When I sustained a horrific facial burn seventeen years ago, I was compelled to take a deep dive into skincare product ingredients. I couldn’t take any chances. I had to heal my skin. It was raw, it was painful, and I was desperate. This led me to do some serious research. Seventeen years ago, google wasn’t what it is today, so I spent a lot of time with doctors, scientists, homeopaths, and pouring through books in the library. All this research let me to some rather shocking realizations:
- Xenoestrogrens: There were synthetic chemicals in my skincare products that could pose as “estrogens” and thus mess with my hormones. I’ve subsequently learned that these xenoestrogens aren’t just in skincare, but that skincare is an easy place to begin to weed them out. Synthetic fragrance, some preservatives, and penetration enhancers are just some of the ways that these “hormone disruptors” can sneak in.
- Cheap & Useless Ingredients: I began to learn to my horror that I’d been wasting my hard-earned money for years on products that did NOTHING! The expensive anti-aging face creams that I shelled out were comprised of cheap mineral oils and fillers. Then they were “fairy dusted” with a few buzz word ingredients.
Both of these realizations ignited a passion in me. I wasn’t going to be hoodwinked, and I wasn’t going to harm my health in the pursuit of beauty. Much of my research ended up in my first book Gorgeously Green, and then I did a deep dive into the subject in my most recent book, Gorgeous For Good (grab a copy if you’re interested in really figuring out what your skincare is, or is not doing for your skin and your health).
But before we focus on skin, let’s look at how we can avoid xenoestrogens in our environment. Here are my top 10 tips for avoiding them.
1. Go chlorine-free: Have shower heads and even a whole home filter that takes the chlorine out. Try to use unbleached paper products, especially female sanitary products and toilet paper.
2. Always drink filtered water
3. Never drink water out of a single-use plastic water bottle
4. Ditch plastic as much as your can, especially for food storage.
5.Use completely bio-degradable, and naturally-scented laundry detergents
6. Use green and non-toxic cleaning supplies
7. Eschew the use of pesticides in and around your home.
8. Buy organic food where possible.
9. Eliminate meat and dairy from your diet
10. Avoid any kind of synthetic fragrance
Here’s a list of ingredients that are sometimes listed on labels:
- Atrazine (weedkiller)
- 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
- Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)
- Bisphenol A (BPA-monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)
- Chlorine and chlorine by-products
- Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (one of the breakdown products of DDT)
- Dieldrin (insecticide)
- DDT (insecticide)
- Endosulfan (insecticide)
- Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3
- Ethinylestradiol (combined oral contraceptive pill)
- Heptachlor (insecticide)
- Lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide)
- Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)
- Methoxychlor (insecticide)
- Nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides)
- Pentachlorophenol (general biocide and wood preservative)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs (in electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives, paints)
- Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben commonly used as preservatives in personal care products)
- Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
- Phthalates (plasticizers)
- DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
- Propyl gallate
But here’s what I really need you to understand: Our skin is living and breathing. It absorbs well over 60% of what we apply to it. And, as far as our hormones are concerned, we need to be extremely circumspect in our skincare and cosmetic choices. As a nutritionist and wellness educator, I’m obsessed with teaching you how to eat clean, however, we live “clean” in every area of our life.
Thankfully, the green/non-toxic skincare industry has exploded over the last ten years! You won’t have any trouble finding a decently-priced skin care brand to suit your every need. And I spend a great deal of time testing and reviewing products. I attend every expo and conference that I can because I love to ferret out the best in show.
My upcoming Gorgeous For Good weekend wellness weekend is devoted to helping you get all the information you need to completely reset your wellness from the inside out. I have bought the best of the best in green beauty – formulators for you to consult with, and experience their amazing treatments. You are going to rest, reset, indulge, learn, and have wellness experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. You are going to learn about Ayurveda, Essential Oils, Hormonal Balance, and more. I’m actually thrilled as my two favorite hormones educators are coming to present and talk with you: Candace Burch and Dr. Prudence Hall. The weekend in June 9th/10th and we still have a few tickets left. Don’t delay as we will sell out.
Let’s take care of our health from the inside out people! It’s never one thing. It’s a holistic endeavor, which includes diet, exercise, stress-relief, skincare, and detoxing our homes. All of these toxins are cumulative, but the good news is that we can begin to minimize our exposure today.