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Hormonal imbalance and personal care products

Know about the hormonal disruptors in your personal care products!

This blog is about the ugly truth behind the products that claim to enhance your beauty.

Have you ever thought about the impact that your skin and hair care products create beyond skin and hair care? They might cause more harm in the long run than proving to be beneficial!

The ongoing trend of self- love with daytime and night time skincare routine combined with hair care regime might show some good results externally but they have potential to cause more health concerns internally, if they contain harmful ingredients. These toxic chemicals are added to increase shelf life, improve texture, reduce price, etc. One can say that the amount of chemicals in personal care which can cause some harm are present in acceptable amounts so it is safe to use, but think about the prolonged usage of the same chemicals when they penetrate your skin!

By Personal Care Products (PCPs)we mean personal hygiene, health-related, grooming and cleaning products which are used daily in every household making human exposure easy and this includes:

  1. Skin and hair care products

  2. Sunscreen or UV blocking lotions

  3. Toothpastes

  4. Insect repellents

  5. Perfumes, etc.

In this blog we urge our readers to start reading about ingredient lists on personal care products just like we read the label on the things we eat. Be aware of the toxic chemicals being used and let’s try our best to remove them from our list of daily essentials.

We all are exposed to these toxic compounds via 2 types of routes:

1. Direct route: inhalation, ingestion, dermatologically and absorption.

2. Indirect route: Environmental contamination

Due to diverse range of affordable PCPs and easier accessibility from retail outlets, they are proving to be a threat to the environment by loading up in waste water systems through regular application of these toxic chemicals on skin and are also ingested orally which are eventually washed off and drained down the water system and spread widely to whole environment. The active and inactive ingredients in these compounds are released continuously in the atmosphere and thus affecting marine and human life.

Let’s know the top offenders:

  1. Sodium Lauryl/ Laureth Sulphate (SLS and SLES): a foaming agent that can cause skin irritation, cataracts and detrimental long-term effects on organs

  2. Petroleum/Paraffin/Mineral oils: causes premature ageing and skin disorders.

  3. Formaldehyde: a carcinogen also labelled as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), glyoxal and oxaldehyde.

  4. Synthetic fragrances/Parfum: a single fragrance could include up to 200 ingredients. Ditch any products that lists ‘fragrance’ as an ingredient.

  5. Parabens: They mimic estrogen and wreak havoc on the endocrine system. Found on labels as isobutyl paraben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.

  6. Mercury (aka Thimerosal and Merthiolate): a metallic compound used as preservative, gets stored in the brain. This can lead to neurodegenerative diseases.

  7. Phthalates: These plasticizing chemicals are linked to congenital disabilities and damage to kidneys, lungs and liver. They are labelled as BDP, DEHP and DEP.

  8. Hydroquinone: Used as a skin lightening chemical that prevents the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity and skin irritation.

  9. Propylene Glycol/ Polyethylene glycol (PEGs): the same ingredient found in antifreeze, linked to organ damage and skin diseases.

  10. Triclosan: this antibacterial product is associated with antibiotic resistance, by killing all the bad and good bacteria, it wipes your body’s natural microbiome, which is a natural defence to viruses. It also deeply affects thyroid hormone and cholesterol synthesis disrupting metabolism majorly

  11. Siloxane/ Cyclical silicones: not environment friendly and is also an underlying cause of endocrine disruption

  12. Ethanolamines: these are comparatively safe but can be allergens to sensitive skin so you should look out for monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA)

  13. Oxybenzone: potential endocrine disruptor

  14. Resorcinol: normally present in hair colour and bleaching products which are known to cause immune disruption and skin irritation

  15. PFAs and PFCs: these are fluorinated chemicals which are linked to serious health effects including thyroid and even cancer.

The harmful health impact caused by conventional personal care product ingredients doesn’t mean you have to stop using personal care products. Choose all-natural personal care products that are non-toxic, friendly to the body, and the environment.

At Functional Medicine Clinic , we help people reverse their chronic diseases, by addressing the root cause and be healthy & vibrant again!


  1. Khalid M, Abdollahi M. Environmental Distribution of Personal Care Products and Their Effects on Human Health. Iran J Pharm Res. 2021;20(1):216-253. doi:10.22037/ijpr.2021.114891.15088

  2. Calafat, A.M., Valentin-Blasini, L. & Ye, X. Trends in Exposure to Chemicals in Personal Care and Consumer Products. Curr Envir Health Rpt 2, 348–355 (2015).

  3. Suliman, R., Alghamdi, S., Ahmad, D., Alghamdi, R., Alotaibi, R., Alghwainm, M., & Aljammaz, N. (2021). Comparative analysis of the heavy metals content in selected colored cosmetic products at Saudi market. Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, 12(4), 430.

  4. Personal Care Products Council: "Statement by Alexandra Kowcz, Chief Scientist, Personal Care Products Council, on PFAS in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products."

  5. U.S. Food & Drug Administration: "Cosmetics & U.S. Law," "Diethanolamine," "5 Things to Know About Triclosan," "Fragrances in Cosmetics," "Hair Dyes," "Hair Smoothing Products That Release Formaldehyde When Heated."

  6. Leso, V., Macrini, M. C., Russo, F., & Iavicoli, I. (2020). Formaldehyde Exposure and Epigenetic Effects: A Systematic Review. Applied Sciences, 10(7), 2319.


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