Is Your Makeup Palette Affecting Your Hormones?

Makeup is fun and it’s also a great creative form of expression. However, you might want to opt for the natural look now and then as some makeup products, like most hair-relaxers, are filled with a variety of ingredients that do nothing but harm both your health and your skin – no matter how good they can make you look.

In fact, a recent study has may have you parting with your palette sooner than you think.

The study

Researchers at George Mason University, Virginia set out to analyse the hormonal effect that chemicals found in personal products and makeup items may have. The chemicals in question were parabens (which are preservatives), BPA, benzophenones (UV filters that protect products like lip balm and nail varnish against UV light) and chlorophenols which are also preservatives.

For the purpose of the study, a total of 509 urine samples were collected from 143 women aged 18 to 44 who had no prior knowledge of chronic health conditions and who also did not use birth control.  Each woman provided between three and five urine samples over two menstrual cycles and the urine was collected to be measured for the above-mentioned chemicals. Their hormone levels of oestrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH were also measured in blood up to eight times each menstrual cycle.

According to assistant professor Dr Anna Pollack, this study on makeup and personal products is the first of its kind.

“This study is the first to examine mixtures of chemicals that are widely used in personal care products in relation to hormones in healthy, reproductive-age women, using multiple measures of exposure across the menstrual cycle, which improved upon research that relied on one or two measures of chemicals.

The results

The study revealed a correlation between the chemicals and changes in reproductive hormones with those having elevated levels of the chemicals their urine also having abnormal levels of oestrogen and progesterone.

In fact, those who had higher levels of chlorophenols in their urine also produced more oestrogen and FSH. While oestrogen is an important hormone, too much of it can lead to fibroids, endometriosis and irregular periods. Also, elevated levels of chlorophenols can lead to a decrease of oestrogen in the body and this can affect the health of one’s eggs.

In a university press release,  assistant professor of global and community health at George Mason University Dr Anna Pollack had the following to say,

“We have early indicators that chemicals such as parabens may increase estrogen levels. If this finding is confirmed by additional research, it could have implications for estrogen-dependent diseases such as breast cancer.

The verdict

Following the results of the study, Dr. Anna Pollack further emphasized the need to be aware of the ingredients found in one’s skin care products.

“What we should take away from this study is that we may need to be careful about the chemicals in the beauty and personal care products we use.”

Read more about the study here

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