Updated: Mar 10
Ok, friends. I've been reading WomanCode and had to hop on here to share a few startling learnings!
According to Alisa Vitti, a self proclaimed "functional nutritionist and women’s hormone expert," hormonal imbalances are at the core of most women's health issues: everything from irregular periods, to weight gain and loss, to headaches, to low libido, to pimples, to mental clarity, are all regulated by our endocrine system.
Chemicals in our environment, from the foods we eat, to the products we use on our skin and to clean, to the water we drink, disrupt our endocrine systems by interfering with our natural hormone flow.
While her book focuses on folks who identify as biological women, I think there are important messages here for all humans. Xenoestrogens (like BPA), which mimic estrogen in our bodies, are at an all-time high. All the while, sperm production is at an all-time low, with men producing less than 50% of the sperm they did 50 years ago! (My $.02 is that this is also tied to cell phones!)
One startling study found that women who wear makeup absorb a whopping 5 POUNDS in chemicals every year. This came as a total shock to me, but, the more I think about it.... the more it makes total sense. How many prescription drugs are administered topically, i.e. through the skin? Antibiotics, birth control, and anesthetics have all been proven to work transdermally because of the skin's ability to absorb and quickly disburse these medications through our blood stream. So why wouldn't our lovely skin also absorb toxins?
Early on in the book, (I'm only 50 pages in 😁) Alisa shares her list of the most hazardous "endocrine disruptors," which I'm sharing below. Check your products for these ingredients and toss them out if they have them!
Phthalates (DBP and DHEP) - these are used to make products softer. They are also known xenoestrogens, chemicals that mimic estrogen.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) - I found multiple variations of SLS in my youngest sister's Bath and Body Works body wash. These chemicals are used to make products sudsy and as emulsifiers.
Parabens (ingredients with methyl-, propyl-, butyl-, and ethyl) - these are used as germicides and preservatives.
Anolamines (DEA, TEA, and MEA) - these are used as preservatives and foaming agents.
Petrolatum - Used in petroleum jelly, skin and lip products as a moisturizer. Honestly, I'd say if you have petroleum based products, toss them all!
A GieGie addition, Any products using non-organic fruits/ vegetables that are part of the Dirty Dozen. These foods, like kale, apples, strawberries, and spinach, have been shown to hold the most pesticide residue on them after being washed, scrubbed and peeled. Check out the full report here.