Monday night, my good friend and I hosted a FB live educational event all about hormonal health. We’re both passionate about taking care of hormones and sharing that with other women. In preparing for the event, I wanted to write a post with some of the points I shared.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. If you are struggling with PCOS, amenorrhea, infertility, or other period or hormone-related concerns, please speak with your doctor.
I’ve had my own struggles with hormones. From amenorrhea due to my eating disorder to irregular periods and terrible PMS. I went on birth control for PMS, which did regulate my hormones but was just a bandaid for underlying issues.
At the time I went on birth control, I started using safer beauty products and learning about hormonal health through The Real Life RD. Most importantly, I learned that PMS is not normal, and instead is an indication that something is off kilter.
I decided to go off birth control, and was surprised by the results. My period came back and has been regular for 2 years, and I did not experience PMS in the same way. I owe a big part of this to reducing toxins in our products and home.
Hormones are extremely complex, and even now I know my hormones are crazy (ah, stress!), but switching to safer products has made a big impact in my hormonal health. So, I want to share with you some resources on how you can positively impact your hormonal health.
Endocrine Disruptors When I made the switch to safer products, what I was doing to reducing my exposure to endocrine disruptors (among other harmful chemicals). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mimic naturally occurring hormones like estrogen, androgens, and thyroid hormones. They bind to the receptor within the cell and block the naturally occurring hormones from binding and the body fails to respond properly. Endocrine disruptors are linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, and pubertal and reproductive issues.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found in many consumer goods, but I’m going to focus on ones commonly found in in beauty products. Start checking the ingredient lists on your products to see if they contain any of these chemicals.
1. BPA Commonly found in plastic containers. We have tried our best to reduce the amount of plastic in our home, especially with food. Some of my Beautycounter products are in plastic, however I know they are BPA-free. BPA affects brain, prostate gland, and behavior in fetuses, infants, and children, and is linked to breast cancer and early puberty.
2. Phthalates This ingredient is often found in nail polish and hidden in “fragrance” on ingredient lists. Fragrance is a proprietary ingredient and companies are not required to list what goes into it. Phthalates are linked to birth defects in male infants, in particular their reproductive system. It also is linked to thyroid irregularities.
3. Lead Lead is no longer allowed in paint or children’s toys, but it can still be found in color cosmetics and mineral makeup, especially lipstick. You can’t find it on an ingredient list because heavy metals are naturally occurring. This is where you need to know what measures a company is using to ensure the lowest levels of heavy metals. Lead exposure is linked to delays in growth, reduced fertility, and lowered ability to deal with stress.
4. Parabens You can see these on an ingredient list. Parabens are preservative found in many personal care products. They mimic estrogen and are linked to breast cancer, reproductive issues, and skin irritation.
One way to start taking control of your hormonal health is to check the ingredient labels on all your products. While a small amount of ingredients may not seem like a big deal, it’s the daily application of products with harmful ingredients that makes a difference in the long run. A study at Berkley found that even even a short break from certain kinds of makeup, shampoos and lotions can lead to a significant drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body. Here’s what you can do:
Compare ingredients on your products to the Never List
Throw out products with synthetic fragrance
Slowly start switching out to safer products (one at a time)
Understanding your hormones and making steps towards wellness, is a process. Give yourself time and grace as you go through this process. I hope this information arms you with one way to positively impact your hormonal health.
If you want to start your journey with safer beauty products, August 9 save 20% on your Beautycounter order (shop here) with offer code: LOVE