Using skincare products, shampoo, conditioner, and makeup is part of most of our daily routines. But, did you know that you could be doing serious damage to your hormones and reproductive system during these seamlessly harmless routines? Crazy, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, just about all of the common skincare, haircare, and cosmetic products out there are full of chemicals and additives that wreak havoc on our health and reproduction. It’s important to remember that skin is the largest and most permeable organ in the body. In fact, about 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed directly into our bloodstream.

So, when you think about the number of dangerous chemicals in the skincare and cosmetics we use everyday, it’s really scary. Even scarier is the effect these chemicals have on reproduction since so many are what is known as endocrine disrupting. 

Simply put, endocrine disrupting chemicals are any chemicals that impact the normal function of the endocrine system, or hormones. And since hormones are a main factor in our ability to get and stay pregnant this is big cause for concern. 

Now ladies, you might be thinking that you’re the only one that needs to worry about this. Unfortunately, our guys are just as susceptible to these chemicals as we are. Many of these hormone disrupting chemicals are found in male products too like: shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, aftershave, deodorant and antiperspirant, soap, and cologne. 

Studies have shown that some of these chemicals can damage the male endocrine system as much as the female endocrine system. In fact, there are ties to lowered testosterone levels, sperm count, sperm motility, and even changes in sperm morphology with some of these chemicals. 

Concerning, right??? It should be. Not only should you be worried about these chemicals if you’re trying to get and stay pregnant, but also just for health. Many of the chemicals found in cosmetics have other big effects on our health that can be quite dangerous. Some are known to cause cancer, while others interfere with the immune system or thyroid function, some can even cause neurotoxicity, and many can result in birth defects. 

Don’t worry though, there are safer options. But, before we get to that, let’s talk about a few of the biggest offenders and exactly how they are harmful to the body. 


Where found: Commonly found in lip balm, nail polish, foundations, sunscreens, fragrance, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, moisturizers, and foundation.

Health impact: This chemical is possibly carcinogenic (cancer causing), can cause severe skin and eye irritation, is linked with allergies, is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor, and can lead to developmental and reproductive toxicity.

Commonly listed as: Benzophenone, benzophenone-2, benzophenone-3, benzophenone-4,benzophenone-5 (banned for use in cosmetics in the United States) and oxybenzone.

Butylated Compounds

Where found: Lip sticks, moisturizers, deodorants and/or antiperspirants, makeup, fragrances, and diaper creams.

Health impact: These chemicals are likely carcinogenic, known endocrine disruptors, and can lead to liver toxicity/damage.

Commonly listed as: BHA, BHT

Coal tar

Where found: Found in hair dyes and anti-dandruff shampoos.

Health impact: This chemical is a known carcinogen that is a byproduct of coal processing.

Commonly listed as: Liquor carbonis detergens, LCD, pix carbonis, liquor picis carbonis.


Where found: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, and sunscreens.

Health impact: This chemical is a hormone disruptor and is linked to allergies, skin toxicity, and inhibited fetal brain development. 

Commonly listed as: MEA, DEA, TEA


Where found: nail polish, soaps, shampoos, body wash, bubble bath, lotions, and deodorants. 

Health impact: This commonly used preservative is a known carcinogenic and has been linked to neurotoxicity, developmental toxicity, and asthma.

Commonly listed as: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol)


Where found: sunscreen, skincare products or makeup with sun protection

Health impact: This chemical prevents direct exposure to sunlight but is also an endocrine disruptor, and increases skin absorption which results in higher absorption of chemicals and pesticides

Commonly listed as: Homosalate, Homomenthyl salicylate, HMS, HS; 3,3,5-trimethyl-cyclohexyl-salicylate


Where found: skin lightening products

Health impact: This chemical is linked to cancer, skin irritation, and organ toxicity 

Commonly listed as: 1, 4-Benzenediol. Quinol. Benzene-1.

Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone

Where found: sunscreen, shampoos, conditioners, body wash, and other liquid based care products.

Health impact: This chemical used to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth in liquid cosmetics is one of the most common irritants and can lead to inhalation toxicity, allergies, and neurotoxicity.

Commonly listed as: Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): 2-methyl-4-isothiazoline-3-one, Neolone 950 preservative, MI, OriStar MIT and Microcare MT. Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT): 5-Chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one and MCI, Kathon CG.


Where found: hair color and dye products, shampoos, lipstick, lotions, nail polish, and sunscreen

Health impact: This chemical is rapidly absorbed through the skin and is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen and disrupts normal thyroid function.

Commonly listed as: Octinoxate,o methoxycinnamate (OMC), parsol, parsol MCX, parsol MOX, escalol, 2-ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate


Where found: sunscreen, moisturizers

Health impact: This common sunscreen agent is a known endocrine disruptor and is linked to irritation, sensitivities and allergies.

Commonly listed as: Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3 or BP-3, Milestab 9, Eusolex 4360, Escalol 567, KAHSCREEN BZ-3


Where found: shampoos, conditioners, lotions, foundation, facial cleaners, scrubs, and body wash.

Health impact: These are a class of chemicals commonly used in cosmetics to prevent bacterial growth. They are known endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen, they are carcinogenic, and can cause developmental and reproductive toxicity.

Commonly listed as:  Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben.


Where found: sunscreens

Health impact: PABA is not used as commonly used as it once was but can still be found in some sunscreen products. This class of chemicals are hormone disruptors, can alter thyroid function, and dissolves in fat leading to bioaccumulation in our food sources.

Commonly listed as:  PABA, OD-PABA, padimate O, 4-aminobenzoic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid, p-aminobenzoic acid, Et-PABA, 2-ethylhexyl ester, p-carboxyaniline.


Where found: nail polish, hair sprays, men’s aftershave, perfumes, soaps, shampoos,and personal lubricants.

Health impact: This group of chemicals are endocrine disruptors, may lower testosterone levels and sperm counts in men, lead to early puberty, and may even cause birth defects such as reproductive and genital defects.(1)

Commonly listed as:  phthalate, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate), DiNP (diisononyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), BBzP (benzyl butyl phthalate), DEHP (di 2-ethylhexl phthalate), DiDP (diisodecyl phthalate), DnHP (di-n-hexyl phthalate), DMP (dimethyl phthalate), DnOP (di-n-octylphthalate), Bisphenol A (BPA), fragrance.


Where found: Foundation, pressed and loose powder, bronzer, blush, eye shadow, mascara, shave gel, lip balm, anti-aging lotion

Health impact: These chemicals are commonly contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is associated with cancer (especially mammary), endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity.

Commonly listed as:  Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, DEA-C8-18 Perfluoroalkylethyl Phosphate, Teflon.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Where found: Shampoos, soaps, body washes, toothpastes, mouthwashes, detergents

Health impact: These chemical foaming agents are well known irritants and can trigger allergies. In addition, SLES is commonly contaminated with 1,4 dioxane during production, which is a known carcinogen.

Commonly listed as:  Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, Sodium dodecyl sulfate, Sodium myreth sulfate, Sodium pareth sulfate, Magnesium laureth sulfate, Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate.

Where found: Shampoos, soaps, body washes, toothpastes, mouthwashes, detergents

Synthetic Flavor or Fragrance

Where found: Shampoos, conditioners, lip glosses, bubble bath, body washes, perfumes, colognes, aftershave, shaving creams, lotions, as well as most other cosmetics.

Health impact: An artificial scent or flavor may contain any combination of up to 3000 different chemicals and they do not have to be listed in the ingredient list. Many of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors and allergens. 

Commonly listed as:  fragrance, flavor


Where found: Nail polish, nail treatments, hair dyes

Health impact: This petrochemical is toxic to the nervous and immune system and can cause birth defects.  

Commonly listed as: toluene

Triclosan and Triclocarban

Where found: Soaps, lotions, toothpastes

Health impact: This antimicrobial chemical is a well known endocrine disruptor and is extremely bad for the environment due to wildlife toxicity and bioaccumulation. 

Commonly listed as: Irgasan DP-300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum

Safer Products

Now, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and a whole lot of scared right now, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are safer options available. When you are buying skincare and cosmetic products make sure to look at the ingredient list. If any of the chemicals (by any of the listed names) above are in the list then don’t put it in your cart. It can be quite a bit of work to make sure your products are safe, but based on all the dangers we just outlined, well worth it. 

If you want to know that the products you’re using are top quality, safe, and free of these chemicals listed, plus 1800+ more dangerous chemicals, then we suggest taking a look at Beautycounter. We work with and recommend Beautycounter products because they are the highest quality, safest, most effective skincare and cosmetic products we have found. We made the switch to Beautycounter years ago and couldn’t be happier that we did. We also receive rave reviews from all of our clients that have made the switch. 

Imagine how nice it would be to know that what you’re putting on your skin is safe and free of chemicals that can make you sick or interfere with your ability to get and stay pregnant. You can with Beautycounter. Start going clean today by CLICKING HERE to check out all Beautycounter has to offer.