by: Celeste M. Smucker, MPH, PhD
(NaturalNews) In the United States lots of us are over weight, including nearly two-thirds of adults and one-third of children. The Brookings Institution estimates this epidemic costs our economy nearly $215 billion every year, a figure which includes costs of medical care as well as lost productivity. While eating too much is the immediate cause of weight gain, in fact there are many other issues that enter the equation including environmental toxins which have a disruptive impact on metabolisms making weight gain more likely, and weight loss more difficult. Unfortunately it is not uncommon to find these toxins in widely used skin care products, so using the best natural beauty products can help.
There are a class of environmental pollutants which, when ingested, breathed in as fumes or applied to the skin in personal care products find their way into our bodies and mimic the effect of estrogen. Called xenoestrogens they are found in car exhaust, pesticides, solvents (such as nail polish and remover), emulsifiers common in soap and cosmetics, and plastic water bottles. There is also potential for exposure via synthetic hormones such as those found in birth control pills which are flushed regularly into the sewers and find their way into soil and water and hence back into our bodies.
Estrogen promotes weight gain
One of estrogen's major functions is to promote weight gain by converting calories into fat. In fact, it is regularly given to beef cattle to fatten them for market, and people who eat this kind of beef ingest these hormones along with their hamburger or steak.The other major female hormone, called progesterone, promotes weight loss balancing estrogen's impact when it is sufficient. However, as women near and enter menopause they have less progesterone resulting in a condition called estrogen dominance according to Dr. John Lee. Unfortunately, Lee also states that estrogen dominance, which is aggravated by the presence of xenoestrogens, leads to cravings for sugary food and weight gain.
Some common xenoestrogens
While it is difficult to control some sources of xenoestrogens such as car exhaust, it is within our control to use only the best natural beauty products. Use anything else and the chance for exposure to a daily load of xenoestrogens goes way up. Two of the most common ones to watch for are parabens and phthalates. This time of year sunscreens, many of which use the xenoestrogen 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), are also a common source.
Xenoestrogens are synthetic and therefore not biodegradable. Rather, they stay in the body stored in fat cells which grow larger or, in some cases, according to Dr. Susan Fried, become more numerous with weight gain. The result is even higher levels of toxicity, more hormonal disruption and potential for gaining and retaining weight.
Multiple products can cause big disruptions
While manufacturers may argue that the amount of these toxins is minimal in any one product, in fact most people use multiple products. Consider moisturizers, foundation, eye makeup, nail polish, shampoos, conditioners, shaving supplies, colognes, mouth washes, contact lens solutions…the list is very long. For this reason it helps to become familiar with common toxic ingredients and scrutinize each label carefully, even if it states that the product is organic or natural.
Do skin care products contribute to weight gain? They can definitely cause hormonal disruptions which promote the gaining and retaining of weight. This means the best natural beauty products, the ones that are truly organic, may support your decision to lose weight and keep it off.