We’ve been told over and over again that chemicals in our food and in our drinks are bad for us. Yet, we tend to neglect the skin care part of our chemical cleansing. We’re more than happy to go on a juice cleanse or a sugar cleanse, but what about a skin cleanse? Maybe we think this way because food is directly ingested into our bodies, while we tend to think of skin care as external.
Skin care products are topical, but their effects aren’t. When you apply a serum or makeup onto your skin, it leeches into the lower layers and eventually absorbs into your bloodstream.
So what happens when you smear your skin with chemicals and artificial, harsh toxins? The effects are very real. There are studies that have connected chemicals in makeup to cancer, scarring, and even irreparable damage to our reproductive systems.
The risk associated with those outcomes happens to be relatively low, compared with how many people chronically abuse their skin with sub-par products. However, the hormonal risk is cumulative and common. Every time your skin absorbs the chemicals, changes may occur inside your body that cause significant distress and abnormality in your endocrine system.
Your endocrine system, responsible for hormone release and regulation, is what maintains your normal levels of some crucial bodily balances: happiness, hunger, desire, and fat storage. Abnormal hormones are linked to a large number of unsavory side effects from the offshoot of those wavering imbalances, ranging from weight gain and acne to insomnia and chronic depression.
Here are some skin care ingredients we think you should avoid for the sake of the delicate balance of your hormones.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
In animal studies, BHA altered the reproductive health and thyroid regulation of test subjects. While Europe deems it unsafe for perfumes and exfoliates, it’s entirely legal in America.
Often found in soaps and deodorants, this product has already been criticized by the Food and Drug Administration. However, it still exists in many products, despite its tendency to cause disruptions in hormone levels.
What exactly is a “fragrance”? We were under the impression that a fragrance was a smell, and last time we checked, you can’t put “odor” on an ingredients label. However, “fragrance” makes the cut.
What exactly is “fragrance” in terms of labeling? Anything that smells. A fragrance could involve any number of hormone-disrupting chemicals. Products labeled as fragrance-free or products that use a natural substance to create a smell are your best alternative.
It’s a common additive in sunscreen, something you’re rubbing on your arms, legs, and hopefully your face at least daily. This chemical, however, is one to avoid — it’s been linked to hormone disruptions in rats by multiple studies.
We’re sure there are other chemical additives that have yet to be studied that could affect your thyroid and other hormone functions. The safest bet is to check the ingredients on your skincare products, just like you would your food.
All-natural products, such as varieties made with plants, foods, and natural oils, are your best option to ensure the cleanliness of your skin. Let’s stop smearing our bodies with substances that could be harmful, and start using natural methods instead.