5 Reasons To Choose Fertility-Friendly Skin Care

Written by Anna Mitsios, N.D.

When it comes to fertility, what we put on our body is just as important as what we put inside it. Choosing toxin-free skin care that's “edible” (i.e. safe enough to eat) is critical to ensure we maximize our chances of the best pregnancy possible.

Here are five reasons it's so important to be conscious of what you're putting on your skin when planning a family, and which ingredients to look out for to ensure you're not exposing yourself to hormone-disrupting chemicals through skin care.

1. We absorb over 60% of the ingredients we put on our skin.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it's permeable. This means that when we apply something to our skin, it doesn't just sit on the surface. Rather, it penetrates through the skin and into the blood where any toxins present in the products can contribute to hormone disruption, lowered immunity, allergies/intolerances and toxin overload.

2. Your baby is absorbing what you put on your skin.

If our bodies are absorbing what we put on our skin, it makes sense that our babies are also taking it in. Studies show toxic chemicals are routinely found in the umbilical cords of babies, and when researchers screened for more than 400 chemicals, 287 toxins were detected within the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Of these 287 toxins, 217 were neurotoxins and 208 are known to damage growth development or cause birth defects. The toxins included BPAs and synthetic fragrances found in skin care, cosmetics and personal care products.

3. Toxins in skin care may contribute to infertility.

One of the key ingredients commonly found in skin care products are perfluorinated chemicals, better known as PFC’s. Contact with PFCs has been attributed to causing a variety of infertility issues. Women with higher-than-normal levels of PFC’s have a 60-154% higher risk of infertility than those who have normal levels. PFC’s can also affect male fertility by decreasing the volume, overall health and motility of sperm.

4. Chemicals found in skin care are endocrine disruptors.

One of the main reasons toxins in skin care affect fertility is that they mimic natural hormones, creating endocrine disruption and hormonal imbalance. Many of these toxins are termed xenoestrogens as they have the ability to bind to our estrogen receptor sites, disrupting the function of the endocrine system.

A few of the other leading toxin culprits in skin care include:

  • Parabens: One of the main xenoestrogens found in skin care and body products. They're fat-soluble, meaning their estrogen mimicking is readily stored in the body. Commonly found in deodorant, shampoo, soap, body wash and skin care products.
  • Phthalates: Another primary endocrine disruptor found in skin care. This ingredient is used as an emulsifying agent and is found in most liquid body care products such as lotions, soaps, perfume and hair products.
  • 4-Methylbenzylidene: Known as 4-MBC, it's used in sunscreens to help protect the body from UV rays. Studies have shown this ingredient acts as a xenooestrogen in the body.
  • Petrochemicals: Found in skin care products under names such as polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, oxynol, PEG, myreth, oleth, lauret, and ceteareth, these chemicals have been associated with spontaneous abortion.

5. Edible skin care represents nourishing, vital food.

Like the other organs in our body, the skin exudes youthful vitality and radiance when it harmoniously absorbs the living nutrition and subtle energy from nourishing, toxin-free food and skin care. The best way to interpret an ingredient list on a skin care product is to read each ingredient as if it were something that you might put in your mouth.

Skin care products should be as pure as the foods we eat. If we can follow the "edible beauty" rule when it comes to toxin-free skin care, we can ensure both our bodies and those of our newborns are being provided with the most vital and optimal nourishment, inside and out.

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