Can cosmetics alter the hormonal system?

The number of people with hormonal problems or disorders is increasing in recent decades. Endometriosis, low fertility, obesity... For this reason, research is focused on finding the endocrine disruptors that can be causing this problem.

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals capable of altering the hormonal system. This definition is enough for us to run away from them, and want them exterminated from the universe. And yet they are fully present in our daily lives.

They are found in water, air and all sorts of everyday household products, medical, industrial, agricultural, etc. Thus, they are in pesticides such as DDT and endosulfan; herbicides such as atrazine; heavy metals such as cadmium; certain UV filters used in sunscreens; some preservatives used in many cosmetic products, especially parabens, etc. Therefore, European consumer organisations and even the World Health Organization (read report here), warned that if you use daily many cosmetic products, you may be exposing yourself to an excessive amount of substances that can alter your hormonal system. From the long list of endocrine disruptors, the most commonly used in cosmetics are:

      • Methylparaben y ethylparaben. Two preservatives of the parabens group.
      • Isopropylparaben e Isobutylparaben. Another pair of preservatives of the parabens group, less frequent than the previous (also increasingly less used). There is not enough information about them, although considered worrisome. As a precaution, they should be not used.
      • Propylparaben y Butylparaben. Another two preservatives of the parabens group. Denmark banned them in products for children under three years.
      • Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate. It acts as a UV filter.
      • Benzophenone-1 y Benzophenone-2. They are also UV filters. They are also described as worrisome.

Have you checked the labels of your cosmetics? In how many products did you find some of these ingredients? Do you use them daily? OCU advised to avoid them. And above all, to be not used in children, pregnant or nursing mothers, since they claim that endocrine disruptors can affect the foetus.

If you want more information about this topic, see this WHO report.