By now, every one of you reading this has probably heard at least one or two warnings about parabens & phthalates and the damage they could inflict on your body through skin care and other products you may have used.
Some of you have probably even done your own research and sworn off those little f*cks for good after seeing the potential they have to terrorize your body and very possibly contribute to breast cancer. I personally have done hours of research on potentially harmful chemicals found on antiperspirant ingredient lists, and paraben toxicity has some pretty serious evidence behind it at this point. Then there are phthalates- and who the hell knows who came up with the spelling of these little chemical devils, but their health impacts may be as complicated as their letter formation.
One 2017 PubMed article referred to them as slow poisons, and reiterated the need for researchers to validate their toxicity in order to "raise awareness towards the health risks” for vulnerable populations that may be "unaware or unmotivated to avoid them”.
The possible repercussions are alarming, and for most of us with a working brain who care about our health and wellness, it’s enough to make us at least try to change the products we use, and expose ourselves to as few of these toxins as possible.
The good news is that a new wave of researchers seem to finally be taking these concerns seriously again, and we as consumers have the power to drive that research forward by demanding safer products and solid answers.
And so... for breast cancer awareness month I present you with the short version of some of the latest published findings on a few of these “slow poisons” that have become too common in our cosmetic dailies, and have been found on some antiperspirant labels since they became a hygiene essential.
The evidence is strong enough to give convince me that I don't want these toxic chemicals anywhere near my boobs.
Here are the most glaring concerns about parabens and phthalates to date:
- We’ve known for awhile that parabens weakly mimic estrogen which can spur the growth of breast cancer cells. The most recent studies have shown that they can do this in MUCH smaller amounts that initially suspected.
- When low doses of parabens come in contact with heregulin- a growth promoting substance normally found in breast tissue the two chemicals combined have a much more powerful effect, and the dose of parabens needed to stimulate cancer cell growth is 100 times lower.
- Over the past several decades, the starting age of puberty in girls has gotten lower worldwide. To quote another 2017 PubMed abstract concerning recent research on the endocrine disrupting effects of phthalates and BPA’s - “Early pubertal onset is associated with increased risky behavior and psychological issues during adolescence and cardiometabolic disease and cancer in adulthood, this is an important public health concern. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals during critical windows of in utero development may play a role in this trend.”
- Another recent study on endocrine disrupting chemicals in regards to cancer progression revealed that these chemicals including phthalates and triclosan (commonly found in commercial antiperspirants/deodorants) have the potential to induce cancer metastasis, i.e. tumor growth and the rapid spread of cancer cells.
There is still much more that we need before these serious environmental risks become common knowledge. As a consumer, as well as a manufacturer and advocate of ONLY healthy body care, I’m excited and determined to keep raising awareness and increasing the demand for this type of research. The most outstanding part is that it seems like this important subject is coming back to life in the research community and it’s our responsibility together to not let it die.
Let’s. Get. Answers.