The cumulative effect of exposure to unsafe chemicals in the products we use every day, even in small amounts, but with frequent, repeated usage is a real concern either because the chemicals are carcinogens or because they disrupt the body’s hormones.
- Excerpt from Breast Cancer Prevention Partners ( https://www.bcpp.org/ )
What are Endocrine Disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals which when enter our body can interfere in the working of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for hormone production in our bodies and thus any disruption or interference can cause severe harm to our health. With known side-effects of endocrine disruptors including cancerous tumors, learning disabilities, thyroid-related problems, etc. you obviously don’t want these chemicals anywhere near yourself and your children.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals can enter our bodies through the food we eat, the air we inhale or through sin absorption. Hence, it becomes necessary to carefully evaluate the ingredients of the products we use in skin and hair care to ensure that we are not unknowingly introducing harmful chemicals into our bodies.
How do Endocrine Disruptors affect us?
Pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable when exposed to EDCs. According to WHO, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are suspected to cause neurodevelopmental delays in children along with problems such as abnormal growth, birth defects or deformities, etc. Women can have problems such as irregular menstruation cycles, fertility issues, increased risk of breast cancer, etc.
The chemicals which cause endocrine disruption usually mimic or partly mimic hormones in our bodies such as estrogens, androgens, thyroid hormones, etc. The resultant overstimulation due to excessive hormone or hormone-like substances in the body leads to problems. These chemicals can also cause metabolism in the liver to change drastically and interfere with the way naturally occurring hormones are produced and controlled.
Endocrine Disruptors in personal care products
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in routine skin care and hair care products found commonly in the market. Some of these chemicals are listed below.
Phthalates are found in a multitude of products. It is important to recognize them and avoid them as it is linked to early puberty in young girls, a risk factor for breast cancer later in life. Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that act as weak estrogens in cell culture systems. Cumulative exposure to these products is detrimental. Read more about the effects of Phthalates in the article by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.
Parabens are widely used in many products in the form of preservatives. Use of parabens, even though quite common, is controversial at best. There are indications that parabens can tamper with hormonal balance since they mimic estrogen when they enter the body. Excess estrogen can cause cell division and trigger the growth of tumors. Hence, it is best to avoid shampoos, soaps, etc. that contain parabens.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical which is produced in polycarbonate plastics. BPA can pose risk to fetuses, newborns, and young children. It can impact brain development, cause behavioral issues, and affect the prostate gland.
We have all been warned against the side-effects of lead and we also know that traces of lead have been found in some cosmetic products. Lead is known to cause severe damage to the body. It can be directly linked with lower IQ and brain damage in children. It can also cause issues with the nervous system and the reproductive system. Lead in cosmetics and lipsticks is a huge issue, read more about it in www.safecosmetics.org
Our body cannot differentiate between natural hormones and endocrine disruptors. But, we can take more responsibility for our well-being by making thorough scrutiny of the ingredients that go into the products we use on our skin. And since fetuses and babies are impacted more by the effects of endocrine disruptors, pregnant women and parents should take extra care when it comes to choosing personal care products.
While the task to choose the correct products and decipher the complex list of ingredients might seem daunting, you don’t need to worry. At Cleio Beauty, we make sure that we meticulously inspect every product to ensure that it only contains high-quality ingredients that won’t harm you. It is our promise to make available to you only those products which pass our scrutiny.