We all know the importance of eating healthy— an apple a day keeps the doctor away, etc. But we probably didn’t grow up learning that what we put on our bodies (and for ladies this includes in or on your vaginas as well) is just as important as what we eat.
It’s crazy, but most beauty and hair products, soaps, lotions and perfumes that we grew up loving are absolutely crawling with toxic chemicals! These synthetic, man-made chemicals actually disrupt the very important natural chemicals, called our hormones, our bodies make. Hormones are responsible for so many things like: mood, sleep, energy, metabolism, sex drive, and menstrual cycles.
Hormones are made by a series of glands throughout our bodies and are released into our bloodstream. The series of glands is called the Endocrine System (see picture below).
Products that contain man-made, synthetic chemicals are absorbed by our skin (which includes our genital tissue!), quickly into our blood stream and disrupt the normal functioning of our hormones, which are also being circulated in our blood stream. They were given the perfect name if you ask me— they’re referred to as endocrine system disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors are found in non-organic tampons and pads, pharmaceuticals, soaps, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, etc.
Interfering with the natural function of your hormones can cause the body functions listed below to really take a hit. See the chart below for a quick glance at what each gland does.
Women Should Avoid These Three Ingredients:
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), when shopping for personal care products women should avoid these three ingredients:
Phthalates, which are a widely used group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to problems of the reproductive system and fetal development.
Fragrance, or natural fragrance, which can hide any number of toxic ingredients.
Parabens, another endocrine-disrupting hormone, have been linked to diminished fertility, lowered thyroid levels and other reproductive problems.
* If you don't know exactly what the ingredients listed on labels mean, look up EWG as a reference to see if it's toxic or has been linked to reproductive or other issues.
* Try Vaginal Herbal Steaming. It’s completely natural and gentle, and will help support your body get rid of infections and odor, improve circulation, relax, maintain a healthy menstrual cycle, etc.
“Glands and Hormones-- The Endocrine System.” Holistic Anatomy: an Integrative Guide to the Human Body, by Pip Waller, North Atlantic Books, 2010, pp. 215–228.
Fall, Michael Elizabeth. “Feminine Care Product Increases Women's Exposure to Harmful Phthalates.” EWG, 17 July 2015, www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2015/07/feminine-care-product-increases-women-s-exposure-harmful-phthalates#.WtULadPwZmA.