Going CLEAN (beauty that is… for breast cancer awareness month!)

Let’s talk about toxins in our beauty and skincare products and why/how to phase that junk out!

All over the U.S. we have had a kick of new beauty trends that are labeled “clean” and “natural”. The question is what do those terms even mean/who is the HECK is regulating that? The quick answer to that question is simply put, in the U.S. NO ONE…!

The sad truth is, here in the states terms like “clean” and “natural” are not regulated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all companies to label what ingredients are in the products but does not regulate who uses these terms to advertise their products.

So knowing that, basically anyone can throw those labels on products. The next step of truly attempting to phase out more toxic chemicals is KNOWLEDGE and finding brands that leave those harsh chemicals out of their products.

When talking about the toxins in our products, it is important to realize ANYTHING can be toxic if ingested in extreme amounts (like water…) but the big toxins we will go over are ones that are endocrine disrupters.

According to the endocrine society, an endocrine disrupter is a chemical in the environment, food, or consumer products that can interfere with any aspect of hormonal action and reproduction. Research shows that endocrine disrupters have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development, breast cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid/metabolism disorders, obesity, and cardiovascular disfunction.

AHH that is a-lot and also a huge reason I bring this topic up during breast cancer awareness month! As a pelvic physical therapist I often have patients report that phasing out these hormone disrupting chemicals have decreased symptoms associated with pelvic health conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS, and more.

Now let’s chat about the top 5 toxic endocrine disrupters in skincare to phase out!

  1. FRAGRANCE: This “loophole” ingredient could mean virtually ANYTHING in the U.S.. The FDA allows companies to hide ingredients considered “trade secrets” and could be any of 3,000 ingredients considered fragrance!

2. PARABENS: typically found in lotions and creams, used as preservative/antimicrobial. Studies show it can act like the hormone estrogen and impact male and female reproduction.

3. PHTHALATES: typically found in detergents, shampoos, and soaps and acts a plasticizer. Studies show it impacts male reproductive system.

4. HEAVY METALS: arsenic, lead, mercury, etc.. Often found in eyeshadows, mascara, and foundations. Linked with endocrine disruption.

5. UV FILTERS: non-mineral sunscreen (fun fact non mineral based sunscreens work by absorbing UVA/B rays vs their safer counter part that block UVA/B from skin!) A known hormone disrupter.

For each of these ingredients you can phase them out by reading the labels and avoiding those ingredients. Things to look out for in your products are:

  • fragrance-free
  • paraben free
  • phthalate free
  • mineral based sunscreen (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide)

A great website to use is EWG.org to see how various products are rated based on their ingredients!

This can all be overwhelming but now you have a general list of ingredients to look out for/avoid in your future products. Phasing out old products and replacing them with new ones (that are less hormone disrupting) is a step in the right direction. Also to start, choose products you use most often to phase out first!

Here are my FAVORITES with Beauty/Skincare/Sunscreen… you can also check out my Pinterest!

Makeup

Skincare

Deoderant

  • Schmidt’s (great smells and comes in charcoal too for more odor control!)

Shampoo/Conditioner

  • Trader Joes (okay such a clean product and smells amazing/good price!)

Sunscreen

Since these toxins have been linked to reproductive cancers, I want to remind you all October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Join the national virtual 5k before October 31st to support research!

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