Xenoestrogens and How to Avoid Them
When it comes to the mundane things in life - cleaning supplies, water bottles - many of us don’t think twice about our choices. But, in this case, the adage “it’s the little things that count” rings true. Unfortunately, these “little things” may be wreaking havoc on our bodies and sending our hormones out of balance because of the toxins they contain called xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds found in our everyday environments. They come from chemicals: pesticides, herbicides, plastics, most processed foods (due to artificial additives, colourings, and preservatives), and many cleaning and personal care products. The majority of these chemicals have only been introduced to our environment in the last few decades.
They are classified as endocrine disruptors, meaning they disrupt the balance of our hormones. Once absorbed into the body, these powerful, harmful, unmetabolized estrogens out-compete the natural estrogen we make, jacking up estrogen levels, and causing estrogen dominance. Acne, among many other symptoms, is the result. You can’t completely avoid xenoestrogens (these compounds can even be found in our tap water!), but you can take steps to reduce your exposure.
Consume organic produce. These foods contain little or no herbicide or pesticide residues. If you don’t have access to organic fruits or veggies, use an all-natural cleaner before eating them.
Avoid processed foods. As a rule of thumb, look at the number of ingredients. Typically the more ingredients, the more processed it is.
Avoid plastic containers. Water bottles and food storage containers are major offenders. Investing in glass alternatives is an excellent, safe solution.
Use natural personal care and cleaning products. There's an increasing number of credible natural skincare and personal care products on the market. Everyday substances, such as green tea and apple cider vinegar, can also be used as effective skincare, while vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide can be used as household cleaning alternatives.
Filter your tap water. Tap water is often contaminated (with drugs, cleaning products, etc.) and treated with chemicals. The majority of basic, plastic-free filters cannot remove xenoestrogens entirely, but are effective at removing most contaminants as long as the filter is changed frequently.
In the world we live in, we are constantly exposed to substances that negatively impact our hormonal balance, especially when it comes to estrogen. Staying informed about where xenoestrogens can hide will help you make the best decisions for your hormonal health, so you can restore hormonal balance and heal your skin from within.