We usually pick out our makeup carefully! We want the right colors and styles to match our outfits and skin tones, after all. But are you looking beyond the color and style? Looking at the ingredient list on some of your favorite makeups and understanding what all those terms mean may actually shock you – they can be quite bad for your health!
Some makeup and skincare products contain what are known as xenoestrogens. This “foreign estrogen” can actually impact your well-being, especially your endocrine system. Here’s what you need to know about them, what products they can be found in, and how you can go about avoiding xenoestrogens.
What are Xenoestrogens?
Xenoestrogens, or foreign estrogens, are an example of a xenohormone. They can be found in synthetic as well as natural chemical compounds, but they actually imitate estrogen. A good example of them would be birth control, but, in most cases, they can have an undesirable impact on your endocrine system.
How Do They Affect Your Health?
Because xenoestrogens can trick our body into thinking they’re the “real deal,” they can also have a negative affect on our health and normal estrogen levels. They have been found to
Sit in fat cells because they’re non-biodegradable
Lead to problems with puberty
Cause types of cancer
Including prostate, breast, and testicular cancers
Increase the chances of diabetes
Be detrimental for fetuses
And for those with endometriosis, they’re often told to steer clear of any products that contain xenoestrogens as it can actually worsen the condition.
What Should You Look for in Makeup and Skincare Products?
Many popular makeup and skincare products actually contain xenoestrogens, so it’s helpful to know what to look for to steer clear! However, it’s important to note that it’s likely impossible to completely avoid xenoestrogens and other harmful chemicals as they’re in more than just makeup. It will be beneficial though to at least decrease your exposure.
It would be too long of a list to detail every product out there that’s unsafe, so instead, I recommend you look at the ingredient labels before buying. You’ll want to keep an eye out for:
Phthalates are often used in moisturizers. Plasticizers, they can soften the skin, but they can absolutely lead to issues with the reproductive system, increase your chances of cancer, and decrease testosterone levels in breast-feeding boys. They’ve also been known to affect neurodevelopment, social communication, the liver, and the kidneys.
On labels, look out for:
Parabens can be found in makeup, skincare products, hair care products, and more. Although they work as antimicrobial agents, they can impact hormone levels, cause skin irritation, and increase your susceptibility to damage from UV light.
Anything that ends in paraben falls under this umbrella, including:
As well as fragrance
Many products will advertise when they are paraben-free.
Another antimicrobial agent, triclosan got its start as a surgical scrub. It was banned in antibacterial hand soap in 2016, but can still be found in a number of products, including makeup and skincare. Tricolsan can also affect our gut health and allergies.
When it comes to ingredients, check for triclosan as well as triclocarban.
What Makeup Should You Use to Avoid Xenoestrogens?
Knowing what to look for will definitely help you avoid some xenoestrogens. I’ve also put a list together, though, of some reputable companies that are known for being healthy and/or vegan.
Beauty Bakerie (Black Owned)
Lip Bar (Black Owned)
LYS (Black Owned)
Juvia’s Place (Black Owned)
BLK/OPL (Black Owned)
Kat Von D Cosmetics
Tower 28 Beauty
GXVE by Gwen Stefani
These are just some of the makeup companies that I’ve found out there that are healthy, cruelty-free, and keep xenoestrogens out of a majority (or all) of their products. If you have any suggestions to add, make sure to leave a comment below and tell me why you love them!
Xenoestrogens aren’t advertised in makeup products. They’re going to be hiding. Understanding what to look for is key to avoiding them. While it’s impossible to completely steer clear of all xenoestrogens, simply being more aware can make all the difference for your health.
Whether from makeup products, xenoestrogens, or some other underlying cause, do you feel that your endocrine system is a bit out of whack? It may be time to talk to a doctor and get to the root cause of the problem. Schedule an appointment with me today to get started on your functional medicine journey by calling 626-360-3418 or reach out with any questions here.
Handa O;Kokura S;Adachi S;Takagi T;Naito Y;Tanigawa T;Yoshida N;Yoshikawa T; “Methylparaben Potentiates UV-Induced Damage of Skin Keratinocytes.” Toxicology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16938376/.
Main KM;Mortensen GK;Kaleva MM;Boisen KA;Damgaard IN;Chellakooty M;Schmidt IM;Suomi AM;Virtanen HE;Petersen DV;Andersson AM;Toppari J;Skakkebaek NE; “Human Breast Milk Contamination with Phthalates and Alterations of Endogenous Reproductive Hormones in Infants Three Months of Age.” Environmental Health Perspectives, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16451866/.
“Toxic Triclosan Banned from Soap but Lingers in Consumer Products.” Environmental Working Group, 26 Sept. 2022, https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/toxic-triclosan-banned-soap-lingers-consumer-products.
“Xenoestrogens: What Are They, How to Avoid Them.” Women in Balance Institute, 26 Oct. 2017, https://womeninbalance.org/2012/10/26/xenoestrogens-what-are-they-how-to-avoid-them/.