Do you ever think twice about what’s actually in your moisturizer as you apply it to your skin? What about what’s in the bottle of product you use to clean your kitchen counter tops? Depending on the brands you are using, our skin care products as well as home cleaning products can be filled with endocrine disrupting, allergenic chemicals.
The endocrine system is the hormone system of your body. It’s a series of glands that secret hormones. These hormones range from our sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen and androgens) to insulin, thyroid hormones, adrenaline and more. As you might gather from this list, the endocrine system is a very important system yet we assault it daily with our use of toxic products.
Disruption of the endocrine system means the messages the hormones are trying to send are interfered with. Hormones are natural “messengers”. They are produced by a gland and travel in our blood to the receptor on the target organ where the message is going. When this signal gets interrupted by an endocrine disrupting compound, the level of hormones produced can increase or decrease. This can cause challenges such as low reproductive health, disruption of thyroid health as well as obesity according to the CCOHS.
I encourage you to do some spring cleaning and check your beauty and household products to see if they contain any of the ingredients I’m about to list below. Keep in mind, if you do not see an ingredient list at all or cannot get access to it online, get rid of it! The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety indicates the below as endocrine disruptors.
Parabens are endocrine disruptors found in almost all conventional beauty products as they are the most widely used. They typically have the word “paraben” in the chemical name in the ingredient list. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption lists parabens as a Category 1 priority substance based on evidence that they interfere with hormone function.
Fragrance/Parfum is a sad thing to see because the ingredients do not need to be disclosed. This means a cocktail of chemicals is put together to make up the “fragrance” added to the product. It’s best to steer clear of this as the compounds in “fragrance” can also be allergenic in addition to hormone disrupting.
Propylene Glycol is a biproduct from fossil fuel such as oil refining and natural gas processing. Basically, it comes from petroleum products. For anyone unfamiliar, petroleum is what is refined to produce fuels such as gasoline! I definitely don’t want this on my skin seeing as your skin is actually your largest organ and what goes on your skin, goes in your skin! This would include petroleum jelly/Vaseline.
Phthalates are used to help soften plastics and added to our beauty products to do the same. You will typically see the word “phthalate” in the name. Where you won’t see it is when it’s used in “fragance” so again, avoid the word “fragrance”.
SO, you’ve check the labels and are concerned your products might not be as clean as you thought. What do you do now? I would suggest doing some online research and chatting with your local health food store about better options. The EWG and David Suzuki Foundation are also great resources. There are some fantastic companies out there doing so much good. My favourite household brands are Attitude Living and The Unscented Company. I use these products to wash my hair and body, moisturize my skin as well as clean my home. You also can’t go wrong checking out any of the other brands below.
I have no affiliation with the brands above. I just really trust the companies and what they put into their products. I also use them on a daily basis and can attest to their effectiveness.