Each and every day we come into contact with thousands of synthetic substances.
Through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and most importantly…
Through the beauty products we put onto our skin.
The modern woman’s world is filled with toxins and synthetic substances.
But have you ever considered what these toxins could be doing to your waistline?
You might not think that what products you use in your skincare routine make much of an impact on your exposure to pollutants, but many of the materials you put on your skin can be absorbed into your body.
This includes your perfume, make up, cleanser, moisturiser and serums.
Your skin is just like a sponge.
The problem with non-natural skincare
Endocrine Disruptors are substances which interfere with your body’s hormonal function, and are found in most conventional beauty products.
One particularly harmful type of Endocrine Disruptor are Xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals which mimic natural oestrogen — a type of sex hormone. Once inside the body, Xenoestrogens appear to be identical to oestrogen and trick our cell receptors, so our bodies think they’re allowed to be there.
So, what’s the problem if they mimic something that’s already naturally occurring?
Hormone balance is extremely sensitive, and too much of one hormone compared to another can throw out this precious balance and cause problems.
Excessive amounts of oestrogen, whether it be naturally occurring or caused by Xenoestrogen intake, can cause PMS, painful periods, headaches… and weight gain.
Yes, that’s right… your skincare could be contributing to your waistline.
Do you feel like you’re spending hours and hours at the gym without getting any real results?
Oestrogen dominance caused by an excess of oestrogen and xenoestrogens in the body could be what’s preventing you from losing those final pounds or that pesky muffin top.
Switching up your beauty routine could help you to lose those final few inches around your waist.
Not only can these toxic synthetic hormone disruptors influence your body to store fat rather than burn it, but there are studies which show a link between Xenoestrogens and breast cancer.
These seemingly unassuming substances mean serious business, and can have disastrous effects on your health and wellbeing.
Xenoestrogens can cause problems for not only women, but men too.
More and more men are experiencing excess breast tissue or ‘man-boobs’ due to high estrogen levels.
So it could just be time to get the men in your life some natural skincare!
But jokes aside, of course the body is equipped to deal with slightly elevated levels of oestrogen – the liver detoxifies excessive oestrogen and disposes of it by combining it with bile that is then excreted.
But for many of us, the levels of oestrogen and xenoestrogens that we are exposed to are way too high, and our livers are struggling to cope.
This often happens when the liver is overloaded with other materials (toxins) to detoxify, and is too busy to process excess oestrogen.
Because oestrogen is natural, the liver prioritises it last over things like caffeine, alcohol, paracetamol and other drugs. So it gets put back into the bloodstream to circulate, causing symptoms of hormonal imbalance or oestrogen dominance (as mentioned above).
Reducing your exposure to Xenoestrogens is vital to keeping your weight stable and reducing the risk of negative side effects and disease.
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Endocrine disruptors can be found in many chemicals we’re exposed to in our day to day lives, so start by minimising your exposure at home.
One of the easiest places to start is by switching to natural beauty and skincare products.
This is an important place to start as the skin absorbs many of the chemicals that it comes into contact with, and with daily application of several products, Xenoestrogen levels can rise quickly.
Think about how many products you used this morning – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturiser, foundation, concealer, blush, mascara, lipstick and possibly many more.
How many of those were organic or natural products?
How many harmful substances you have been exposed to even before you’ve even sat down to breakfast?
But don’t worry, it’s not hard to clean up your skincare routine and minimise your exposure to synthetic substances.
At Tailor, we’re looking out for your health by putting consumer education first and by making gorgeous, natural and safe products.
Xenoestrogens in the home
Dish washing liquid, laundry powder, and surface cleaner are the three products which we come into the most contact with. And it’s impossible to know exactly what’s in these products because companies aren’t required to disclose the full list of ingredients on the package. Which means they could contain all kinds of endocrine disrupting materials and you’ll never know.
Xenoestrogens and Phytoestrogens in your food
While eating organic food is a great way to avoid the majority of endocrine disruptors, it’s not always financially reasonable.
There are still ways in which you can reduce your consumption of endocrine disrupting chemicals when eating conventional food:
- Make sure you wash all fresh produce in a bath of water and vinegar (3:1), this removes the majority of pesticides from fruit and vegetables.
- Grow salad greens and herbs at home as these items are heavily sprayed when conventionally farmed and can even be rinsed in a preserve to prolong the shelf life of bagged greens (3 x times washed does not mean ‘with water only’).
- No all plastics are created equal and many plastic products contain xenoestrogens which leach out into your food, especially when heated. Never heat food in plastic containers or plastic wrap, and store food in glass or ceramic when possible.
- Always look for plastic containers and bottles that state they are ‘BPA free’, and try not to leave plastic containers in the sun, as this can lead to the leaching of harmful chemicals.
Commonly Found Xenoestrogens
Look for these names on the ingredients list of your products:
Skincare and beauty products
Parabens – eg methylparaben a commonly used preservative in skincare products.
4-MBC (4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor) – a synthetic SPF material found in many modern sunblocks
Phthalates – a plasticizing material commonly found in nail polish and mascara
Tri- sodium phosphate (TSP) used as cleaning agent, lubricant, food additive, stain remover
Any non organic foods sprayed with:
Food preservatives including BHA – butylated hydroxyanisole
Food stored and heated in plastic packaging
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Estrogen and Xenoestrogens in Breast Cancer, Fernandez, S. V., & Russo, J. (2010).
Bisphenol A Induces a Profile of Tumor Aggressiveness in High-Risk Cells from Breast Cancer Patients, Dairkee, S., Junhee Seok, Champion, S., Sayeed, A., Mindrinos, M., Wenzhong Xiao, Davis, R. W., & Goodson, W. H (2008).