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7 Risks Of Phthalates in Skincare Products

Recent research reports show that skincare is an integral part of the beauty and fashion industry, constituting more than 23% of the industry's revenue. According to QC Makeup Academy, men in the U.S spend over $6 billion on skincare products, including scrubs, lotions, creams, and grooming accessories.

Likewise, over 161 million women in the U.S use skincare products daily. A woman, on average, uses 16 skincare, cosmetic, and beauty products daily. Women spend between $200,000 and $300,000 on beauty products in a lifetime. It is about $250 per month.

Skincare is essential to your daily routine because it keeps your skin healthy and in optimal condition. Keeping your skin glowing, radiant, and healthy is crucial to its overall wellbeing because you shed skin cells throughout the day. The purpose is to prevent acne, slow aging, and look beautiful.

Everyday skincare products include cleansers, exfoliators, serums, face oils, moisturizers, chemical peels, sunscreens, scrubs, lotions, soaps, etc. Many people in the U.S don't know about the harsh chemicals in skincare products, leading to acute and chronic health problems.

One of these compounds is phthalates. Today's article will discuss the risk of phthalates in skincare products to help you make an informed decision when choosing a beauty product. Read on!

What are Phthalates?

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used by companies that manufacture plastics, household, and skincare products. These compounds are endocrine disruptors and highly detrimental to human health.

Most companies use phthalates in skincare products and packaging. The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned phthalates in personal care products in 2017. However, these compounds are not subject to FDA approval, meaning there is no solid legislation.

What Products Contain Phthalates?

You can find phthalates in various products, such as skin care products like shampoos, body lotions, scrubs, serums, soaps, cleansers, moisturizers, nail polish, hair spray, etc.

Some companies use phthalates in toy manufacturing, food packaging, air fresheners, medical tubing, blood bags, and saline. In addition, these compounds/chemicals are common ingredients in wood finishes, adhesives, detergents, solvents, lubricants, and plastic pipes.

How Do Phthalates Affect You?

Phthalates are a family of industrial chemicals and compounds that soften plastic and are used as solvents in consumer products, including skin care items. These compounds can damage your body's reproductive, respiratory, renal, and neuronal systems. Let us discuss the risks of phthalates in skincare products.

1. Irritant Dermatitis

Irritant dermatitis, also known as contact dermatitis, is a skin condition or reaction that occurs when harsh chemicals irritate or damage your skin's epidermal layer. Skin is the largest organ in the human body, and the epidermal layer protects the body from allergens, irritants, and pollutants.

Some people exposed to irritants, like phthalates found in soaps, shampoos, and other skincare products, experience a severe rash. Exposure to phthalates can also cause atopic dermatitis, a condition that affects young adolescents and teenagers.

allergic dermatitis

2. Allergic Dermatitis

Allergic dermatitis also called contact allergy, is a form of eczema caused by phthalates and other allergens. Although some allergens are harmless to people, phthalates pose a higher risk of allergies in individuals that frequently use commercially manufactured skincare products.

A recent research study confirmed the relationship between allergies, wheezing, asthma, and other conditions with phthalates found in skincare conditions. Common signs and symptoms of this condition are:

  • Itchy rashes
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Cracked skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Swelling
  • Burning sensations
  • Tenderness

3. Eczema

Eczema is characterized by dry skin, itching, and reddish or brownish patches on your upper chest, neck, wrists, ankles, hands, or feet. It also affects your skin and scalp, causing smaller bumps with built-up fluid.

A study published in Science Direct, a reputable scientific journal, highlights that diisononyl and diisobutyl are metabolites of phthalates found in skincare products and increase the risk of eczema in children, men, and women.


4. Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by harsh phthalates, including dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diethyl phthalate found in beauty products. These compounds penetrate your skin and enter your bloodstream, causing asthma symptoms like:

  • Faster breathing
  • Blue lips
  • Wheezing chest sounds
  • Chest tightness
  • Constant coughing
  • Faster heartbeats
  • Dizziness and exhaustion
  • Drowsiness or fainting

5. Hormonal Disruption

A growing body of research evidence, including peer-reviewed studies, has concluded that phthalates are a group of chemicals that cause severe endocrine disruptions and damages, affecting a person's hormonal balance.

Phthalates in skincare products, such as shampoos, soaps, serums, and exfoliators, can modify your body's hormonal structure and function, causing chronic reproductive issues.

In addition, phthalates can disrupt various hormones, including alterations in sperm fertility, quality, and quantity, sex organs abnormalities, early puberty in children, and endometriosis.

6. Infertility

A 2020 research study published in the National Library of Medicine shows that exposure to phthalates can reduce or diminish sperm count in men. Researchers concluded that phthalates found in skincare products could reduce sperm quality, increasing the risk of infertility and congenital malformations. These compounds affect estrogen and progesterone levels in women.

7. Cancer

In addition to disrupting hormones and the endocrine system, phthalates in skincare products can increase the risk of breast cancer. 2010 research study highlights that ingredients like phthalates in beauty of cosmetic products can promote breast tumor growth by affecting the estrogen receptors and signaling pathways.

How Can You Protect Yourself From Phthalates?

Protecting yourself from skincare products that contain phthalates can reduce the risk of acute and chronic conditions. Experts suggest using personal care and cosmetic products with "Phthalates-free" labels.

We recommend learning about skincare companies by performing thorough research to know whether their products contain harmful chemicals. Avoid using hairsprays, shampoos, nail polish, scrubs, serums, and perfumes that contain toxic compounds like phthalates and parabens.

Vegan skincare products are excellent alternatives to commercial cosmetics and beauty products. These products contain plant-based ingredients that improve your skin's overall condition and make you feel and appear beautiful and youthful.

natural skincare product

How Can You Tell If A Product is vegan?

The best way to determine whether a product is vegan is to look for the Leaping Bunny Logo on skincare and cosmetic products. All skincare products that comply with the Leaping Bunny regulations and have certifications are cruelty-free and 100% non-animal tested products.

The primary factor that sets Leaping Bunny apart from other certifications is its premium standards with no testing on animals. The company's state-of-the-art monitoring system checks the products before accrediting skincare brands.

In addition, look for ingredients like phthalates, parabens, formal aldehyde, lead, and SLS. Avoid buying the product if you find any of these ingredients in a shampoo, soap, scrub, or serum.

Benefits of Vegan Skincare Products

Vegan skincare products have recently gained popularity because they are healthy and safe. Research highlights that 83% of people, including generation Z, purchase natural, plant-based, chemical-free, and organic skincare products.

For instance, investing in Hebe Botanica, a Leaping Bunny Certified company's product, is an excellent way to improve your skin and make it more radiant and youthful without worrying about health conditions like acne, eczema, rashes, skin cancer, etc.

Vegan or cruelty-free skincare products contain natural ingredients rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins, proteins, natural oils, minerals, and antioxidants. These ingredients keep your skin fresh, boost cellular repairs, and keep it in optimal condition for a prolonged period.

vegan holistic skincare

Final Words

Like exercise and a balanced diet, skincare is an essential part of your day-to-day life. Taking it for granted can take a toll on your skin's health, leading to acute and chronic conditions that require advanced treatment.

On the other hand, vegan skincare products are free from phthalates and chemicals. They contain natural ingredients to restore and strengthen your skin cells, combat free radicals, and maintain overall wellbeing.

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