Take a look around your home. Everything you’ve brought in has been with the intention to make you better, right? You drink from a reusable water bottle, you stop cooking with vegetable oils, you try to take your supplements every day. Now take a look at your beauty products. What were the reasons you purchased those products? Was it that someone you admire uses them? Or that the packaging matches your aesthetic?
Your skin is the largest organ in the body, what you decide to put on it should be as carefully curated as everything else you bring into your home. In fact, what you put on your skin can impact your overall health by interfering with your hormones. Inside many beauty products are chemicals called endocrine disruptors which can have lasting effects on our hormonal systems.
In this article we’ll go over some tips for making the switch to endocrine disruptor-free products less overwhelming.
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Does reducing your exposure to endocrine disruptors actually make a difference?
Endocrine disruptors have been found in every person ever tested in the world! They’ve been found in blood, urine, saliva, tears, sweat, placenta, umbilical cord blood and the meconium (first poop) of newborn babies.
The good news is that most of the endocrine disruptors we’re exposed to through our beauty products pass through the body fairly quickly. For example, parabens have a half life of ~24 hours, meaning our bodies metabolize them and pass them through our urine. The same goes for other endocrine disruptors like phthalates; ~12 hours, and BPA; ~6 hours. However, that’s not the case for all EDCs. PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” for a reason. It takes our bodies anywhere from 3-8 years to metabolize PFAS (often found in dental floss).
The HERMOSA study, which examined the urinary concentrations of phthalates, parabens, benzophenone-3, and triclosan in adolescent girls found that girls who reported using makeup and a variety of other personal care products with these endocrine disrupting ingredients had higher urinary concentrations. A follow up study showed that after three days of discontinued use of these products, urinary concentrations decreased. The HERMOSA study is an example of the power we have as consumers to make informed decisions for our health. It’s reassurance that it’s not all for nothing.
Where to start when purging chemicals from your beauty products
When we learn of a new danger lurking in our homes our natural instinct is to want to throw everything out and start again. However, this isn’t only super expensive, it’s also overwhelming and unnecessary! Here’s how we go about purging these chemicals from our beauty routines:
- Start with products that spend the most time on your body. Think of your moisturizer, which lives on your skin all day and night. Followed by your body lotion, which covers your entire body. Then move on to your serums and foundation.
- Consider the products you use that can enter the body through the eyes or mouth. Mascara, eyeshadow, eye liner, lipstick, chapstick. Also, consider your dental floss and toothpaste.
- In the shower, consider that the heat of the hot water is opening your pores and allowing for chemicals to penetrate your skin. Your body wash, shampoo and conditioner should go next.
You should feel good about what’s in your products and know that they were made to support the best version of you. To learn how to spot endocrine disruptors on your product label check out this article on the 7 harmful endocrine disruptors to avoid in beauty products.