If you are someone who enjoys surfing through the latest skincare products in the cosmetic aisle, you would have come across brands claiming “Phthalate-free”, “Paraben-free”. You might have wondered why it matters, or you could have assumed that they are harmful to skin or hair health. But, it is beyond that! Ingredients like Parabens, Phthalates, Triclosan, and some fragrances commonly used in cosmetics are reported to be “endocrine disruptors”. So, what does it mean?
Endocrine disruptors or endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are substances that mimic the naturally occurring body hormones and affect the normal functioning of the body. In detail, the endocrine system is made up of many glands located throughout the body, including the thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, brain, and kidneys. These glands secrete hormones that enter the bloodstream and bind with the target receptors in other parts of the body, signaling to the organs and tissues what to do and when to do a specific action. Thus, hormones play a crucial role in growth and development, managing hunger and fullness, blood sugar, blood pressure, puberty, menstrual cycle, digestion, sleep cycle, etc.
The endocrine disruptors can interrupt a hormone’s pathway at any point, right from its secretion from the gland, or its transport through the blood, or to its binding to a receptor and impair its regular activities. We are exposed to many of these chemicals through everyday products such as packaging containers, artificial food colors, household products, cosmetics, plastics, and even tap water and it is hard to isolate their effects. These are often present in low concentrations and it is difficult to measure some of these chemicals. Studies have shown that long-term exposure to these chemicals can cause cancer, infertility, lowered IQ, thyroid disease, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Babies and children are at the highest risk of adverse effects.
Though it is hard to avoid the exposure altogether, one can mindfully choose certain things and reduce their effects. Reducing the use of plastic containers, eating fresh organic foods, reading the label to check for these chemicals and avoiding the use of skin care products containing phthalates and parabens are some ways to limit exposure. Kids especially have delicate skin and an immature skin barrier function that means, the skin is more permeable to these toxins. These toxins increase or decrease the production of crucial hormones and can impair their growth and development even in negligible amounts.
As a manufacturer, we are more committed to avoiding these harmful chemicals and bring awareness among customers for their overall well-being. Our passion to provide 100% safe products for kids helped us to develop the ‘Tikitoro kids’ and ‘Tikitoro teens’ range of products that are carefully formulated with natural actives. All our products are free from BPA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances, or any other endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Meet the Author
Dr. Priya Nethaji has a professional doctorate in Pharmacy. She loves experimenting with skincare products and does extensive research for safe products.