Should we be worried about chemical endocrine disruptors being used in our cosmetics?

There has recently been a flurry of news articles stating that we should be wary of some beauty products which may contain chemicals such as phthalates. There are some chemicals that we come across everyday in the environment, plastics and other household items which have traces of harmful ingredients – but we want to reassure you that it is not likely that you will come across these in your beauty regime. Here’s why…

Ingredients such as DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalate), are banned from use in Cosmetics in the UK and the rest of the EU.

A recent study from Washington University School of Medicine found a link between a group of chemical ingredients and early menopause – which are sometimes known as endocrine disruptors. These chemicals can be found in some household products, but these are more likely to be strong cleaning products, than the type you lather onto your skin.

In the US, it is not illegal to use substances like DEHP in cosmetics, however these products would not be allowed to be sold in the EU due to the regulations currently in place. When talking to Cosmetics Design, Dr Chris Fowler – Director General of CTPA said, “DEHP is not expressly forbidden in the US and so it is possible some companies continue to use it, though companies making the same product for the US and EU could not do so because DEHP is expressly forbidden in the EU.”

Flower continues, “At no time do the authors of the study draw a link between their findings and ingredients in make-up and personal care products, as suggested in some of the alarming headlines.”

A senior author from the study, Amber Cooper, MD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, said, “This study doesn’t prove causation, but the associations raise a red flag and support the need for further research.” 15 of the 111 chemicals tested, showed the need for further investigation.

The findings do however, bring to light the concerns over cosmetic production and show that consumers should be made more aware of the implications of their purchase. We have put together some tips to help make sure you can reduce the contact you have with harmful chemicals and make smart choices about your cosmetic products.

1. Read the ingredients lists on every cosmetic product you buy. If you are unsure about a particular ingredient and want to find out more about the impact it will have on your skin and body, visit the EWG Cosmetics database which is the largest cosmetics and ingredients database.

2. Be careful where and who you buy your products from. Make sure that the company you buy from have recommendations and good reviews in the media, or from secondary retailers or consumers. Buy your cosmetics from reliable sources and if you are unsure about a product or company, look them up online. If you choose to buy products outside of the EU, check the ingredients list before you buy.

3. When you are using household products – make sure you wear gloves to minimise the direct contact with chemicals on the skin as these can be absorbed and cause possible health issues. Always follow the safety and storage advice on the container.

4. Recycle, but do not re-use. Some types of plastic container can contain chemicals which filter into your food and drink when left under heated conditions. Avoid re-heating food in plastic containers, and do not re-use drink’s bottles that have been exposed to heat.

5. Do not put plastic in your mouth. Some types of plastic until recently, were still used in the making of children’s toys, for example, and some of us may take to chewing on accessories like bits of stationery, where we can absorb the nasty chemicals.

6. Know your chemicals. By educating yourself on what’s good or bad for your body, you can avoid any nasty trips to the doctor. For example, not all phthalates are harmful and whilst some phthalates may be found in lipstick, they will not be the harmful type that may also be found in toilet cleaner. Not all man-made chemicals are bad for you, but there may still be some that you would rather avoid.

All ingredients in Stratum C Menopause Skin Care products are available on the website. Visit or feel free to contact Forme Laboratories for any more information regarding the products and ingredients. All Stratum C products are phthalate, paraben, DHA, BHA, BHT, formaldehyde and MI free and use only the gentlest of preservatives.




Hyaluronic Acid: What is it? How can it help during menopause?

Hyaluronic Acid is known by many names – Hyaluron, Hyaluronan, ‘HA’ and Sodium Hyaluronate. It’s reputation for being ‘the anti-ageing miracle ingredient’ in recent years has made it a must have for beauty buff’s and skin care companies alike. It … Continue reading




Fabulous article from the Unfading Beauty Blog on how our face shapes will affect the way we will look in the future! See how different celebrities ‘shape up’ in this ageing analysis.

Also, look out for other articles on the Unfading Beauty blog on ‘How to manage the Menopause’ – a series of articles written by Stratum C in collaboration with the UBB.

Happy reading!