Every day millions of women slap on body moisturizer, apply lipstick or mascara without a second thought about what they are putting on their skin.  Many of the beauty products that you are using every day could be subjecting your body to a cocktail of harmful chemicals.

A study conducted by a natural deodorant company called Bionsen in the UK claims that the average woman applies more than 500 chemicals to her body every day during her beauty routine.  And new research by the University of California, Berkeley, found that lipsticks can contain as many as nine different metals.

Why should you be concerned?

Chemicals such as parabens (a synthetic preservative in everything from toothpaste to shampoo) and phthalates (a class of chemicals that are found in many “fragranced” beauty products such as lotions, perfumes and deoderants) are classified as xenoestrogens.  Xenoestrogens are a category of chemicals that disrupt the normal function of hormones.  Normally, our endocrine system releases hormones that give certain tissues or glands a signal telling them what to do.  However, when chemicals from the outside get into our bodies such as these xenoestrogens, they have the ability to mimic our natural hormones; specifically estrogen.  Our natural estrogen produced in the body is important for bone growth, blood clotting and reproduction in both men and women.  The body will regulate the amount needed through very complicated and intricate biochemical pathways.  Xenoestrogens, because they mimic our natural estrogens create hormone chaos, increasing the total amount of estrogen resulting in a condition called estrogen dominance.  Estrogen dominance has been implicated in many conditions including: breast and prostate cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, early onset puberty and PMS.

Since the liver breaks down estrogen and other environmental toxins (such as xenoestrogens), any liver disease or liver impairment can contribute to estrogen dominance.

I recommend EstroSense® to patients in my practice.  EstroSense is a comprehensive liver detoxifier that gently supports the elimination of harmful environmental toxins and helps to bring back hormone synergy.  Milk thistle is one of the most researched herbs when it comes to liver detoxification and liver cell regeneration.  Curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that prevents free radical damage, and protects the brain and cognitive function.  Key compounds such as indole-3-carbinol, sulforaphane, and calcium-d-glucarate are found in kale and broccoli and are very important for restoring hormone balance because they remove those bad estrogen mimickers from our environment.  During the detoxification process, we always want to ensure adequate antioxidant support to bind onto any harmful by-products to prevent further inflammation or free radical damage.   Green tea extract, lycopene and rosemary extract are all very effective antioxidants for the job!

So starting now, read labels and stay informed, check out The Environmental Working Group website www.ewg.org as well as Campaign for Safe Cosmetics www.safecosmetics.org for more information about how you can protect yourself.

Dr. Marita Schauch BSc ND is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Canada’s premier institute for education and research in naturopathic medicine.  Dr. Schauch’s health articles educate the public about health and wellness and have been featured in numerous print media.  She currently resides and has her clinical practice in Victoria B.C.   www.drmarita.com