According to a recent study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas, taking a break from various cosmetic products can result in a significant drop in the levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals present in the body.
About 100 Latina teenagers were given various personal care products which were labeled to be free of parabens, oxybenzone, triclosan, and other chemicals which are commonly used in all conventional personal care products such as shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen soap, etc. Animal studies have shown that these chemicals interfere with the body`s endocrine system.
According to study lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, “Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals.” She also adds that “Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”
The urine samples from the girls who used lower-chemical products over the period of three days have shown a significant drop in the level of chemicals in the body. Metabolites of diethyl phthalate, often used in perfumes, dropped by 27%, triclosan and benzophenone-3 feel 36%, and methyl and propyl parabens, commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44 and 45%.
Co-director of the study, Kimberly Parra, explains the importance of why having local youths participate in the study:
The results of the study are particularly interesting on a scientific level, but the fact that high school students led the study set a new path to engaging youth to learn about science and how it can be used to improve the health of their communities. After learning of the results, the youth took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members and presented their cause to legislatures in Sacramento.
“One of the goals of our study was to create awareness among the participants of the chemicals found in everyday products, to help make people more conscious about what they’re using,” said Cárdenas, one of the teen researchers. “Seeing the drop in chemical levels after just three days shows that simple actions can be taken, such as choosing products with fewer chemicals, and make a difference.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO
– First and foremost, check the labels of any product! Although most cosmetic products contain a list of ingredients, some of them don’t and you need to ask the manufacturer for it.
– Choose more natural and organic products! It is recommended to buy them from a health food store and read the ingredients.
– Ultimately, you can make your own organic products, as the store-bought usually cost more. Making your own personal care products is cheaper and much safer alternative because you can adjust the ingredients to your specific needs. Try a Google search for some amazing homemade make-up ideas.