Hormone disrupting chemicals in your skin care
Reading labels on your skincare is no longer something you can avoid!
Certain hormone disrupting chemicals, that are commonly found in personal care products, are considered ‘a global threat’ by the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) commissioned and funded report, released yesterday, entitled State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 
It would be untrue of me to say that these endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were solely found in skincare, they are not.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are also found, among other places, in many tin can linings (Bisphenol A), phthalates in poly vinylchloride (PVC), triclosan in some antibacterial products, and brominated flame retardants in selected electrical goods and sofas as well as many, many other places. 
Many women avoid PVC or tinned food whilst still using synthetic-chemical-based, perfumed, personal care products. Seeing as I largely discuss synthetic chemicals in personal care products; let’s just focus on that today.
I have done my best to avoid phthalates, Bisphenol A and other endocrine disrupting chemicals for a long while now but it is very challenging to avoid them completely living in the modern world.
What is in your skin care despite being a serious issue is still largely ignored or dismissed by consumers.
The old adage “well they wouldn’t sell it if it was bad for us” is losing traction.
This UNEP / WHO report is important and here’s why
Highlights from the summary of the report:
“The vast majority of chemicals in current commercial use have not been tested at all”
“This is a global threat that needs to be resolved.”
“It is now virtually impossible to examine an unexposed population around the globe.”
“Because only a small fraction of the hundreds of thousands of synthetic chemicals in existence have been assessed for endocrine disrupting activity, and because many chemicals in consumer products are not identified by the manufacturer, we have only looked at the “tip of the iceberg”.” (emphasis mine)
“Close to 800 chemicals are known or suspected to be capable of interfering with hormone receptors, hormone synthesis or hormone conversion. However, only a small fraction of these chemicals have been investigated in tests” 
Just as something is on the shelf doesn’t make it safe.
Hormone disrupting chemicals in your skin care may seem unbelievable and for a long time I used to feel angry about it. Now I am just driven to educate you on how you can avoid these endocrine disrupting chemicals.
I can take £100 or $100 and go and buy all manner of products many of which contain potentially detrimental ingredients. I can freely use these products without any warnings or preventative regulations.
Today, I scrutinise labels and use pretty much ‘edible skin care‘ exclusively.
Impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals
The report released yesterday is exciting, I am thrilled that two major global organisations have taken a stand and said wake up folks, this is really important.
The UNEP State of the Science report called it a “global threat” which I think it is.
You use all these personal care products on your skin; a certain percentage (and still very much disputed how much) gets absorbed through the skin, some gets washed down the drain which in turn can wind up in water sources and has been shown to impact amphibians and other mammals such as seals and dolphins. , 
The report concluded:
“EDCs are present in personal care products, and their uptake through skin has been recently recognized as a significant route of human exposure.”
What we use in our bathroom has a wider impact than just our body.
Perhaps you think ‘well it is only a small amount’ granted, it is very often but you might be using three or four different products with phthalates in, that adds up. This day-in-day-out amount adds up. What also could be happening is the ‘cocktail effect’ of different synthetic chemicals mixing, and that combination led the researchers to say that the effect of endocrine disrupting chemicals “may be significantly underestimated.” 
Whilst synthetic chemicals like triclosan leave the body relatively quickly, according to the book “Slow Death By Rubber Duck” by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, our exposure is quite-likely daily so it is still an issue.
(this is a superb book, so I am happy to share my affiliate link).
Clare Dimmer, chair of Breast Cancer UK said
“Enough is enough, there have been enough studies linking EDCs to breast cancer” 
It is vitally important to read labels on skin care and personal care products, you can still look beautiful without using highly-perfumed, synthetic chemical skin care.
What I hope this report does is show that what we use on our body matters for our own health but also animals and the environment around us. I don’t think ignorance is bliss any more.
Start to avoid phthalates, parabens and in your life.
Learn how to detox your bathroomLearn how to Detox your Bathroom in seven steps
I agree you could argue that the issue is so pervasive it is impossible to avoid. However manufacturers are aware of the issues and some are reformulating accordingly.  So why not start to read labels and use edible skin care?
Do you avoid phthalates? Perhaps you pass on the perfumes?
Or are you of the view it is all too much and you will carry on using the brands you use?
 World Health Organisation effects of human exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals examined in landmark UN report
 Food Production Daily: Action needed to minimize EDC risk- breast cancer
 Forbes: New research links chemical regulation with market innovation
 If you wish to read or download the UNEP State of the Science of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals report it is a large PDF!
 Globe and Mail: Chemicals in everyday products linked to rise in birth defects.
 Environmental Health News: UN, WHO panel calls hormone-disrupting chemicals a ‘global threat’
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