Beauty and Home Products That Don’t Affect Your Thyroidby Mary Shomon Patient Advocate
Many of the products we use for beauty and skin care and around the house are loaded with chemicals that can negatively affect your thyroid. Phthalates — a key element in most fragrances — can lower thyroid hormone production. Parabens (found in many shampoos), and triclosan, an antibacterial agent, are both linked to hypothyroidism. Other chemicals are endocrine disruptors and toxins. Take a look at some of the common chemical-laden products, and healthy, thyroid-friendly alternatives.
Skin and body care
Many skin care products, lotions, and deodorants contain thyroid damaging phthalates and other chemicals You can find several lines of natural, organic, phthalate- and chemical-free skin care products, including Selina Naturally's Rare Body line.
Some of the other popular organic skin care lines include:
Most shampoos contain parabens, silicone, phthalates, and sulfates. Look for organic, natural shampoos that avoid these chemicals to limit your exposure. Some good brands include Burt’s Bees, Avalon Organics, Bee Friendly, and Rahua. You can also find inexpensive natural shampoos at stores like Trader Joe’s.
Hair dyes include a variety of toxic chemicals, including para phenylenediamine (PPD), ammonia, sodium lauryl sulfate, coal-tar, and parabens, among others. There are several chemical-free hair dyes available for home use. Two recommended brands include Herbatint and Madison Reed. Most henna-based products are also free of chemicals. If you are going to a salon, Aveda uses mostly all-natural products. You can also search for a chemical-free salon at the Green Spa Network.
Most commercial air fresheners include phthalates. There are some safe options, however, including JR Watkins Room Spray, with scents that include Lemon, Coconut, Green Tea, Grapefruit, Lavender, and Ocean Breeze. Way Out Wax makes plant-essence based Clean Air Room Spray in natural scents. You can also place essential oils (Aura Cacia brand is a favorite) on cotton balls, in bowls, or in an oil diffuser. Try filling a mini-potpourri pot with spices such as cloves, vanilla, or cinnamon.
Flexible plastic shower curtains are usually loaded with the carcinogen, polyvinyl chloride, known as PVC, and phthalates, especially with hot steam. Consider getting PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) or EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) shower curtains, like this clear, PEVA shower curtain from Amazon, or patterned PEVA shower curtains from Target. Even better, avoid plastic and get nylon waterproof shower curtains and liners such as this inexpensive white shower curtain from Amazon.
Many popular brands of toothpaste contain a variety of chemicals, including triclosan, as well as thyroid-slowing fluoride, and the hormone-disruptor diethanolamine (DEA). Check out some of the brands that avoid all these chemicals, including:
Perfumes, colognes, and fragrances
Most perfumes, colognes, body sprays, and eau de toilettes are loaded with phthalates. There are several lines of organic, natural perfumes and body sprays that are safe and smell great.
French manufacturer Laboratoire Odysud makes a high-end line of natural, organic perfumes, Acorelle, in various scents. You can also try perfumes, mists, and body sprays from other companies including:
Most carpet fresheners or deodorizers are loaded with phthalates. As an alternative, try products make with the volcanic mineral zeolite, such as Zeofresh Carpet Deodorizer. It's natural, odorless, chemical-free, and absorbs odors. Citrus Magic has an orange-scented, all-natural carpet spray as well as a carpet and room deodorizer. Arm & Hammer also has a natural, baking-soda based carpet deodorizer. You can also make your own with borax, baking soda, and essential oils.
Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are loaded with phthalates. There are effective, natural alternatives, however, including Mrs. Meyers Fabric Softener, reusable wool dryer balls (just add some essential oil), and Nellie’s all-natural scented dryer balls. You can also add vinegar and or baking soda during the rinse cycle as a natural fabric softener.
Makeup is typically filled with phthalates and parabens. The good news is that there are many popular makeup lines offering organic, natural ingredients and products free of chemicals. Some popular brands include:
Online, Dermstore has a wide selection of natural and organic makeup and beauty products.
Stores like Sephora and Whole Foods offer wide selections of natural and organic household, beauty, and personal care products. Online, check out Thrive Market and Iherb for a wide choice in organic and natural products.
The Environmental Working Group maintains the helpful Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, rating the chemical content of thousands of different make-up, skin care, fragrances, hair, and oral care products.