Hormones and Cosmetics: Could Your Beauty Routine Make You Sick?
Posted byAndrea King Collier
You do all the right exercises and eat the right foods, but there might be another factor to consider that could affect your hormones. What you put on your body can be just as important as what you put in your body, so you might want to take a look at the labels on your beauty products. Some may contain chemicals that may have an effect on your health, especially if you’re already experiencing heavy period symptoms. Here’s a rundown of some of the chemicals to be on the lookout for, and how they can affect your body.
Hidden Chemicals in Cosmetics
In February 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The report lists hundreds of chemicals, they’re prevalence and various demographics’ exposure to them. Among those profiled are Bisphenol A, phthalates and benzophenone.1 What types of products contain these compounds? Is your makeup making you sick?
Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is a chemical used in the production of plastics and epoxy resins, says the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.2 The primary point of exposure for BPA is through food and beverage containers, but It may be used to produce the containers that many hold cosmetics and beauty products. It could seep into your skin through a skin cream or makeup.
Science hasn’t confirmed the connection concretely, but the CDC notes that BPA has been shown to affect the reproductive systems of animals,3 but it may be a good idea to avoid it for you, too.
Phthalates are chemicals used in many personal care products. According to the FDA, the most common phthalates found in beauty products are dibutylphthalate (DBP), which is used to reduce cracking in nail polish; dimethylphthalate (DMP), which is found in hair sprays to reduce stiffness; and diethylphthalate (DEP), which is used in fragrances.4
A study conducted by NYU Langone Medical Center estimates that phthalates used in cosmetics may have contributed to approximately 86,000 cases of endometriosis last year.5 Endometriosis is a painful uterine disorder, especially painful during your period, and it may lead to fertility problems down the road, says the Mayo Clinic.6
Benzophenone is a compound that appears in personal care products that are designed to protect skin and hair from UV rays. That doesn’t mean you should toss all your lotions and sunscreens that have an SPF. Benzophene is more easily absorbed by the skin than other ingredients in sunscreens. Over 10 hours, 1 to 2 percent of benzophenone is absorbed by the skin, according to study published in the journal Environment Science and Technology.7
The same study sought to discover the correlation of variations of benzophenone and endometriosis. Benzophenone is classified as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC), which means that it may mess with your hormones. The compound may cause “estrogenic activity,” meaning it may tamper with your estrogen levels.8
According to the Journal of American Science, increased estrogen levels may affect the appearance of PMS symptoms. You know, the headaches, irritability, cravings and bloating, among others, that alert you that your time of the month is approaching.9
One of the best ways you can reduce your exposure to these additives is to be a wise consumer. Do your homework and know as much as possible about the ingredients in the products you use. Carefully read the labels of your cosmetics and beauty products looking for the names of harmful ingredients before you buy.
Another great option is DIY beauty projects. A paste made of Epsom salts, baking soda and a little water makes an inexpensive and chemical-free alternative to face and skin exfoliants. Mix your own fragrances by adding a few drops of your favorite organic essential oil, like lavender, with jojoba oil.
Coconut oil is a smart alternative to skin lotions and moisturizers that contain possible EDCs. Organic apple cider vinegar is a terrific alternative to commercially produced skin toners and astringents.
All in all, more research needs to be done to definitively determine the correlation between BPA, phthalates and benzophenone in beauty products and their effect on your hormones. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Think about revamping your daily beauty routine so you know exactly what’s going with your overall health.
1“Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.” February 2015. Accessed November 9, 2016. http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/pdf/FourthReport_UpdatedTables_Feb2015.pdf.
2“Bisphenol A (BPA).” U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Accessed November 09, 2016. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/index.cfm.
3“Factsheet Bisphenol A.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. July 23, 2013. Accessed November 09, 2016. http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/BisphenolA_FactSheet.html.
4“Phthalates.” Federal Drug Administration. December 5, 2013. Accessed November 09, 2016. http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm128250.htm.
5NYU Langone Medical Center. “Yearly Exposure to Chemicals Dangerous to Hormone Function Burdens Americans with Hundreds of Billions in Health Care Costs and Lost Earnings.” EurekAlert! October 17, 2016. Accessed November 09, 2016. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/nlmc-yet101316.php.
6″Endometriosis.” Mayo Clinic. August 20, 2016. Accessed November 09, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/home/ovc-20236421.
7Kunisue, Tatsuya, Zhen Chen, Germaine M. Buck Louis, Rajeshwari Sundaram, Mary L. Hediger, Liping Sun, and Kurunthachalam Kannan. “Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-type UV Filters in US Women and Their Association with Endometriosis.” Environmental Science & Technology. April 17, 2012. Accessed November 09, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3352028/.
9Golmakani, Nahid, and Samira Ebrahimzadeh Zagami. “Use of Medicinal Plants in the Treatment of Premenstrual …” 2011. Accessed November 9, 2016. http://www.jofamericanscience.org/journals/am-sci/am0705/10_4156am0705_60_64.pdf.
- Posted by Andrea King Collier
- On December 12, 2016