A recent longitudinal study conducted by UC Berkeley has revealed some disturbing data regarding the use of our everyday beauty products. The newly found results highlighted something troubling. A connection between specific chemicals used in shampoos, fragrances, and toothpaste – to name a few – and the early onset of puberty in girls. Though the same behavior has not been observed in young boys, the study’s conclusions are still alarming.
It happens to everybody. We take a quick run to the supermarket or we stop by at the trusted, family-run, tiny market on the corner to get essential products. We’re in such a rush that we mindlessly grab the first shampoo that encounters our eyesight. Or we aim at the cheap ones, to save a few bucks. “Labels are useless,” we tell ourselves, and off we go in a harmful direction. But labels are crucial for a pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. We should care about them as much as we care about the “on-sale” tag stuck to items on the shelves.
According to the Research
But if your own wellbeing is not a primary concern, that of your children might be of higher interest. “Researchers in the School of Public Health found that daughters of mothers who had higher levels of diethyl phthalate and triclosan in their bodies during pregnancy experienced puberty at younger ages”, reports Kara Manke of Berkeley News. Diethyl phthalate, a chemical usually found in cosmetic products to bind compounds and fragrances, has not yet encountered a disapproval frown from the FDA. Triclosan, an antibacterial found in soaps and toothpaste, has been banned in the U.S since 2016. Yet, both of them still find their space in some every-day products, and their harms keep going unnoticed.
To make it worse, the early development of puberty isn’t the only risk that these substances bring about. “[…] earlier age at puberty has been linked with increased risk of mental illness, breast, and ovarian cancer in girls and testicular cancer in boys,” remarks Manke. And what’s more, girls that go through puberty earlier are also less likely to survive ovarian cancer in the unfortunate event that they are diagnosed with it.
It’s probably about time to start choosing wisely and revamp our shower caddy with harm-free products. All the fuss about organic and natural products has never been more legitimate. Not only do they prevent our body from absorbing harmful chemicals. They also respect our Planet by not harming it either. As cliché, as it might sound, natural and organic really is going to make a difference in our health. It makes a difference for our environment too. Achieving a natural lifestyle can’t be done overnight, but it can be done one small step at a time. And it can all start by reading a few more labels.