Beauty Ingredient Linked To Motor Skill Deficiencies In Kids
The saying ‘beauty is a pain’ refers to the fact that, more often than not, women will go to extremes to achieve an effortless look. This often takes the form of them spending countless amounts of money on the latest beauty products. However, according to a recent study, these efforts may not only be harming their health, but also the health of their future children.
Researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health set out to investigate the long-term effects that phthalates could have on pregnant women.
Phthalates are chemicals that are often added to plastics to increase their durability and longevity. The types of phthalates used in cosmetics are DEP, DBP, and DEHP. While they are regularly added to beauty products in other countries, phthalates have actually been entirely banned in the EU as a result of their endocrine-disruptive properties.
For the study, the researchers measured levels of phthalates in urine samples from women during late pregnancy. These women were exposed to phthalates through their use of personal care products, particularly lipstick and moisturizers. They then analyzed the health of their children (209 to be exact) at ages three, five and seven years.
The study revealed that these chemicals affected the motor skills of developing babies.
“Almost one-third of the children in our study had below or well-below average motor skills,” explained senior author Pam Factor-Litvak, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School. The study also revealed that children also experienced low self-esteem and higher rates of anxiety as a result of their poor motor skills.
“This study adds to the substantial body of evidence on the health risks of phthalates for children,” added Julie Herbstman, associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences and director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH), “No chemicals should be this widely available until they are proven to be safe.”
You can read more about the study here
Toxic beauty ingredients
Aside from phthalates, there are other toxic beauty ingredients that one needs to stay clear of.
Parabens, for one, are preservatives commonly used in cosmetics. Unfortunately, they can cause reproductive issues as they imitate estrogen. In fact, parabens were once found to be present in over 90% of human breast cancer tumors (1).
Another cosmetic ingredient that should be avoided is sulfates. These are the ingredients responsible for the foaming actions of shampoos and soaps. According to a separate study, sulfates can irritate the skin.
Hydroquinone is an ingredient that has been banned in Ghana, Japan, the European Union, Australia, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa. Mainly found in skin lightening creams, hydroquinone is sought out due to its ability to decrease the production of melanin. Unfortunately, studies have revealed that hydroquinone can actually greatly increase the risk of cancer.
Aside from doing your best to stay clear of these toxic ingredients, you can also adopt a more natural approach t your beauty routine. Click here to find out which beauty products are currently lurking in your kitchen.