The potential danagers in your health and beauty products

Top 3 Ingredients linked to Hormone Disruption in Health and Beauty Products

At Healthy Harvest we believe in high quality ingredients and this is especially true for our skincare products.  Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs ingredients directly into our bloodstream.  While we at Healthy Harvest would never use hormone disrupting ingredients, it is good to be aware of them as research shows that over 90% of the population has measurable levels of estrogen disrupting chemicals in their blood, urine and even breast milk.

Estrogen mimicking chemicals disrupt hormone activity.  They do this by either blocking hormone activity, upregulating hormone activity and/or impairing hormone creation.  

Estrogen mimicking chemicals have been shown to cause:

  • Reproductive failure (infertility, spontaneous abortion, low sperm count, low egg count)
  • Reproductive anatomical abnormalities (affecting testes,
    penis, ovaries)
  • Developmental disorders (fetal and childhood abnormalities, altered pubertal development)
  • Progression of hormone dependent cancers (breast, prostate, lung, kidney, pncreas and brain cancers)
  • Thyroid hormone dysregulation
  • Metabolic dysfunction

We put together a list of 3 ingredients commonly found in skin, hair, beauty, personal care and cleaning products to avoid hormone disruption in the body. 

Our Top 3 Items to avoid in your skin, hair, beauty and other personal care products:


1. Synthetic Fragrances

Also found in: perfumes and colognes, baby lotions and wipes, air fresheners and candles, dryer sheets and detergents

In the U.S., manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of synthetic chemicals in the one word—“fragrance”—without revealing what those ingredients are.

Cited on Huffington Post, “Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75 percent of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates (THAL-ates) which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation, and have been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity.” See more on phthalates below.


 2. Phthalates

Phthalates are used in modern-day plastics to keep them soft and pliable.  They are also used to stabilize colors and scents. 

Found in: fragrance, air freshener, laundry and cleaning products, skin and hair care products, personal products, cosmetics, etc.

They enter the body through respiration (ex. fragrances), skin absorption (topical products), contaminated food and water or across the placenta and in breast milk. 

According to Mother Earth Living, “phthalates are a probable carcinogen, some of which have been linked to reproductive harm, learning disabilities, asthma, and allergies – even at low exposure levels.” 

These are commonly listed as one of the following: DBP (dibutyl phthalate), DINP (diisononyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), DMP (dimethyl phthalate), BBP (benzyl butyl phthalate), DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate) or DIDP (diisodecyl phthalate)


3. Parabens

Parabens are a preservative that prevent bacteria in water based products. “About 85 percent of cosmetics have them,” says Arthur Rich, Ph.D., a cosmetic chemist quoted by Real So what’s wrong with them? Parabens mimic estrogen in the body, and estrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems.   Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been banned in Europe and Asia.

Found in: deodorants and antiperspirants, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, toothpaste, shaving products, body sprays, cleansers and scrubs

Includes: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben,
butylparaben and isobutylparaben


Unfortunately, hormone disruption can be found in a variety of other products.  The below link includes other things to be on the look out for:

While complete avoidance is impossible, steps can be taken to minimizes endocrine disrupting chemicals in the body including:

  • Avoiding plastics – use glass and stainless steel for water bottles, food storage, dinner/silver ware
  • Using only phthalate and paraben free cosmetics, skin and hair care products; choose fragrance-free laundry and cleaning products



  • Phthalates and human health, BMJ Journals, Occup Environ
  • Med 2005; 62:806–818. doi: 10.1136/oem.2004.017590

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