Chemicals in your cosmetics can cause infertility – why you should always check the ingredients list of your make-up

clean make-up

When it comes to choosing make-up products, we rely on brand names more than the ingredient list. In fact, most of us aren’t aware that cosmetics such as nail polish, anti-ageing creams and antibacterial soaps are full of chemicals.

Previous studies have shown that they can cause skin irritation, neurological problems, and even infections. But a new study shows that chemicals in cosmetics can also have an adverse effect on female fertility.

As a result, experts are recommending women trying to conceive to check the ingredients in their make-up.

There are certain chemicals present in make-up products and they are added during the production process. These ingredients could aid in adding colour and also maintain the composition of the make-up.

clean make-up

Some cosmetics contain chemicals that can affect female fertility. Photo: Getty Images

However, the problem with these chemicals is that many are toxic and they can further suppress your ability to conceive by interfering with the endocrine system.

When the endocrine-disrupting chemicals are introduced into the body, they can stop hormones contributing to normal body functions.

Cancers, autoimmune diseases, and even infertility are linked to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Therefore, discontinuing the use of beauty products that contain such ingredients or products can improve the chances of fertility.

clean make-up

Some cosmetics makers don’t use products that cause health problems; others, however, say the chemicals are within “safe limits”. Photo: Shutterstock

Looking at the side effects, there are some cosmetic companies that are choosing not to use toxins that lead to infertility and other health problems.

However, there are some that are refusing to change, citing that the use of the chemicals is well within “safe limits” as per the US Food and Drug Administration.

However, there are no such “safe levels” of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Once they are in your system, it may be possible to reduce the levels, but getting rid of them from the body is next to impossible.

clean make-up

Endocrine disrupters affect hormones and can have an impact on fertility. Photo: Getty Images

Here are the main endocrine disrupters found in make-up:

Parabens

They are added to keep the make-up free from bacteria and mould. The most common ingredients in parabens are propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben.

Benzophenones

This chemical is added to stop the product dissolving in the heat. Common ingredients include sulisobenzone, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone sodium and anything “BP” with a number after it.

Bisphenols

Also known as BPA, they have been banned in the formulation of make-up. However, bisphenols are still found in make-up packaging.

Phthalates

Phthalates are added to make-up to keep the colour vibrant. The ingredients to look out for in the packaging will read DEP, DBP, fragrance and DEHP.

clean make-up

Use brands you can trust when buying make-up. Photo: Shutterstock

Take note that just because the ingredient is natural, it does not mean it is safe; and conversely, just because an ingredient is synthetic or derived from chemicals, it is not unsafe.

If you are planning to buy clean make-up, start slowly. Select items that are used most often and find alternatives for those.

It is important that you choose a brand whose values are aligned with yours. For instance, are they vegan, cruelty-free, or made with natural ingredients and so on. In this way, you can have a go-to source to use as a starting point when you are looking for a new product.

If you’re opting for a new product, you can make sure it is safe by looking up and researching the ingredients on the label. However, if you are concerned that the price point for clean make-up is higher, it is because natural products are not processed or mass-produced.

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