Do you know what’s in your cosmetics?
One survey found that women, on average use 9 personal care products a day, in total containing 126 different chemical ingredients.
From shampooing our hair in the morning shower to applying a flash of lipstick before we walk out the door. It begs the question, do we really know what’s in the cosmetics and beauty products we use daily?
The EU has some of the best chemicals regulations in the world. Despite this, many cosmetics and personal care products can still contain chemicals, including endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can cause adverse health effects, and some are potentially linked to breast cancer.
What are EDCs?
EDCs can affect the body’s hormones. They may be harmful even at very low concentrations, or may interact with other chemicals to cause harm. Most chemicals on the market have not been tested for their endocrine disrupting properties.
Some ingredients used in cosmetics are known or suspected EDCs that mimic oestrogens. Oestrogens stimulate breast cell growth and proliferation. They also contribute to the proliferation of damaged cells and potentially increase the likelihood of mutations which may lead to breast cancer. Certain chemicals found in cosmetics interfere with oestrogen levels in the body and may lead to changes in breast tissue, which have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
What to look out for!
Tips on how you can reduce your risk
Keep it simple - try to use fewer cosmetic products, and use them less often. Always try and opt for unfragranced products.
Do your research - check ingredients lists before you buy and choose products which contain any of the bad guys above. There are many products available which do not contain harmful chemicals - check out natural beauty bloggers online or the Soil Association's list of certified brands.
Make Your Own - you can make your own cosmetics using readily available natural ingredients such as coconut oil, lemon, olive oil and oats.
Make it fun, get your friends round and have a natural beauty night.