We have known for some time that the use of chemicals in personal care products can have a major disruptive effect on our endocrine (hormone) system. A recent study in the US shows that after just 3 days of using makeup, shampoos and lotions free of hormone-disrupting chemicals, levels dropped by up to 45 percent. The volunteers, 100 girls between 14 and 18 years old, pledged to refrain from using their regular personal care products for three days and instead rely solely on products free of the suspected endocrine disruptors phthalates, parabens and triclosan.

After only three days, the teens' urine tests showed these decreases:

  • 44 percent down in levels of parabens (preservatives widely used in cosmetics, shampoos and skin lotions).
  • 35 percent down in triclosan, an antibacterial chemical common in liquid antibacterial hand soap, dishwashing detergent, toothpaste, face wash and deodorant. Triclosan has been linked to the disruption of thyroid and reproductive hormones.
  • 27 percent down in phthalates (industrial plasticizers, found in nail polishes and fragrances).


It is hoped that this study and others like it will inspire legislators in the US and Australia to introduce stricter regulations with respect to ingredients allowed in personal care products.