I always love questions that have me go, hmmmm.
This question has popped into my mind many times before, but even more when I was pregnant with Evelyn. When reading labels I will frequently see the warning that a product isn’t safe to use during pregnancy. Oftentimes this is either from lack of testing on ingredients or the ingredients that are included are found to be harmful to developing babies. I will ask myself, if an ingredient can affect developing babies, than what is it doing to my own body, primarily hormones, tissues and cells? One of the big offenders are ingredients that can be endocrine disruptors.
I can talk at length about endocrine disruptors as they effect so many areas of our health. If your asking what is an endocrine disruptor, let me explain.
Hormone, or endocrine, disruptors are chemicals that have the potential to interfere with the body’s endocrine system. The endocrine system regulates mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, sexual function and reproductive processes. Some chemicals mimic a natural hormone and thereby fool the body into responding; a false cue like this could result in the body producing more estrogen, which in turn could lead to breast cancer. Other disruptors block the effects of a needed hormone, or cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (for example, an overactive or underactive thyroid).
Interestingly, tiny amounts of these chemicals can sometimes do more damage than large amounts. It may be counter intuitive, but the body is used to dealing with really small amounts of natural hormones, produced nearly constantly. So when foreign endocrine disruptors from our environment—like our food and our cosmetics—enter our bodies in tiny doses throughout the day, they mimic real life. Any of these changes may produce serious developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune problems. A wide range of substances can disrupt hormones, including DDT and other pesticides, BPA (found in polycarbonate plastics and the resins that line metal food cans), phthalates (found in “fragrances” in detergents and cosmetics) and parabens (common cosmetic preservatives). Parabens have been shown to decrease birth weight and gestational age at birth.
In 2014, Teen Vogue wrote an article about why it is important to go green with your personal care products. It’s incredibly important for children and teens to use safe products as they are incredibly sensitive to hormonal changes and the long term effects can be impactful.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) took blood and urine samples from 20 teen girls ages 14-19 and were tested for the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals. There were 16 chemicals from 4 chemical families detected – phthalates, triclosan, parabens, and musks, which are known for their hormone disruption, cancer and developmental concerns.
While EWG’s study tested only girls, it is equally important to help the males in our lives also use safe products. They are just as susceptible to these hormone disruptors and it’s implications on fertility.
Where does Beautycounter’s products stand on safety in pregnancy and nursing?
All of Beautycounter’s products are safe to use during pregnancy and nursing. We screen every ingredient for safety, keeping those especially vulnerable—like pregnant women and babies—in mind.
Many pregnant women are concerned about using essential oils. The essential oil fragrance blends for all of our scented products make up less than 3% of the product formula. If a Client is concerned about using a product with a higher percentage of essential oils, please consult your health care provider.
If you see a warning label about safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding, steer clear.