Do you know what's in your cosmetics? | Breast Cancer UK

Do you know what’s in your cosmetics?

One survey found that women, on average use 9 personal care products a day, in total containing 126 different chemical ingredients. 

From shampooing our hair in the morning shower to applying a flash of lipstick before we walk out the door.  It begs the question, do we really know what’s in the cosmetics and beauty products we use daily?

The EU has some of the best chemicals regulations in the world. Despite this, many cosmetics and personal care products can still contain chemicals, including endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can cause adverse health effects, and some are potentially linked to breast cancer.

What are EDCs?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs can affect the body’s hormones and may be harmful even at very low concentrations. 

Some ingredients used in cosmetics are known or suspected EDCs which mimic oestrogens.

Oestrogens stimulate breast cell growth and production. This can contribute to the production of damaged cells and potentially increase the likelihood of mutations which may lead to breast cancer.

Certain chemicals found in cosmetics interfere with oestrogen levels in the body and may lead to changes in breast tissue, which have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

What to look out for!

Tips on how you can reduce your risk

Keep it simple - try to use fewer cosmetic products, and use them less often.  Always try and opt for unfragranced products.

Do your research - check ingredients lists before you buy and choose products which don't contain any of the bad guys above.  There are many products available which do not contain harmful chemicals - check out natural beauty bloggers online or the Soil Association's list of certified brands.

Make Your Own - you can make your own cosmetics using readily available natural ingredients such as coconut oil, lemon, olive oil and oats.  

To get you started, look on Pinterest for recipes or download one of our recipe cards - organic sugar & salt body scrub, organic lavender & tea tree moisturiser or organic honey & herb face wash.  

Make it fun, get your friends round and have a natural beauty night.


PAge last updated June 27, 2017

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