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Chemicals to avoid - Phthalates

Insidious Phthalates

Primary function – Softener in cosmetics, ingredient to fix fragrances, hold color in hair color products
phthalates in perfume hair productsPhthalates are found in fragranced products or perfumes - they help make the scents last longer. Phthalates are also used to soften cosmetics, in shampoos or hair treatments to hold hair color. They are absorbed by skin, enter your body and disrupt hormones and the male reproductive system, leading to lower sperm counts and even thyroid irregularities. Studies conducted by Shanna Swan PhD, concluded exposure to phthalates during pregnancy impaired production of male (testosterone) hormone of their sons and the way their genitals developed. phthalatesAnother study with women indicated that phthalate exposure of pregnant women (phthalate exposure during pregnancy) impacted the normal boy-play (boys will be boys) behaviour of their young (3-6 yr) sons. Although certain types of phthalates are banned in children’s toys, they are still found in cosmetics – in fragrances.
Phthalates are hard to detect in an ingredient list because they can hide under the term - fragrance. If they’re used in fragrances, fragrance components are considered proprietary so companies are not required to list constituent ingredients. So if you’re intent on avoiding phthalates in your daily life, look for a specific statement that indicates that the product is free of phthalates. If you really like a product but cannot tell for sure, it might even be worth the effort to contact the company to confirm. Examples of phthalates - Diethyl phthalate (DEP), Di-n-butyl phthalate.

Quick Summary (Phthalates)
Be on the lookout for:
Chemical names with 'phthalate' such as Diethyl phthalate, Di-n-butyl phthalate

Avoid by specifically seeking products that say they are phthalate free
What makes them controversial:
Disrupt hormones,
Impact male reproductive system,
Impact boys behaviour when their moms are exposed to phthalates during pregnancy
Commonly found in:
Cosmetics and personal products like make-up, lotions, creams, shampoos, conditioners etc.
All products that use artificial/ synthetic fragrances

Find out about more chemicals that can be found in your skin care products