• Brandy Oswald

My Top 10 Hormone Healthy Home + Beauty Products


Growing up as a 90’s kid I’ve slathered on more layers of strawberry scented lotion, lip gloss with confetti flecks, and bright pink bubble bath than I can even remember. If it was cute, pink, and sparkly I wanted it.



While it’s not too hard to see that my childhood bath and body favorites were chock full of harmful chemicals and artificial nonsense, brands today have gotten really sneaky with their added chemicals.



We are living in the time of “green-washing”. It’s like brain-washing, but with an environmentally-friendly, healthy facade. The majority of products on shelves today that are labeled “natural”, “unscented”, and “free of harmful dyes” are still chock full of harmful chemicals just like my childhood lotions. Except today's brands are using sneaky marketing tactics to make you believe they are healthy for you.



Simply because a product is labeled “natural” does not mean that it’s free of harmful chemicals. Just because it is labeled “unscented” doesn’t mean that it is free of artificial fragrance. These are green-washing terms designed to make you think a product is good for you so that you will buy it.



What makes these chemicals so awful is that most of them are known endocrine disruptors, which means they are known to cause hormonal imbalances that can lead to serious disease and illness. Many of these endocrine disrupting chemicals have a documented impact on your thyroid health and mimic estrogen in the body. This leads to malfunctioning thyroid glands and an overabundance of estrogen, among many other things.



Let’s break down why optimal thyroid health and balanced estrogen is SO important...



1. Your thyroid regulates so many functions in the body including: temperature, energy levels, skin health, menstrual health, fertility, weight, mood, and more. As someone who had thyroid cancer, I know first-hand how debilitating it is when your thyroid is not functioning properly. When my thyroid levels were at their most compromised I had gained 20 pounds, had rashes all over my face, had a crazy heavy period, would become exhausted after simply waking up and taking a shower, fainted at work, and once slept for 24 hours straight. You need your thyroid to be working properly. Trust me.



2. Estrogen-excess can cause brutal menstrual and cycle health symptoms including: heavy periods, raging PMS, anxiety, mood swings, breast swelling and tenderness, and can impact fertility by overpowering the presence of progesterone which ensures a healthy second half of your cycle and proper implantation of the fertilized egg. When too much estrogen is present, it overshadows progesterone and it’s calming presence that eases anxiety, mood swings, and PMS symptoms. In fact, before balancing out my own estrogen excess I, too, experienced periods so heavy they ruined my mattress, uncontrollable crying in the days before my period, and straight-up rage towards anyone who annoyed me while I was PMS’ing. You want a healthy progesterone-estrogen balance. Trust me.



3. Estrogen excess contributes to estrogen-related cancers like breast, uterine, and cervical cancers. Yikes.



This is why it is so important that you read the ingredient lists for the home, bath, and beauty products you purchase to make sure that they don’t contain endocrine disrupting chemicals. If the ingredients are not listed on the item, go to their website and do some research. Though, I’ve found that companies that are truly clean and healthy are proud to print their ingredient lists on their products.



So what exactly are you looking for?


When trying to keep your bath, body, and home products clean and healthy for your hormones, you want to steer clear of these 3 major endocrine disruptors…



Phthylates


This one is tricky because you won’t see it spelled out as phthylate on the ingredient list. It will be listed as anything with the word “fragrance” or “parfum”. Phthylates are endocrine disruptors that are known to hinder thyroid function. They are anti-androgen, which means that they can lower testosterone and DHEA levels in both men and women. Suppressed testosterone levels in in men can impact fertility and decrease sex drive for all genders. Umm, no thanks!



Parabens


Parabens are used as inexpensive preservatives in most conventional cosmetics and bath products. They have been proven to mimic estrogen and build up in the hormone-regulating organs of the body. In fact, one study found that 99% of malignant breast cancer tumors contained 1 to 5 different types of parabens! (Source)


Some examples of what to look for on labels include: methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben



Chemical Disinfecting Agents like Triclosan


Triclosan is a common anti-bacterial in cleaning agents and hand sanitizer (but can even be in sneaky things like anti-gingivitis toothpastes). It’s a dangerous endocrine disruptor that can impact everything from estrogen levels to thyroid health to testosterone levels and can lead to infertility, obesity, and cancer. What’s worse is that it’s been proven that triclosan is no more useful at disinfecting than washing with soap and water.



Okay, so what home, bath, and body products should you buy instead?


Below is a list of my favorite, hormone-healthy products including what makes them so clean, how they work, and where you can get them. Let’s dive in!



Bath + Body


Shampoo Bars


Conventional shampoos, and even many of the ones masquerading as “healthy”, are full of synthetic chemicals and endocrine-disruptors. Shampoo bars are an amazing alternative because they are usually geared towards simpler, cleaner ingredient lists. Though, definitely read the ingredient lists as shampoo bar companies are huge fans of green-washing!


What’s even better is that by using shampoo bars you’ll save the Earth from millions of plastic shampoo bottles hitting our landfills. And, if you’re about to say “But, Brandy, I recycle!” you’ll want to think twice because a whopping 91% of plastic ISN’T actually recycled.


One of my favorite go-to shampoo bar brands is J.R. Liggett’s. They have lots of bars to choose from including this Virgin Coconut & Argan Oil Shampoo Bar that has just about the cleanest ingredient list I’ve ever seen!


Shampoo bar tips:


1. Wet your hair and rub the bar of soap from root to tip several times, including the underside of your hair. Then, massage with hands to form a lather. Don’t try to make a lather in your hands and then apply it to your head. It doesn’t work nearly as well. Been there, tried that.


2. You’ll need to find a shampoo bar ingredient combo that suits your hair type.


3. It can take a few weeks for you hair to get used to the more natural ingredients. For me this was about 2-3 weeks. Now I find that I need far fewer washes and don’t get that greasy between each wash. It’s amazing.


4. You’ll likely need a conditioner rinse.



ACV Conditioner Rinse


As I mentioned above, you’ll likely need a conditioner rinse following your shampoo bar wash to reset get rid of any lingering residue and make hair silky smooth. My go-to is a simple apple cider vinegar and water rinse. I simply add 1 part raw apple cider vinegar and 2 to 3 parts water to a squirt bottle, then run the mixture from root to tip and comb through with my fingers while still in the shower. I let this sit for about 2 minutes and then I rinse it out. My hair has never felt so soft. It’s incredible. I used to feel so reliant on conventional shampoo and conditioner to control my greasy hair, but since switching to shampoo bars and apple cider vinegar rinse I only have to wash my hair on average twice a week without it getting noticeably greasy. WIN!



Dr. Bronner’s Soap


Trade in your artificially scented body wash and disinfecting hand soaps for Dr. Bronner’s castille soap. This concentrated, multi-use soap is made from simple soaponified oils like coconut and olive oils and scented with pure essential oils. For use as body soap and hand soap you simply pour a bit of the soap liquid into your hand or washcloth, mix it with a bit of water, and wash wherever needs cleaning! I even use this soap as my shaving cream when shaving my legs. My favorite scents are eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender.



Trade your face cream for Aura Cacia Jojoba Oil


Here’s another one that I can’t even believe I do, but I no longer moisturize with face creams and instead use simple 100% organic jojoba oil. Face creams are full of crappy chemicals, parabens, and artificial fragrance. After years of using the face cream passed down to me by the matriarchs of my family, I realized it contained aluminum - the exact ingredient I had been trying to avoid by no longer purchasing antiperspirants. Oops!


I tried lots of different face oils and discovered that my face prefers a simple application of jojoba oil 2-3 times per week. I have combination skin that tends more towards dry than greasy. Jojoba oil works great because it has a similar molecular structure to human skin and absorbs wonderfully. For folks with oily skin you may try oils like coconut oil which has natural antibacterial and gentle drying agents.



Thayers Witch Hazel


One thing to note is that using a face oil on it’s own is moisturizing, but not hydrating. This is what makes face creams such a secret sauce - they contain moisturizing oils with water and other hydrating agents. To get some hydration into your face routine, try a daily splash of Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel. I find that some days a simple splash of this incredible witch hazel is all I really need in the realm of hydration and moisturizing.



Make-Up


100 Percent Pure


My favorite clean make-up brand is 100 Percent Pure. I can’t rave about them enough! I spent years trying to find the perfect natural, clean make-up routine and spent many days with raccoon eyes and a blotchy face. Then, I found 100 Percent Pure and I have never been more excited about my make-up routine. Their products are crafted using fruit pigments and ingredients I not only know, but can actually pronounce. AND, quite a few of them are organic. Yes, please!


My favorite 100 Percent Pure products are their mascaras, concealer, and all the matte lipsticks.



Cleaning


White Vinegar + Water


My go-to replacement for harsh disinfectants that are full of endocrine disrupting chemicals is a simple vinegar and water solution. This mixture works as a disinfecting agent because vinegar has such a high acidity that many types of bacteria cannot survive in its presence. I simply mix one part vinegar to one part water and use it to clean counters, sinks, table tops, and more!



Baking Soda + Water (scrubbing)


For those hard to clean places (bathtub, I’m looking at you), I replace harsh scrubs with a natural baking soda and water scrub. To use, I simply wet the surface I’m looking to clean, shake a bit of baking soda on the surface, scrub clean, then do a final rinse. I find that this works better than the conventional products and is so much safer to be around!



Candles + Fragrance


Way Out Wax 100% Non-GMO soy candles scented with pure essential oils


Growing up my mom always had candles burning. As adults, my siblings and I have all grown to love candles. However, as I began to detox my home and beauty products I realized that my favorite candles had to go to. Conventional candles are full of toxic chemicals, artificial fragrances, harmful dyes, lead-containing wicks, and petroleum derived wax - all of this burning in your home and being breathed into your lungs. Yikes.


If you’re like me and living without candles is not an option, then you’ll love Way Out Wax candles. They are made from non-GMO soy and pure essential oils. And, don’t fear, the scents are simply divine. My favorites are Escentual Love and Clear Head.



Beeswax Candles


Another great option for cleaner candles are beeswax candles. On their own they have a subtle honey scent and mixed with essential oils you can find an aromatherapy blend to meet any need. My favorite beeswax candle company is Big Dipper Wax Works. I especially love their glassware aromatherapy collection here.



There you have it - my favorite hormone-healthy home and beauty products! If you’re looking to overhaul your personal home and beauty routine, this is a great place to start. If you’re ready to dive in fully, do a clean sweep, and create a lifestyle that fully supports and nourishes your hormones while allowing you to live in alignment with your body then you’ll want to head over here to learn all about my 1-on-1 hormone health coaching programs for women!



In my VIP coaching programs we not only cover why conventional products are bad for you and what products to switch to, we also create a practical plan of action for making the switch, saving money, and nourishing your hormones ever step of the way.




Resources:

https://www.simplyorganicbeauty.com/avoid-endocrine-disruptors-cosmetics/

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/dirt-antibacterial-soaps


Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice or provide any information concerning the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. The information provided by Brandy Oswald and Do It Naturally is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician with any health concerns and prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplements, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that neither Brandy nor Do It Naturally is not held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes.

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