Having happy hormones is a vital component of good health, however far too many women today are experiencing fertility issues and hormonal imbalances. While these issues have become increasingly common knowledge, what many people are not aware is that exposing yourself to the chemicals in conventional skincare can be a prime culprit in disrupting hormones.
According to the experts, if you want to prevent having difficulty starting a family or other hormone-related health problems, you may indeed want to take a closer look at your beauty routine.“When it comes to fertility, what we put on our body is just as important as what we are putting inside it. Choosing skincare which is toxin free and “edible” (i.e. safe enough to eat) is critical to ensure we maximise our chances of the best pregnancy possible,” advises naturopath Anna Mitsios, who founded the Edible Beauty Australia pure skincare line when she was working at a fertility clinic and noticed the lack of options available that were safe for women planning a family.
And the science is there to prove it. According to studies, we can be absorbing over 60% of the ingredients that we put on our skin, the largest organ in our body, which is also very permeable. This means that the products you apply topically can penetrate through the skin barrier and into the blood, where any toxins present may contribute to hormone disruption, as well as lowered immunity, allergies or intolerances, and other health issues caused by toxin overload. It’s something that should definitely be sounding alarm bells to those planning to conceive and have a smooth pregnancy. One of the key ingredients commonly found in mainstream skincare products are perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s). Contact with PFC’s has been attributed to causing a variety of infertility issues. Women with higher-than-normal levels of PFC’s have a 60-154% higher risk of infertility than those who have normal levels. Men are also not immune to the harm of PFCs, which may affect male fertility by decreasing the volume, overall health and motility of sperm.
So how are these small but nasty chemicals doing all this damage? One of the main reasons why toxins in skincare affect fertility is that they mimic natural hormones, creating endocrine disruption and hormonal imbalance. Many of these toxins are termed “xenoestrogens” as they have the ability to bind to our oestrogen receptor sites, adversely affecting the function of the endocrine system
Even more shockingly, it’s not just your hormones and fertility that are at stake.
Research has reveal that babies in the womb could also be absorbing what pregnant women put on their skin, with toxins found in the umbilical cords of newborns.
Two specific studies screening for more than 400 chemicals, showed 287 toxins detected within the umbilical cord blood.The toxins included BPAs and synthetic fragrances found in skincare, cosmetics and personal care products.
Being educated is the first step, next you need to know how to make the right choices with the products you put on your face and body. “If we follow the ‘edible beauty’ rule when it comes to using skincare, we can ensure that our bodies, babies in the womb and those of our newborns are being provided with toxin free, optimal nourishment from what we put on the outside. And if a product isn’t safe for pregnant women, then really no one should use it,” says Anna.
Basically, skincare products should be as pure as the foods we eat. Both end up in the body. Using skincare that is free from hormone disruptors and the other health hazards of common chemical skincare ingredients is a great way to keep your fertility levels high and hormone levels balanced.