Chemicals in cosmetics explained at Au Naturel

There are many so-called ‘natural’ products which have barely a one percentage of natural ingredients contained in them. What about the other 99 per cent? Did you know that a major ingredient in brake fluid and anti-freeze, derived from petroleum, is contained in baby lotion, cosmetics, and shampoo? And that some chemicals added to a whole range of products we use daily can cause hormone disruption?

A group of chemicals with similar shapes to hormone molecules can trigger functions that are normally only controlled by our own hormones. These work by mimicking the female sex hormone oestrogen. What are the likely side effects of these powerful substances on the female body, the unborn, children, and indeed males? Some time ago a programme showing scientific studies in this area was aired on BBC Television. It showed how male fish which were exposed to high levels of these oestrogen mimicking hormones actually changed sex over a relatively short period. This group of chemicals are known as Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals (EDCs ). Our body’s endocrine system produces a range of hormones which control the way our bodies grow and function. They also determine our sex.

EDCs are strongly feminising, and over 45 different EDCs have been identified. Along with other chemical pollutants in the environment they are responsible for reduced sperm counts in almost every species of animal in the world. Many of these EDCs are contained in toiletries, shampoo, cosmetics, and detergents, and even babies’ teething rings. Parabens such as buthylparaben were found in 2002 by Dr Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo to “adversely affect the secretion of testosterone and the male reproductive system”.

Isn’t it much better to spend a few extra euros on truly natural chemical-free skincare products and make-up, therefore minimising possible side-effects? INIKA is the number one certified organic make-up brand free of chemical ingredients.

For further information contact Susan in Au Naturel, Irishtown, Athlone on (090 ) 6487993.

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