First, let us start by defining what the endocrine system is. The endocrine system is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones in the body. The hormones produced by the endocrine system control our ability to reproduce, our sensory perception, sexual development, movement, respiration, and metabolism.
Moreover, the hormones that are produced by the endocrine system are circulated in the bloodstream to various tissues in the body.
How are skincare products disrupting the endocrine system?
There are thousands of hidden endocrine disruptors in beauty products, perhaps even in your favorite go-to product. I have seen a lot of people who prefer products laced with hormone disruptors because they provide them with the instant results they desired. As we all know, instant gratification doesn’t provide long-lasting benefits.
While many products are branded organic, it is imperative consumers research the ingredients listed on their skincare products to ensure the products they are purchasing are not contaminated with endocrine disruptors.
The European Union has banned over 1,000 toxic ingredients that are not banned in the U.S. Only 11 of the hundreds of toxic ingredients that have been proven harmful to consumers’ health have been banned by the FDA.
The following products are banned in the EU as well as Japan, but are perfectly legal in the U.S. Thus, I urge everyone to watch out for these endocrine disruptors in their products.
This ingredient is found in many brightening or lightening skincare products, which are often marketed to Black consumers in the United States. The FDA has recommended that only 2% or less of this ingredient should be used in skincare products. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that has substantiated a low dosage of this ingredient is safe. As such, the best way to protect yourself is to abstain from using products with such ingredient.
Mineral oil, petrolatum, and paraffin oil are different forms of petroleum. The EU has banned this ingredient. Honestly, nobody truly knows what type of damage petroleum can potentially cause to the body, but anything that is derived from fuels cannot be any good for your skin or your overhaul health.
Mercury is another endocrine disruptor. The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) has cautioned and encouraged the public to read ingredient labels as it is perfectly legal for companies to use ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm in personal care and cosmetic products.
Phthalates are especially bad for the body as they signal cells in your body to die sooner than they should. Additionally, studies have linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes, and thyroid irregularities.
Glycol ethers are common in cosmetics. According to the European Union, these chemicals may damage fertility or the unborn child. Studies have linked certain glycol ethers to blood abnormalities.
How can consumers reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors?
Avoid synthetic fragrances
Phthalates are the main ingredients in synthetic fragrances among other things. Studies have confirmed synthetic fragrances have adverse effects on the reproductive system and cause thyroid irregularities. So, if you truly love your products to smell good, choose products that are naturally scented with essential oils and botanical extracts.
Stop buying products in plastic packaging
As a society, we shouldn’t be concerned only with things that we eat. Your overall health begins with the nutrients you feed your skin. So, take care of your skin like you protect your heart. Nourish it with plant-based ingredients.
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