I have sensitive skin so have always felt limited with the products I can use. I’m also someone who has never really thought beyond that point when it comes to skincare and make-up. This was until I started studying nutrition and reading research papers about the impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on our health and our poor hormones.
I immediately went on the free Think dirty app to check skincare products and was shocked to see that my trusted, high quality, ‘natural’ moisturiser had toxic ingredients in it. It contained a known and studied endocrine disruptor, affecting oestrogen and thyroid activity, and several other body functions, including brain and metabolism….aghhhhh!!!! I’d been putting this on my body for years not giving it a second thought, but now it was time to make a change as I moved through perimenopause- a hormonal rollercoaster all on its own!
What do we know about EDC’s?
In 2012, a report by The World Health Organisation reported that there were more than 800 chemicals that were known or suspected to be capable of interfering with our hormones. They went on to state that the vast majority hadn’t been tested at all and this is still the case to date. So it seems that it is up to us to navigate our own way through the chemical soup we now find ourselves living in.
The WHO report stated that:
- even low levels of exposure may cause endocrine abnormalities
- if exposure was at critical developmental windows it could cause reproductive abnormalities
- low levels may be even more dangerous than high
- the diverse systems affected by EDC’s likely include all hormonal systems
- effects can lead to obesity, learning difficulties, infertility, diabetes, heart disease.
We also know that women are more likely to be affected because we have a reduced ability to detoxify and we generally use more beauty products than men. Studies have linked EDC’s to female hormonal issues including endometriosis, miscarriage, early puberty and oestrogenic cancers.
Toxins that make us fat have been coined obesogens because they promote obesity and fat storage, causing us to gain fat whist preventing us from losing it. Toxins live in the fat cells so the more fat we have, the more toxins our body is potentially exposed to. When we lose weight (and fat) we release these toxins and that can be seen in those ‘detox’ symptoms (headaches, aching, etc). This is why it’s so important to open up the elimination channels before embarking on any detox programme.
Where do we find these EDCs?
The average women is exposed to 500 chemicals in her morning routine alone so we can see how these chemicals can end up significantly impacting our hormone function and balance. They are present in:
- Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic bottles, metal food cans, plastic food storage containers
- Petrochemicals- in our perfume
- Phthalates in scented candles, cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, cling film, shower curtains, air fresheners, new car smell!
- Pesticides in non-organic fruit and veg, DEET.
- Sodium lauryl sulphate in shampoos and conditioners
- Parabens in cosmetics, fake tanning products
- PABA in sun creams
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s) in non stick cookware, Teflon, Scotchguard on furniture
How can we avoid or reduce our exposure to EDC’s?
- Download the Think Dirty app and start looking at what’s in the products you regularly use.
- SWITCH ALL BEAUTY PRODUCTS TO TROPIC- visit my shop at www.tropicskincare.com/lucychilderley, DM for a brochure or to join my private Facebook community.
- Switch air fresheners for essential oils
- Switch plastic bottles for stainless steel or glass
- Switch Teflon for stainless steel, enamel, glass or cast iron
- Switch to toxin free cleaning brands like Ecover and Method.
- Switch to glass or porcelain for food storage rather than plastic and never reheat or put hot food in plastic storage containers.