Hormone Disruptors in Makeup – Myth vs Fact
It’s time to talk about hormone disruptors in your makeup. We’re always taught to keep our bodies healthy. We only get one! Most of the time, we’re taught that our health is based on what we eat and how much we exercise. While food and fitness largely impacts our overall health, we have to remember our skin is our largest organ. Turns out, what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them. In this article, we will talk about how hormone disrupters hiding inside your every day routine might be affecting your skin.
What are Hormone Disruptors?
Many chemicals, both natural and man-made, can mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones. The body uses a system to regulate your hormones, this is known as the endocrine system. Hormone disruptors, or endocrine disruptors, are chemical disruptors that are linked with developmental, reproductive, brain, and immune changes.
Where do Hormone Disruptors appear?
Endocrine disruptors, or EDs, are found in many everyday products. They can be found anywhere from plastic bottles, containers, metal can liners, detergents, flame retardants, foods, toys, pesticides and even your daily cosmetics and skincare!
Common Endocrine Disruptors Include:
- PCBs (Found in: Pesticides and by product of combustion)
- Flame Retardants (Found in: Plastics, paint, furniture, electronics, food)
- Dioxins (Found in: Meat. By-product of combustion)
- Phytoestrogens (Found in: Soy & other foods)
- Pesticides (Found in: Food, water, soil)
- Perfluorinated chemicals (Found in: Some food packaging. Non-stick coating of pans)
- Phthalates (Found in: Plastics, food packaging, cosmetics, cleaning agents. Product with a vague description like “fragrance” or “perfum” probably have phthalates)
- BPA (bisphenol A) (Found in: Plastics, food packaging, the lining of many food and drink containers. May leach from plastic into food and drinks at room temp and/or higher temperatures. Released into the environment during manufacturing, transport, and processing. Once in a land fill, BPA leaches into the ground and water)
- UV Filters (Found in: Sunscreens, makeup)
- Triclosan (Found in: Personal care products)
- Perchlorate (Found in: Drinking water and fire works. By-product of weapon and drug industries)
- Parabens (Found in: Wide range of products. Often in deodorants and sometimes in polyester fabrics.)
- BHA and BHT (Preservatives. Found in foods and gum.)
What Do Hormone Disruptors Do?
Because some ED chemicals are slow to break down in their environment, they can build up over time. This makes them a possible hazard for humans and other animals. Scientists have proven that EDs cause adverse effects in animals. However, limited scientific information exists on potential health problems in humans. Since people are usually exposed to multiple EDs at the same time, tracking health effects can be difficult.
What Can You Do?
EDs can build up in everything from animals (including us) to the soil we walk on and even the water we drink. Many EDs are derived from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. As a result, to prevent further burden on our planet and health, we should aim to consume less stuff. Consuming less means relying less on fossil fuels, the main source of EDs.
- Think of ways to reduce your contact (keep as many harmful chemicals as possible out of your house. There are often easy other options.
- Be a critical buyer (Ask companies what chemicals are in their products, and look for eco-friendly and organic ads)
- Use less fossil fuel (find alternatives like car pooling, bussing, walking or cycling)
- Help your body get rid of toxins (eat, drink and use products that affect your body in positive ways)
- Use containers that are glass, steel, ceramic, and aluminum or look for BPA-Free if plastic