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Skincare Journal

Hidden Endocrine Disruptors in Skincare Linked to Breast Cancer

Hidden Endocrine Disruptors in Skincare Linked to Breast Cancer

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and because breast cancer remains one of the leading health concerns for women worldwide, we wanted to take a moment to dive into some of the specific chemicals in skincare products that have been linked to breast cancer.

Research increasingly points to the potential role of endocrine disruptors—chemicals that can interfere with our hormone systems—as contributors to breast cancer risk. While these chemicals are pervasive in our environment, their presence in skincare and cosmetic products is of particular concern due to our direct and frequent exposure to them. 

What are endocrine disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen and can interfere with the normal function of other hormones in the body. This estrogenic activity may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer, as it can promote the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells and disrupt immune system function.

By being aware of potential endocrine disruptors and educating ourselves about these chemicals we can make safer choices for our health.

Below is a list of endocrine disruptors most commonly found in skincare products and their potential effects on the endocrine system. Print it out and take it with you next time you go shopping for beauty products so you know what ingredients to avoid.

6 Endocrine Disruptors to Avoid

  1. Parabens

Parabens are known to mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells (1.). This activity can potentially contribute to the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast tumors.

Ingredient Names: Butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben.

Found in: Shampoos, conditioners, lotions, face cleansers.

  1. Phthalates

Phthalates have been shown to interfere with the hormone system and are linked to reproductive abnormalities (2.).

Ingredient Names: DEHP, DBP, DEP (among others); however, they can sometimes simply be listed as "fragrance,” these are synthetic fragrances.

Found in: Perfumes, moisturizers, eye shadows, nail polishes, shampoos, conditioners.

  1. Synthetic Colors

Some synthetic colors are derived from coal tar, which may contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation (3.). While direct links between synthetic colors and breast cancer aren't fully established, any toxin that affects the skin and potentially the endocrine system deserves scrutiny.

Ingredient Names: Listed as "FD&C" or "D&C" followed by a color and a number (e.g., FD&C Red No. 6).

Found in: Hair dyes, eye shadows, eyeliners, lipsticks.

  1. Synthetic Fragrances

Many chemicals that make up synthetic fragrances come from petrochemicals, which can interfere with the body's endocrine system (4.) and possibly contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Ingredient Names: Often vaguely labeled as "fragrance" or "parfum".

Found in: Nearly all cosmetic and beauty products, from deodorants to lotions.

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, also called SLS, has potential endocrine-disrupting effects, with some studies pointing to its ability to mimic hormones(5.).

Ingredient Names: Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate.

Found in:  Shampoos, body washes, hand soaps, toothpaste.

  1. Benzophenone

Benzophenones can mimic the hormone estrogen and may interfere with the function of other hormones, potentially promoting the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells (6).

Ingredient Names: Benzophenone, Benzophenone-1 (BP-1), Benzophenone-2 (BP-2), Benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone), Benzophenone-4 (BP-4), Sulisobenzone.

Found in: Sunscreens, nail polishes, lip balms, hair sprays, shampoos, fragrances, and lotions.

The Path Forward

Awareness is the first step to prevention. By understanding the potential risks associated with these common ingredients, we can make informed decisions about the products we use daily. Opting for alternatives labeled as "free from" these chemicals or choosing organic, natural products can be safer routes to follow.

The Purist Delicate Skin Serum is our #1 choice for restoring health and promoting calm to a compromised skin barrier. Lightweight and free of fragrance allergens, essential oils, gluten, alcohol, and nuts, this velvety serum is the ultimate beauty potion to restore balance to irritated skin while fighting environmental aggression.

100% of the ingredients are from organic farming, wild-harvested, and/or natural sources, and free from harmful chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors, or fragrances.

Remember that the duration and frequency of exposure, along with individual susceptibilities, play a significant role in determining potential outcomes. It's essential to balance concern with pragmatism and do your best choose products you are educated about.


  1. Darbre, P. D., & Harvey, P. W. (2008). Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. Journal of applied toxicology, 28(5), 561-578.
  2. Serrano, S. E., Braun, J., Trasande, L., Dills, R., & Sathyanarayana, S. (2014). Phthalates and diet: a review of the food monitoring and epidemiology data. Environmental health, 13(1), 43.
  3. Scott, R. R., & Gutowski, S. M. (2014). Current concepts about chromogens, dye lasers, and pigmented lesions. Clinical dermatology, 32(4), 529-537.
  4. Steinemann, A. (2015). Volatile emissions from common consumer products. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 8(3), 273-281.
  5. Schwartz, J. R., & Marsh, R. G. (1988). Sodium lauryl sulfate and triclosan: in vitro cytotoxicity studies with gingival cells. Toxicology letters, 41(3), 313-325.
  6. Kunz, P. Y., & Fent, K. (2006). Multiple hormonal activities of UV filters and comparison of in vivo and in vitro estrogenic activity of ethyl-4-aminobenzoate in fish. Aquatic Toxicology, 79(4), 305-324. ↩
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Cloudberry Seed Oil - Scandinavia's Best Kept Beauty Secret

Cloudberry Seed Oil - Scandinavia's Best Kept Beauty Secret

One of Scandinavia's best kept beauty secrets is cloudberry seed oil, also called "arctic gold." 

This rare arctic berry only grows in the wild, typically in hard-to-reach terrain and in extreme conditions with temperatures reaching well below -40 degrees during winter months.

Locals who know where to find this highly prized fruit guard its location very closely.

In fact, there's a folk tale of a woman who broke her leg while picking cloudberries. In her injured state, she dragged herself home in an effort to keep the whereabouts of the berries a secret!

Cloudberries, or Rubus chamaemorus, contain many skin-loving phytonutrients such as ellagitannins, phtyoceramides, essential fatty acids, and intense concentrations of vitamin C.

The seeds yield an amber-colored oil that is deeply nourishing and helps prevent accelerated skin aging.

This Arctic gold is found in both our Alpine Phytonutrient Serum and The Purist Delicate Skin Serum and contains unique adaptogenic compounds highly beneficial to skin health.

Benefits of Cloudberries


Cloudberry seed oil is rich in phenolic compounds like ellagitannins. Ellagitannins are bioactive polyphenols offering potent antioxidant benefits that may help protect against premature skin aging caused by lifestyle factors and UV exposure. 


Ellagic acid, a byproduct of ellagatannins, helps to brighten skin thanks to its ability to alter melanin formation pathways in anti-oxidant processes. Cloudberries also contain unusually high amounts of vitamin C, a well known skin radiance booster.


Cloudberry seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids omega 3, 6, and gamma-linolenic acid. Omegas are essential skin nutrients that help regulate oil production, improve balanced hydration, subdue breakouts and minimize the signs of aging. 


Phytoceramides in cloudberry oil plump and fortify the skin barrier. These botanical lipids impart a healthy glow and help soften rough, dry skin, smoothing out the appearance of fine lines.


Cloudberry oil supports the skin barrier’s ability to retain moisture, resulting in more hydrated skin. This results in better alignment of epidermal corneocytes, which helps minimize the look of reddened skin.

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Babies - The True Test of Sensitive Skin

Babies - The True Test of Sensitive Skin

Everyone's heard of the freezing single digit temperatures in Texas this week and the horrific loss of power and water. For some reason we escaped the worst of it at our Dallas home and were able to open our doors for 3 days to some of our adult children and their friends. Hotel Heape was in full swing with breakfast, lunch and dinner for 10, plus two infants and one awfully cute french bulldog.

But both babies had dry, bright red cheeks, and it was a little concerning. Our world is filled with sensitizers, not only in skincare but in household products, indoor heat, food, and the air.

So (with permission) I tried the calming Purist Delicate Skin Serum, knowing there was absolutely NOTHING in that could irritate their delicate skin. And it worked. Miraculously so.

Not a drug or cure, this serum provides unsurpassed hydration, vitalization, and balance without causing irritation.

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