One of the things I’ve completely overhauled in my life since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s is my makeup + skincare routine. With an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s, it’s pretty important to reduce my exposure to toxins. I still have some work to do with regular household items but I feel like I’ve finally got a handle on the beauty products I use on the regular.
I’m sure you know or you’ve at least heard about some of the dangerous toxins found in most beauty products and although they’re not great for any of us, they can be especially problematic for folks with autoimmune conditions (the endocrine-disrupting chemicals can lead to issues impacting the thyroid, adrenals and overall immune system – all no bueno for Hashimoto’s).
Let’s take a step back.
Women, on average, use 12 personal care and cosmetics products per day, which amounts to 168 different chemical ingredients! In contrast, men use an average of six personal care products, with an average of 85 different chemicals, on a daily basis. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons as to why seven women develop Hashimoto’s for every one man with the condition, perhaps the use of endocrine-disrupting chemicals may play a role.
If you take a look at the average American woman’s bathroom, you will probably find close to 100 personal care products, including hairspray, nail polish, lotion, shampoo, cleansers, makeup, and perfume. Most of the chemicals in these products have not undergone safety studies to verify their nontoxicity to humans, because most cosmetic chemists only test the chemicals on themselves to see if the products make them more aesthetically appealing.
The truth is that the skin is our largest organ, and its porous nature allows most of what it comes in contact with, to be absorbed. One study published in the American Journal of Public Health reported that 64 percent of chemicals found in drinking water were absorbed by the skin when it came into contact with the water. Some areas of the body, such as the underarms and genitalia, have been shown to have a 100 percent absorption rate, meaning that all of the chemicals that are placed on these areas are directly absorbed into the body!
*source: Dr. Isabella Wentz
Okay, but what should I avoid?
Even if you don’t have an autoimmune disease/Hashimoto’s, chances are you can still benefit from eliminating your exposure to toxins – or at least decreasing the frequency of exposure. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “okay cool – but where do I start?” While there are way too many chemicals present in beauty products to list them all, xenoestrogens are the most common components of commercial beauty products.
Xenoestrogens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that mimic the effects of the sex hormone estrogen and include soy, BPA, phthalates, and parabens. The continued use and accumulation of these substances may lead to estrogen dominance and can have a profound impact on the immune system, adrenal health, and thyroid function. They can also cause birth defects, infertility, and cancers. Um. What the f&%k?!?!?
Ingredients to watch out for:
- retinyl palmitate
- DMDM hydantoin
- dibutyl phthalate
Now for the fun part!
I’m not saying you need to toss out all the things and buy all new products. However, if you are looking for cleaner alternatives to your favorites, there are a few of the products that I’ve given my stamp of approval!
The perfect bronze glow with an au natural matte finish. Obsessed.
My go-to for concealing this post birth control acne. Also doubles as a great eye brightener.
Beautycounter Tinted Moisturizer
Ya know I love a good tinted moisturizer and this one from Beautycounter is hands down my favorite. Love all of the shade options!
If you’re looking for the perfect highlighter – well, this is it. Love the natural, lightweight finish and the glow is REAL.
I don’t wear eyeliner often but this stuff is the real deal. The smudger on the other end come sin clutch for a good smokey eye.
Milk Brow Gel
I’m no pro when it comes to my brows but a good brow gel can go SO far. This one from Milk is definitely a favorite.
Gimme a good mascara and I swear I can conquer the world. Love this volumizing one from Beautycounter – sooooo good.
I feel like I haven’t worn lipstick in SO long. But when I do – or when I decide to play dress up at home – this Ilia one is my go to.