When we talk about skincare we often think of women, and when we talk about hormonal problems, we also think of women. But these are topics that men should also take seriously and a good way to take action is by reading the list of ingredients in your shaving cream.
Men, women, kids and babies are all at risk – everyone who has skin should care about the products they use on their bodies every single day. Because everything that we put on the skin gets absorbed in less than 26 seconds! And all those toxins and harmful ingredients enter the bloodstream and then are distributed to every organ in the body.
When it comes to improving our health, there’s so much we can do. For example: stop drinking alcohol to help the liver. Avoid sugars to reduce risk of developing diabetes. So why do most of us completely overlook the massive organs that keeps it all together?
In the past, I’ve talked about women and skincare, so what about this time we talk about men and skincare. – Yes? Awesome!
I’ll share 4 harmful ingredients men should avoid like the plague and the effect on their health.
But before we move on…just in case you’re wondering why the government allows harmful ingredients in our personal care products. Here’s a quick explanation:
The Beauty and Skincare industry is so poorly controlled that there hasn’t been any major updates in the regulation since 1938 – the year my grandma was born!!
Companies are free to use labels such as “organic,” “all natural,” “pure,” and others, as marketing tools with little or no control.
Which means, harmful and toxic products can also be found at your local health food store such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
While it can be overwhelming to try to avoid every harmful ingredient out there, here are four that men should avoid right away because of their known negative effects:
Every time you see the word “fragrance” in your products it’s very likely it contains phthalates. Phthalates are used to make fragrance last longer and can enter the body through the skin, nose and mouth. It’s a well-known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor which has a lot of links to long-term health and reproductive issues in men.
Exposure to phthalates through personal care products can reduce testosterone levels.
A study by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found out phthalates can significantly reduce testosterone levels in boys ages 6-12 and men ages 40-60.
Unfortunately, phthalates are not often displayed on labels because fragrance is considered a Trade Secret in the U.S. Meaning that companies aren’t required to display all the ingredients that go into the production of a fragrance – which potentially contains phthalates and hundreds of other harmful ingredients.
So if you see ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’— even ‘natural perfume’—on an ingredient list, you should always question what that means.
Parabens are also widely used in the skincare industry and can potentially affect sperm count and quality, and men’s health in general.
Exposure to parabens can result in increased estrogen levels. This happens because the enzymes responsible for flushing estrogen out of the body become clogged with parabens and since these enzymes aren’t able to perform their job, it can lead to unhealthy amounts of estrogen.
When estrogen levels in men increase, testosterone levels tend to decrease and this imbalance can lead to symptoms such as sexual dysfunction – low libido, decreased morning erections, decreased erectile function, enlarged breasts, urinary tract symptoms, increased abdominal fat, lack of energy, loss of muscle mass, depression and increase chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Read ingredients lists of your personal care products just like you would for food. Ingredients that include: “ethyl,” “butyl,” “methyl,” and “propyl” are from the paraben family even if the word “paraben” isn’t in the name. Avoid them like the plague!
Another controversial ingredient is SLS, often found in shaving creams. It makes a great lather, but it also has a number of health implications. SLS can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies.
Men who are frequently exposed to environmental toxins – which many are found in personal care products, can experience a massive drop in both sperm count and sperm motility (ability of the sperm to fertilize an ovum).
SLS can potentially increase the chances of developing cancer, including breast cancer. – No, it isn’t a typo, men can also develop breast cancer, in fact men account for approximately 1% of all breast cancer cases and the numbers are increasing.
Read your labels and make sure the products your applying on your body every day are free of SLS.
It’s commonly found in shampoo, toothpaste, antibacterial soap, deodorant and antiperspirant, and shaving cream. Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient and it’s very effective since it was originally formulated as pesticide. :/
There are many studies proving ”that exposure to triclosan is associated with poorer semen quality and therefore a negative impact on male fertility.”
After many years of petitioning from numerous non-governmental institutions, the FDA is finally banning the use to triclosan in antibacterial soaps. And although this is a step in the right direction, Triclosan can still be found in many personal care products such as deodorants, shampoo, antiperspirant, toothpastes and many others.
The best way to avoid Triclosan is by reading ingredients and choosing safer products.
The EWG database is a great to find out how safe or toxic your products are.
Check out The Never List to download the list of harmful ingredients to stay away from.
Most of us do an effort to take care of our bodies; we exercise, buy organic, yet we’re unknowingly applying harmful and toxic substances on our largest organ – the skin.
Now that you know a little more, make a conscious effort to be aware of the substances you apply on your skin every day. And spread the word with the men in your life. Read labels and stay informed because at the end of the day, we’re the only ones responsible for our health and prevention is a smart first step.
To the men who care about their health and the women who care about their men’s well-being, here are some easy swaps to reduce toxic exposure:
One of the most popular shaving creams for men – Gillette, is also one of the most harmful one, along with Nivea Men, Barbasol and many other popular brands packed. These are packed with fragrance, phthalates, SLS and other toxic ingredients that can harm men’s reproductive systems and overall health. A safer (and effective) alternative my boyfriend is loving is Counterman Smooth Shave Cream. A blend of aloe and shea butter and Sequoia Stem Cells to provide antioxidant properties to protect skin. There are plenty of safer options, it’s just a matter of looking. Click HERE for safer option.
This is one of the most popular deodorants and like the product above, it contains fragrance, SLS, phthalates, BHT – which is also a known carcinogen and can cause endocrine disruption. I’m not a guy, but I’m assuming deodorant is a MUST in most men’s personal care routines – at least I hope so! But there’s no need to load your armpits with toxins in order to smell nice! Revolver is a brand I discovered recently and it’s free of harmful ingredients, doesn’t cause irritation and keep you smell-free. CLICK HERE for safer option
There are many brands of facial wash, and it seems like Kiehl’s is a favorite. Unfortunately, it contains Triethanolamine, also known as TEA, an emulsifying agent and a very controversial ingredient in the cosmetic industry because not only it’s a skin irritant, but many formulas containing TEA are found to be contaminated with nitrosamines – which are linked to cancer. Remember…everything, yes EVERYTHING, good or bad gets absorbed into your bloodstream in a matter of seconds, so why not choose better ingredients. Jonathan, my boyfriend, is making the switch to safer products and he’s realizing that brands made with non-toxic ingredients can also be effective. CLICK HERE for safer option.
Love having your lips feeling soft? Then you might want to rethink your lip balm brand because with every application, you’re feeding your body toxic and harmful substances. Blistex, Vaseline, Aquaphor, Chapstick, Neutrogena and others are made with petroleum jelly aka petrolatum – a byproduct of oil refining which can be carcinogenic and cause allergic reactions. Plus think about it…how many times do you apply lip balm daily? 1, 2, 3 or more? Now, think of all the petroleum jelly you’re eating! Make the effort to switch to options that will give you pillow lips without increasing your chances of developing cancer. CLICK HERE for safer option.
Men also like to have soft skin and it’s actually really nice when men take care of their face. My boyfriend’s skincare routine is very simple but facial lotion is always a must – lucky me! There’s a plethora of facial lotion brands that use parabens, fragrance, phthalates, and other harmful ingredients. Most people apply lotion in the morning and don’t wash it off until nighttime, meaning that all those toxins are sitting on your face all day long. Why would anyone want to have hormone-disruptors and carcinogens sitting on their face for hours? Read labels and become aware on what your putting on your skin every single day. A great way to find out how safe your products are is by checking the EWG data base – type in your product name and bam! get a rating from 1-10 based on the safe of the ingredients. Or you can CLICK HERE to check my boyfriend’s favorite facial lotion.
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