Did you know that the thousands of chemicals we put on our bodies each day have an impact on our health and that includes thyroid health? You may think that changing your diet is enough to help put your thyroid in remission but think again. I think people have an idea but I truly did not know the extent until I started researching my own products.
I was watching a documentary and I am not sure what the name of it was but this was five years ago. The documentary was telling the story of a woman that was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was doing all the right things, except for what she was putting on her body.
Do you know what is in your makeup, food, other beauty products? Well you should, because it may be making you sick.
Let me walk you through a few. Yes, just a few because there are so many. The best way to avoid chemicals is to use products where you know what the ingredients.
First, there are these things called Parabens. Most have heard of parabens with the latest marketing campaigns that tell you their shampoo is paraben-free. But what are parabens?
Basically, parabens help preserve items like shampoo and cosmetics to help eliminate the growth of mold (FDA, 2019). Parabens go by the names methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben. Should we be concerned? Personally, I think if you cannot pronounce the name, it has no place in your home.
In a study you can review on PubMed (link in resources), the study found that there were altered thyroid hormone levels. Just stay away!
Next, let’s look at Propylene Glycol which can be found in food, cosmetics, and hygiene products. This chemical is an alcohol substance that can irritate your skin and cause allergies. So far I could not find anything that stated this chemical was linked to cancer but if you are like me and have sensitive skin – stay away!
Phthalates are a family of chemicals used to soften hard materials and used in raincoats, food packaging, floors, detergents, and cosmetics and personal care products. Some of the chemicals have shown to cause cancer in lab rats, liver and kidney damage.
Are synthetic fragrances lurking in your cosmetics? 95% of synthetic fragrances are derived from Crude Oil, WHAT. Are you kidding me? Why in the world would you want this anywhere by your body? Many of the products you use will typically say “fragrance” and you truly do not know what you are putting on your body. The chemical benzene derivatives are carcinogenic and other chemicals have been linked to cancer.
In a 2011 survey conducted by NCBI, many products were classified as green or organic and still contained synthetic fragrances with toxic chemicals. Watch for the term fragrance and ensure all ingredients are spelled out and can be identified.
It is just amazingly shocking how unregulated our beauty industry is and why we need to be our own advocates. More and more petroleum byproducts are finding their way into our cosmetics. Petroleum goes by names such as Petrolatum, Xylene, Toluene, or Liquid Paraffin. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and can cause your skin to become irritated.
What the what! Like I said if you cannot pronounce the ingredient you should not buy products containing the chemical. Like the other chemicals this is harmful to our health and has been linked to lung toxicity and possible neurotoxicity – stay away!
Did you know that Methylchloroisothiazolinone can be found in your antibacterial soap?
Formerly known as Butylphenyl Methlpopional, this chemical can be found in tanning lotions, deodorants, foundation, and hairstyling products. This chemical has been linked to possible organ toxicity, allergies, and endocrine disruption. Think about if your foundation is worth organ toxicity next time you are getting ready for work.
It is a type of vitamin A that can be found in lipstick and other anti-aging products. Research has linked this chemical to an increase in skin cancer. Therefore, you should avoid the sun when wearing products with this chemical.
There are hundreds of chemicals that we need to watch out for. How many chemicals are you wearing?
The Poisoning Squad
I read the book, Pandora’s Lunchbox and let me tell you I highly recommend it. One of the stories discussed the Poisoning Squad which was a group of men who ate food that had chemicals being tested. These chemicals were formaldehyde, Borax, sodium benzoate, to name a few. Through this food study, a bunch of chemicals was eliminated due to the side effects but not all of them. Some chemicals should have been eliminated but were not.
Sodium Benzoate was one of the chemicals and it can be found today in hair products and food, such as bbq sauce.
Read the book – you won’t regret it!
Making The Change
Unless you have the money, don’t go out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars buying new products. The best approach is to make the switch slowly and see what is going to work for your body.
I started switching over the items that I use the most like face and body wash, hair products, and makeup.
What you can do is commit to buying one new product each paycheck and within a year you will have switched a majority of your products.
Whether you have a thyroid auto-immune disease or another condition, what you put on and in your body has an effect on your overall health. Take control of your life and start with simple changes.
Remember you cannot control what companies put in products, but you can control what you put on and in your body!