all 289 participants had phthalates present in their urine.

This family of chemicals interferes with your body’s natural ability to control its female and male sex hormones. This can have serious consequences and the more you come into contact with these chemicals the more likely you are to experience hormonal impact. How can you avoid these chemicals? Look at the labels before you buy. You may see phthalates on the ingredient label are as di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and di(2-ehtylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).

“Amines”

This is a broad family of chemicals that you’d almost certainly been exposed to unwittingly in the past. They are still common today in many types of personal care and beauty products. You can find these on your products labels under the following names : diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), and amonoethanolamine (MEA).

They are often used as an emulsifier for stable mixtures, as a foaming agent in bar and liquid soaps and shampoos, and also as a preservative for longer shelf life. They are not only linked to hormonal disruption, but they are also linked to liver and kidney cancer and are corrosive to the delicate eye tissue.

Triclosan

This chemical is thankfully being phased out, but may still be found in some antibacterial formulations. You could find them in soaps, hand sanitizers, and other hand cleansers marketed specifically for antibacterial purposes.

Unfortunately, triclosan is highly disruptive to the human endocrine system and several concerns over links to cancer have also been raised over the past several years. It is important to note that normal soap and warm water will kill bacteria just as effectively.

Ethoxylates

This family of chemicals is found in many commercial hair colors and dyes and can also be found in laundry detergent and household cleaners. On the ingredient label they will be shown as 4-

nonylphenol, an alkylphenol. They mimic female estrogens in the body and can throw both the male and female body out of their natural hormone balance.

Parabens

Parabens are a preservative chemical family that are present in many body and hair care products. This family of chemicals is found on the ingredient label with the prefixes of “methyl”, “ethyl”, “propyl” and “butyl”. While they are a very effective anibacterial and anti-pathogen agent, they are also a well-known endocrine disruptor with a history of causing hormonal issues because of their estrogenic activity within the body.