Currently, a lot of skincare products from different brands are popping up on the market. Naturally, these products have different ingredients tailored to the conditions and needs of each skin type. Many of them claim that the ingredients they use for skincare come from natural ingredients which are certainly safe to use on the skin.
Many skincare products have started to use organic ingredients in their skincare products and have received positive responses from many consumers. Currently, many people are switching to using skincare products with organic ingredients because skincare products that use chemicals are actually harmful to the skin.
There are several types of chemicals that are often used as ingredients in making skincare products. These chemicals can be harmful to the health of the skin and body if used continuously for a long time. These materials are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This article will discuss more deeply about the endocrine system and chemicals belonging to this EDC umbrella.
Definition of EDC
An endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) is a type of chemical that can interfere with the normal function of hormones, such as estrogen, both in humans and animals. This disruption can result in problems with internal signaling that can lead to premature cell death.
Actually, EDCs can also be found in natural plants, such as phytoestrogens or more commonly called soybeans. Although there are natural ingredients, most of these EDC compounds come from synthetic chemicals.
Research conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences states that women who use beauty products containing EDCs frequently for a long time will be more susceptible to reproductive health problems. These reproductive problems include fertility problems, early puberty, and premature aging of reproduction. For this reason, this is a serious problem. The adverse effects of EDCs are well known in the medical field and are also quite often discussed in the world of beauty.
There are 5 chemicals classified as EDCs that you need to know of. You need to be aware of these ingredients and try to avoid them as much as possible. The 5 chemicals include:
Oxybenzone is an organic compound which is a derivative of benzophenone. These compounds are usually found in skincare ingredients, such as sunscreen, lip balm, and nail polish. This compound is used to protect products from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Oxybenzone itself easily absorbs into the body, and if absorbed in high amounts will be persistent and toxic.
According to research, oxybenzone can be absorbed into human blood and it has been found in breast milk, amniotic fluid, and urine. Oxybenzone itself has the potential to cause allergies, disrupt the endocrine system, and of course be dangerous for children. Thus, you need to be careful in choosing your skincare products. Avoid choosing skincare products that contain benzophenone, oxybenzone, and sulisobenzone. Choose a mineral sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.
Parabens are compounds that are generally used as preservatives in beauty products to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in these products. Paraben itself has several types that are often used in beauty products, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben.
Parabens are also often used in combination with other compounds to make them more effective in protecting products from bacteria and fungi. Many beauty products use parabens for protection, such as make-up, moisturizer, hair care, and shaving products.
Thus far, parabens are controversial compounds. This is because parabens have properties similar to estrogen and can even resemble the hormone estrogen in the human body. Parabens can also be easily absorbed in the body, through the skin, blood, and digestive system. A study in 2012 found that parabens can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Triclosan is one of the active compounds that is often found in body care and hygiene products. Generally these compounds are used as active ingredients, preservatives, and anti-bacterial, in products such as deodorants, soaps, toothpastes, and others.
Triclosan has been proven to be harmful to health because this material has been tested on mammals and other animals. These compounds were shown to have effects that can disrupt hormones and the endocrine system. Exposure to triclosan for a long time is feared to pose certain risks, such as endocrine disorders, bioaccumulation, and the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to antibodies and anti-bacterial products.
Resorcinol is a drug that works to destroy rough, scaly, or hardened skin. In addition, resorcinol can also be used to eradicate germs on the skin and fight infection. This compound is often used in various personal hygiene products, preservatives, disinfectants, and antiseptics, such as shampoos, hair dyes, acne medications, and others.
The use of resorcinol in high amounts will cause disturbances in the central nervous system and even cause breathing problems. In addition, resorcinol can also interfere with the endocrine hormone system, especially the thyroid function.
Phthalates are materials that are often used in the lining of aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and toys. Generally, phthalates are a series of chemical compounds used to make plastics more flexible and durable.
What is even more dangerous is that phthalates are still often found in beauty products. The scariest thing about it is that we cannot smell, see, or even taste it, so it is hard to know if these phthalates are entering our bodies. Phthalates are almost never listed on the packaging label, thus it is difficult for us as consumers to know whether a product is safe from phthalates. The most common type of phthalates is DEP (diethyl phthalate) which is often used in nail polish products. Thus, make sure to check the ingredients before buying nail polish.
Phthalate is one of the chemicals that have been banned from circulation in Europe and Australia. This is because of the harmful effects of this material if it gets into the body. Phthalates cause endocrine disorders, toxins in reproduction, and even trigger cancer.
- Those are some brief explanations about EDCs and the endocrine system. Remember to be aware of these chemicals when buying skincare or other daily products.