Reducing Xenoestrogens (hormone disruptors) in Your Life
What are xenoestrogens?
Xenoestrogens are found in a variety of everyday items. Many of us don’t think twice about the makeup we wear each day or the plastic container we use to pack our lunch. We know organic food is supposed to be better for us, but sometimes we just don’t want to pay the extra money. Unfortunately, all of the above may be altering the way our body naturally functions because they all contain endocrine disruptors called, xenoestrogens.
Endocrine disruptors are a category of chemicals that alter the normal function of hormones. Normally, our endocrine system releases hormones that signal different tissues telling them what to do. When chemicals from the outside get into our bodies, they have the ability to mimic our natural hormones; blocking or binding hormone receptors. This is particularly detrimental to hormone sensitive organs like the uterus and the breast, the immune and neurological systems, as well as human development.
Xenoestrogens are a sub-category of the endocrine disruptor group that specifically have estrogen-like effects. Estrogen is a natural hormone in humans that is important for bone growth, blood clotting and reproduction in men and women. The body regulates the amount needed through intricate biochemical pathways. When xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen resulting in a phenomenon called, estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are not biodegradable so, they are stored in our fat cells. Build up of xenoestrogens have been indicated in many conditions including: breast, prostate and testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early onset puberty, miscarriages and diabetes.
Below is a list of some of the sources of xenoestrogens, but it is by no means exhaustive. We are constantly exposed to these substances in the world we live in. Examples of everyday items that may include xenoestrogens are: fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticides, plastic water bottles and Tupperware, nail polish, makeup, birth control and on and on.
Here are some of the chemicals that are xenoestrogens:
4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben commonly used as a preservative)
Benzophenone (sunscreen lotions)
Industrial products and Plastics:
Bisphenol A (monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)
DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (flame retardants used in plastics, foams, building materials, electronics, furnishings, motor vehicles).
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3
Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)
Pentachlorophenol (general biocide and wood preservative)
Polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs (in electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives, paints)
Atrazine (weed killer)
DDT (insecticide, banned)
Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (one of the breakdown products of DDT)
Lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide, used to treat lice and scabies)
Nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides)
Chlorine and chlorine by-products
Ethinylestradiol (combined oral contraceptive pill)
Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)
Alkylphenol (surfactant used in cleaning detergents
So what can you do to avoid these common chemicals? The following list was adapted from the organic excellence website.
Guidelines to minimize your personal exposure to xenoestrogens:
Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Choose organic, locally-grown and in-season foods.
Peel non-organic fruits and vegetables.
Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides.
Reduce the use of plastics whenever possible.
Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
Avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for storing or microwaving.
Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away.
Don’t refill plastic water bottles.
Avoid freezing water in plastic bottles to drink later.
Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products.
Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products (i.e. tampons, menstrual pads, toilet paper, paper towel, coffee filters).
Use a chlorine filter on shower heads and filter drinking water
Health and Beauty Products
Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
Minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers.
Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils.
Use chemical free soaps and toothpastes.
Read the labels on condoms and diaphragm gels.
At the Office
Be aware of noxious gas such as from copiers and printers, carpets, fiberboards, and at the gas pump.
A great way to decrease your xenoestrogen exposure is by using essential oils. I use doTERRA essential oils because they are ethically sourced and of the highest quality.
5 Simple Homemade Cleaning Products Using Essential Oils
Some of these plants are powerful and they make cleaning products that clean, disinfect, and smell nice. Some of them do even more. These oils are mixed with water. It only takes a few drops to make the solutions, so you save money by using them.
Peppermint and Lemon Essential Oil Cleaner
This is hands down, our most popular natural homemade cleaning product.
Here’s what you need:
500ml spray bottle
15 drops peppermint oil
25 drops lemon essential oil
¼ cup of white vinegar
Pour the vinegar and oils in the spray bottle and shake to mix. Add the water and place the top on the bottle and shake well.
This is a powerful cleaner, but it does so much more. Spray in your kitchen drawers and around baseboards to repel mice. Spray around your doors or doghouse to repel fleas and ticks. Add a few drops of the peppermint oil when bathing your dog and rub (avoiding the eyes and genitals) and your dog will be much less prone to attract fleas and ticks.
Tea Tree Oil Wipes
Disinfectant wipes are not cheap. But these do the job well and for a lot less money. These homemade Tea Tree Oil wipes can be used for counter cleaner, in the car, and on dirty hands as well.
Here’s what you need:
An empty wipe container (or a Mason jar with a lid)
1-2 teaspoons liquid dish soap
1 cup vinegar
10 drops of tea tree oil
1 Roll of paper towels
Mix ingredients in the container and shake well to mix. Now you add your paper towels.
Replace the lid and shake before each use. These can be used on anything. From counters to faces and hands (but avoid the eyes).
Note: a drop or two of tea tree oil behind the ears, neck, and dabbed on the part of the hairline will prevent head lice. It is also good for skin problems.
Fresh Mint Window Cleaner
What you will need:
¼ cup rubbing alcohol (or vodka)
20 drops peppermint oil (spearmint oil also works)
3 cups water (distilled)
¼ cup vinegar
Just put everything in the bottle, shake, and spray on glass and mirrors. Dry with a paper towel when finished.
All-Purpose Lemon Cleaner
What you will need
1L spray bottle
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon natural dish soap
30 drops lemon essential oil
20 drops tea tree essential oil
Mix all ingredients together in the spray bottle. Spray on surfaces in your bathroom, kitchen, etc. that you wish to clean. Wipe down with a paper towel or a microfiber cleaning cloth.
This is good for everything. I always have this in the bathroom. It cleans the shower (and I mist it on the liner) the sink and the toilet. I also use it to damp mop the floors.
Lemon Carpet Refresher
What you will need:
1 cup baking soda
30 drops lemon essential oil
Mason jar with lid
Do you need to get pet smells out of the house? Put this in a jar with a tight lid and shake well. Let it sit about 6 hours. Then sprinkle it on the smelly area and let it sit 30 minutes or more. Vacuum it up. Pet smells will be gone and your vacuum will smell nice when you turn it on.
There are many more things you can do with essential oils. You will love the savings and the results.
5 Simple Recipes for DIY Skin care using essential oils
1) DIY Vitamin C Serum for Anti-Aging
1 teaspoon GMO-free vitamin C powder
1 teaspoon filtered or purified water
1½ tablespoons Aloe Vera gel
⅛ teaspoon vitamin E oil
5 drops frankincense essential oil
Using a bowl and a whisk, blend the vitamin C powder and filtered water.
Add the Aloe Vera gel. Blend again.
Add the vitamin E oil and frankincense. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Using a funnel, transfer the serum into a small amber bottle to help reduce light exposure.
Apply at night, making sure to remove in the morning since it can cause sensitivity when exposed to the sun.
You may want to start with every other night to make sure your skin responds well. Results are usually noticeable within a few weeks up to 3 months.
If you have sensitive skin consider testing on a small patch of skin for the first night.
Benefits of frankincense essential oil for the skin:
has the ability to strengthen skin and improve its tone & elasticity
defense mechanisms against blemishes
reduce the appearance of scars and acne
reduces redness and skin irritation
2) DIY Face Wash for Clear Skin
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
20 drops tea tree oil
2 capsules of live probiotics
Mix the ingredients together and blend with a hand blender. Then pour the mixture into a convenient bottle and store it in a cool place.
Benefits of tea tree oil for the skin:
A natural remedy for acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
Effective in reducing inflammation, fighting skin or wound infections and reducing wound size.
Soothe sunburns, sores and insect bites
3) DIY Blackhead Removal Mask
1 tablespoon gelatin
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 drop frankincense essential oil
½ teaspoon turmeric
Heat 1/8 cup of water in a pan. Place the warm water in a small dish.
Add the peppermint essential oil. Stir.
Add the gelatin. Blend well.
Add the frankincense. Stir.
Add the turmeric. Stir until well blended.
Apply to the nose and cheek area or you may apply to the entire face and neck area. Allow it to dry, and then gently peel it off. Rinse with warm water.
Benefits of peppermint essential oil for the skin:
has a calming, softening, toning and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin
has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties
effective when used to reduce blackheads, oily skin, dermatitis, inflammation and itchy skin
can hydrate burnt skin and relieve the pain from sunburns
4) DIY Coconut & Tea Tree Oil Face Scrub
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons organic raw honey
4 tablespoons organic coffee grounds
8 drops carrot seed oil
6 drops tea tree essential oil
Pour the coconut oil and honey into a small bowl or jar.
Next, add the coffee grounds.
Blend the ingredients.
Add the carrot seed oil and tea tree oil.
Blend all of the ingredients together.
Store product in a small jar in the fridge.
5) DIY Hydrating Face Oil
3 tbsp jojoba oil
1 ½ tbsp argan oil
2 tsp rosehip seed oil
1/4 tsp Vitamin E
4 drops carrot seed essential oil
8 drops geranium essential oil
60 ml dark dropper bottle
Pour the jojoba oil into dropper bottle.
Add the argan oil, rosehip seed oil and vitamin E.
Add carrot and geranium oil.
Shake before use.
Cleanse your face
Gently massage about a 1/4 to 1/2 dropper full of oil blend onto your face and neck.
Benefits of geranium essential oil:
has antiseptic and regenerative properties
high in antioxidants
ideal for dry, sensitive, aging skin as it aids with skin repair
Benefits of rosehip seed oil.
hydrates dry itchy skin
exfoliates and helps brightens skin
boosts collagen formation
protects against sun damage
reduces dark spots and acne scarring
reduces scars and fine lines
rich in antioxidants
Essential oils can be used in so many ways by adding other ingredients like shea butter, clay, and charcoal. When you combine them with the right carrier oils you will see amazing results for your skin. As always it’s always wise to do a patch test to make sure you do not have a negative reaction to the essential oils. The best place to do a test is in the inner forearm. Those who are pregnant should avoid essential oils.