Are Your Products Affecting Your Emotions?

My definition of holistic skincare is: “using nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in addition to high quality, natural skincare products to nourish and protect the skin from the inside out and outside in.” makeup bag
Part of holistic skincare also involves reducing exposure to toxic chemicals in skincare, household cleaning and personal care products, as well as in the foods we eat. I’ve written quite a bit here on Holistically Haute and in my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, about reducing exposure to chemicals such as pesticides and parabens because of research linking cumulative build-up of these substances to physical diseases in the body. To be honest though, I’ve never really thought about how these toxins affect other aspects of our health?particularly our emotional health.

Fortunately, I have the best readers in the world.

Not only are you gorgeous, like-minded, and supportive, but you also ask really great questions! I received the following email from Desiree*:
CB002069?I just read your blog about the Body Shop and their butters and parabens. I know that hormones can make you feel crazy and lately my moods have been all over the place.? I have now stopped using my Mango and Strawberry butters after learning that they contain parabens and other xenoestrogens. It has only been a few weeks and I already feel calmer, less irritable, less stressed…etc. Could you speak about the effects of xenoestrogens on emotional liability??Is it possible that the body butters caused my ‘craziness?’? ?Desiree, age 50
As I started researching this online I found myself drowning in information and not knowing where to start. I decided to call for backup, and I asked my friend and colleague, Alicia Kushmaul, to help me research this topic and organize the findings, so thank you for your help with this Alicia!
As we both delved into this topic, we realized that not only is there a ton of information on the Internet from sources of varying reliability, but also that this topic has several layers. We decided to answer Desiree?s question in more than one post?at this point it might just be two, but who knows?it could be three. We will see.

Let’s start at the beginning. What is xenoestrogen?

“Xeno” literally means foreign. Xenoestrogens mean foreign estrogens. Xenoestrogens are man-made chemical compounds which mimic the effect of estrogen in the human body. These differ from phytoestrogens which occur naturally in many plant foods?certain vegetables, legumes, and grains.
drugsXenoestrogens are found everywhere. They are in conventionally grown foods and non-organic skincare and personal care products (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, food additives, preservatives, some chemical sunscreens ingredients), pharmaceutical drugs (birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy drugs, certain other medications and vaccines), plastics (food storage containers, water bottles, product containers), household cleaning products, you get the picture. That’s an overwhelming list! I’m not trying to overwhelm you?but I do want you to be aware of the dominance of these substances in products that affect many aspects of our lives.

How do xenoestrogens affect us?

Xenoestrogens are endocrine (hormone) disruptors that interfere with hormonal signaling. There is published research that shows links to increased risk of breast, prostate, and reproductive cancers; thyroid dysfunction, reduced fertility, early puberty in children, menstrual irregularities, endometriosis, heart disease, and other disorders.
Back to Desiree?s question?we know how much hormones affect the emotions and stability of mood without even having to do heavy research. Just think of the mood swings that occur in women during certain parts of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and during menopause?and that happens naturally on its own without adding any chemicals into the mix.
When you consider a woman?s naturally occurring hormone levels, add in phytoestrogens from food sources and the estrogens consumed via animal food sources, and then add the constant barrage of xenoestrogens in our foods, products, andenvironment, it?s easy to see how health issues?both physical and mental/emotional?are so much more prevalent than they were even 20 years ago.

fearHere are some symptoms of estrogen dominance that don’t get as much attention as some of the ?bigger? ones like cancer that may be a result of xenoestrogen overload:

  • Mood swings?sometimes extreme and persistent leading to mood disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced libido
  • Foggy thoughts
  • Cravings for sugar, alcohol, and other substances
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia

The next post about xenoestrogens will help you further identify them in products you may have in your home, office, or school and will also offer some practical tips for how to reduce your exposure.

What do you think?

Have you ever noticed a difference in your mood after using a certain product or eating a certain food? Please leave a reply below with your thoughts.
*Name has been changed for privacy.


2 thoughts on “Are Your Products Affecting Your Emotions?”

  1. Thanks for the article. I’ve been looking forward to reading it. I guess I figured there had to be a connection between xenoestrogens and emotions, which is scary because there are so many xenoestrogens in the average environment. I’m just getting started eliminated them from mine. I am unable to spend a lot of time researching the emotional connection, so I was wondering if you could share some of your sources you found?
    Thank you for everything and keep up the good work. “Desiree”

    1. My pleasure! Our sources are linked to within the post…and stay tuned because we’ll be publishing the second installment this week 🙂

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