Our Hormone Expert’s Guide to Cosmetic ShoppingLuke Coutinho
Are your cosmetics safe? Image credits: Unsplash
In our years of experience with clients who come to us with hormonal imbalances, many of them don’t have any specific major medical or lifestyle concerns. However, we have been able to find a commonality in excessive usage of chemicals in personal care products in these patients. These chemicals are hormone disruptors, also called endocrine disruptors.
Know more about the endocrine system
An endocrine system is a network of various glands that secrete hormones (chemical messengers) to all parts of the human body. These messengers play a role in the body’s metabolism, growth, repair, reproduction, sleep, and stress response. They decide the behavior of the cells by playing their specific role. However, when there is a change in these normal functions of hormones due to endocrine disruptors, they exhibit their naughty behavior leading to hormonal health issues.
While there are many routes to how these hormone-disturbing agents enter our body, one of the most common routes researched nowadays is exposure to xenoestrogens.
Know where you can find these Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are man-made chemicals, and they mimic the functions of the estrogen hormone. Xenoestrogens such as parabens, phthalates, and aluminum salts are endocrine disruptors that affect male and female reproductive organs and their fertility.
Xenoestrogen mimicking the body’s natural hormones after getting absorbed in the body. Image credits: NIH
To name a few from the endless list of chemicals are paraben chemicals like methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, formaldehyde, oxybenzone, various fragrances, parfum, phthalates, SLS /SLES, polypropylene glycol (PG), heavy metals, mineral oils, and so on. These are present in most personal care products like face creams, cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, lip balms, lipsticks, blushers, and concealers. They are also present in hair oils, hair cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, dyes, deodorants, and shaving creams. These are also heavily present in menstrual products.
When you use any of these fancy-looking products the harsh chemicals get absorbed through the skin leading to toxin buildup and congestion of the hormone binding sites in the body causing a disturbance to the hormonal function. The health conditions linked to hormonal imbalance like PCOD, endometriosis, fertility disorders, uterine fibroids, menstrual disorders, early menopause, gynecomastia in males, erectile dysfunction, and unexplained weight gain in males and females are multifactorial but overuse of cosmetics is identified as one of the major cause.
Know the secret products that can protect you from these hormone enemies
The list of endocrine disruptors is overwhelming, and with more and more advancement, it is nearly getting impossible not to expose ourselves to these. Just because the product labels itself as natural and clean, it may not be chemical-free. Having said that, a genuinely clean product can easily be rendered toxic if packed in a plastic container because of the tons of xenoestrogens from the plastic leaching into the product.
Nevertheless, the good news is that we can minimize our exposure to these by being aware of the product that we are choosing for our use or peeping into our kitchens for some ingredients that can make the best natural cosmetics for us.
Here are some secret alternatives that can make your skin glow as against conventional products.
|Face cream||Coconut oil, almond oil, castor oil, argan oil|
|Sunscreen||Aloe vera gel, carrot seed oil|
|Lip balm/lipstick||Cocoa butter, ghee, beetroot gel, cinnamon, strawberry|
|Body care Products|
|Body scrub||Natural ubtans from lentils, oats, gram flour, raw milk, yogurt|
|Deodorant||Pure essential oils, bentonite clay, and apple cider vinegar|
|Shampoo/hair cleanser||Reetha, Shikakai|
|Conditioner||Apple cider vinegar, eggs, yogurt, methi (fenugreek) seed water, rosemary water|
|Hair Color||Natural henna/ coffee/indigo color/natural herbs|
Know more about natural, trusted, and verified products for personal use here
Natural cosmetics do exist! You only go to look for them and be aware of the ingredients.
Image credits: Unsplash
Everyone likes to use personal care products because they make us feel amazing when we wear them. Our day starts and ends using at least one of these products and hence we must keep clean and chemical-free products around us so that we don’t puzzle our endocrine system. We must always exercise good judgment before purchasing the product to give the correct signal to our brain and the intricate hormonal balance.
Along with being mindful about the products we use, we must also ensure we are maintaining an inside-out approach to keep our body and mind healthy. In case you weren’t aware of the perils of cosmetic usage earlier and have any indicators of hormonal imbalance or xenoestrogen dominance, it will be a good idea to start taking care of your cellular nutrition, gut health, including essential vitamins and minerals, maintaining a good microbiome, practicing adequate exercise, having a good bedtime routine, getting quality sleep, and emotional detox. We must also look at addressing the elimination of xenoestrogens through liver and colon cleansing foods and natural plant-based supplements.
(Written by Aditi Save, Senior Nutritionist & Lifestyle Expert at Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems)
Reviewed by Luke Coutinho
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