Are your cosmetics causing PMS? - Rachel Collins

Are your cosmetics causing PMS?

How your personal hygiene products could be affecting your hormonal health

Why do I talk so much about cosmetics?

No it’s not because I’m obsessed with how I look.

In fact, I’ve always been the one who doesn’t know how to do her hair and make up. Seriously, I only learnt how to do a messy bun this summer!! It’s like I live under a rock when it comes to beauty stuff.

Despite my lack of ability in the beauty and cosmetics department I still use a lot of personal care and hygiene products daily. I bet you do too.

The average person uses 9 personal care products containing 126 different chemical ingredients every day!

Personally, I think a lot of women use way more than that.

Let’s think this through:

Shower gel, shaving foam, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toner, moisturiser, leave in conditioner, heat protect styling spray, hair spray, dry shampoo, deodorant, perfume, toothpaste, suncream, hand washes … then there’s all the make up, make up removers, nail varnishes and remover, extra treatments like face masques, hair masques, oils, hand creams… The list goes on and on.

And just like food – every one of these products has the potential to influence our health.

How are our personal care products affecting our health?

Our skin absorbs everything we put on it. It’s a giant mouth-like organ. Except when we eat something there is a strong barrier (our gut) to prevent the foreign particles from accessing our bloodstream. The skin doesn’t have the same barrier. Everything that goes on our skin can get into our blood. Fast.

The ingredients of the products we put on our skin are important because many chemicals have endocrine-disrupting properties. 

Of course we want our deodorant and our suncream to be effective. But we also don’t want them adding to the toxic load on our body. Many ingredients in high street products contain oestrogen-mimicking compounds and when the vast majority of women in the Western world are oestrogen-dominant – that’s bad news.

Oestrogen dominance is usually the cause of heavy periods and PMS. So many women struggle with this and often it isn’t that our body is out of control and producing too much oestrogen. It’s that we are slathering things that behave like oestrogen onto our skin.

Ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics

Oxybenzone – usually in suncream

Triclosan – usually in toothpaste

Parfum or fragrance – this can hide many different chemicals and artificial scents. Don’t be fooled by the labelling ‘natural’. There are no restrictions on being allowed to use that word so it doesn’t guarantee everything is safe! Do your research so you know you can trust the brand if they use these terms.

PEGs (polyethylene glycol), parabens and sulfates – found in LOADS of products

For more information on how to avoid hormone-disrupting chemicals I highly recommend you take a look at the Environmental Working Group website. This page has the top 12 endocrine disrupters listed with the most common places you find them. You’ll also find a LOT of clinical references if you like a bit of the science behind all this.

When you’re trying to get healthy it is SO important to overhaul your bathroom cabinets; not just your kitchen cupboards.

Local supermarkets are catching onto the toxin-free trend in the beauty industry but a lot of more natural brands aren’t that effective. (Honestly, how many times have you tried an aluminium-free deodorant and instantly regretted it?? stink alert!!)

Here are a few of my tried and tested brands that I think are amazing:

Aurelia – OMG their products are divine. My most purchased product from them is their cream deodorant. It smells amazing and it actually works.

Neals Yard Remedies – They’ve been around a long time and I’m a big fan of their shower gels and bubble baths.

Monat – Luxury, botanically-based, vegan haircare. These shampoos and conditioners have transformed my hair. And they help you out with finding exactly the right products for you. Take their free hair quiz here and get your personalised recomendation

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