In today’s blog post, we are going to have a look at toxins in the modern world, specifically those hiding in our skin care products.
Many of us do not think twice about the skin care we use. Unfortunately, these products that seem inoffensive may actually be causing a hormonal imbalance due to xenoestrogens.
In our modern environment, we are constantly exposed to toxins that contain oestrogen-mimicking molecules called xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens act as a hormone disruptor by sitting on oestrogen receptor sites in the body. This essentially creates an excess of oestrogen activity in relation to our other hormones.
Having an excess of oestrogen in relation to progesterone causes hormonal imbalance, knocking our all important calming hormone, progesterone, out of balance. This is known as oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen dominance is a term used to describe a condition where a person can have deficient, normal or excessive oestrogen but has little or no counterbalancing hormone to mitigate its effect in the body.
Normally our bodies would process this extra oestrogen through our liver. But because of degrading nutritional quality of our food, modern day stressors and liver-loaders such as alcohol and caffeine, our liver function is often compromised and we struggle to clear it. The demands and stressors of the modern world place a huge load on our detoxification.
Skin care, makeup and self care items contain many toxic molecules which act as xenoestrogens in the body. Common forms include parabens and phthalates. Our skin absorbs up to 80% of what we put on it, so using natural, organic products is important.
Another major culprit is plastics, they’re everywhere! Xenoestrogens found in PCB’s which are man-made chemical compounds that are found in the BPA in plastic drink bottles, food containers, Glad® cling wrap and more.
Xenoestrogens are added to the food supply via pesticides and herbicides. Other, lesser known sources include non-stick pans, the plastic lining the inside of the tinned foods, plastic wrap and kettles.
The effect of excess oestrogen in the body changes from person to person. Oestrogen is a hormone that both men and women have, although it is more commonly a hormone that is imbalanced in women. As we’ve seen previously the modern day world is geared up against women’s hormones, this in addition to the many xenoestrogens we are exposed too are contributing factors to oestrogen dominance.
In females, oestrogen is the hormone responsible for our libido, energy levels and mood while progesterone is responsible for the development of the womb lining and keeping us calm and centered. As we discussed above, an imbalance will look different from person to person but some common symptoms include, excess of weight around hips and buttocks, heavy periods and PMS.
In men, excess oestrogen commonly looks like ‘man boobs’ – softer tissue or inflammation around your chest and armpits which gives the appearance of breasts.
1. Choose natural skin care products.
Opt for natural skin care products that help to nourish your hormone health by avoiding nasty xenoestrogens. Next time you are purchasing skin care products have a quick look at the label. Products that contain 100% natural and organic products are going to be much better for your skin and hormone health. Look out for products containing parabens and PBAs and also those containing ‘fragrance’, as this term can hide up to 200 ingredients. As a general rule of thumb - if the product is not good for the environment it most likely will not be good for you either.
Foundation: When choosing makeup, choose a mineral foundation powder or research some natural beauty care product brands.
Lipsticks: When you were applying your lipstick in the morning I bet you didn’t think you were wiping lead on your mouth? Did you know approximately 60% of lipsticks contain lead? Scary isn’t it? But the truth is, most commercial cosmetics are laden with heavy metals and other toxic ingredients. We love Karen Murell natural lipstick range.
Lip Balms: Much like lipsticks, lip balms may contain suspect ingredients such as camphor which is a waxy substance and potentially toxic. Try this Choco Coco Chapstick recipe, a homemade 100% natural lip balm to moisturise and soothe your lips this summer.
Moisturisers: For moisturisers, toners and cleansers we also love The Herb Farm, Trinity Skincare and The Beauty Elixir.
Deodorant: Deodorant is the one that surprises most clients. We don’t really think to give it much thought other than to ensure we’re wearing it for our comfort and those around us. Deodorants contain many chemicals with the main problem lying with aluminum, parabens and propylene. We recommend trying this effective chemical and aluminum free deodorant from FREE range deodorant. We use and love this deodorant and know that it really works!
2. Better yet, minimise the number of skin care products you use.
Our bodies are amazing, designed to handle everything we throw at it, including stress and toxins. Instead of buying more skincare products to clear your blemishes, try nourishing your body from the inside out. If you nourish your body with the essential nutrients it needs your liver will naturally detoxify, leaving your skin, hair and nails looking healthier. For example, we need plenty of B-vitamins for our liver detoxification pathways. Recently we have looked at ways to low tox your life to support your liver.
3. Get quality sleep.
Sleep is critical for hormone health. Sleep allows our bodies to recover and regenerate. Switching off and allowing our parasympathetic nervous system to relax supporting liver cleansing. The modern world is geared against quality relaxation too, as we are spending even more time looking at screens and not relaxing like we used to. Good sleep also improves our mood, mental ability, memory, immunity and physical performance.
4. Nourish your liver with essential nutrients.
Our liver has the capacity to detox all known toxins to man, however, it does require adequate nutrient levels to do this. Nutrients are essential to our hormone health but how does our hormone health relate to our liver health? Simply put, clinically we’ve found that hormonal imbalance is often a result of liver load. We are seeing this more and more frequently with clients at the BePure Clinics. This is also why I have spent the last three years developing BePure EstroClear, an active daily detoxifier scientifically formulated to support upregulating detoxification through the liver.
When combined with the nutrients included in our BePure One ultimate daily multivitamin and BePure Three high strength fish oil, this provides your body with essential nutrients that support both the building blocks for healthy hormones, while upregulating your liver to clear any unneeded hormones and toxins from the body. With balanced hormones and liver clearance working at optimal levels, our incredibly intelligent bodies will give us signs through healthy hair, skin and nails.
5. Look at what other products you use every day
Our exposure to everyday environmental toxins and chemicals is now higher than ever. These toxins are not only hiding in your skincare products, they are also in many of our household cleaners, body care products and other regular use items, which are then absorbed by our body. To learn more about these unlikely environmental toxins and chemicals, have a read of our blog post, 10 ways to low tox your life
*For more information and resources on skincare products, including companies with clean ingredients and eco-friendly policies - and those to avoid check out safecomestics.org.
Have stubborn weight that just won't budge, energy slumps, painful PMS or menopause issues? Join Ben Warren as he shares the secret role hormones play in your health, why our modern world is working against healthy female hormones and how to naturally heal your hormones and bring them back to balance. This is information every woman needs to know. Learn more and register here.
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