This Article is About
unexplained weight gain
birth control pills
estrogen dominance
synthetic hormones
obesity rates
soil and water
car exhaust
Unexplained Weight Gain: Is Your Makeup Making You Fat?
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The statistics on obesity are startling. In the United States, two-thirds of adults are considered overweight with an annual cost to the economy of $215 billion including medical care costs and costs of lost productivity. While it is tempting to say we're fat because we eat too much or don't exercise enough, in fact there may be other causes of unexplained weight gain.

A 2002 article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that the rapid rise in obesity rates over the last twenty years may have an environmental component. The researchers state that while we are definitely lazier when it comes to exercise, we are also eating less. On the other hand, our bodys' natural weight control functions are out of whack, possibily due to environmental pollution.

Environmental pollutants which mimic the effect of estrogen in our bodies are called xenoestrogens. We are exposed to these in many ways including car exhaust, pesticides, solvents (found in nail polish and remover), emulsifiers found in soap and cosmetics, plastics (think water bottles) and synthetic hormones found in birth control pills and other drugs which are flushed into the sewers and back into our soil and water.

A major role of estrogen is to promote weight gain through conversion of calories into fat; and in fact it is given to beef cattle to fatten them up. The use of synthetic hormones in meat production is yet another source of xenoestrogens in humans. Progesterone, another female hormone promotes weight loss and when it is sufficient balances estrogen's impact. However, most women are deficient in progesterone, especially as they near and enter menopause. The result is a condition called estrogen dominance, a term coined by the late Dr. John Lee. One of the results of estrogen dominance is weight gain, a condition aggravated by the presence of xenoestrogens.

According to Dr. Lee's book, What Your Doctor may Not Tell You about Premenopause, estrogen dominant women retain water and crave sugary foods. The result may be insulin resistance, which in turn impacts adrenal function and activates cortisol, the fight or flight hormone that encourages your body to hold on to fat.

If you don't use organic skin care products chances are you are exposed regularly to xenoestrogens. Parabens and phthalates are two of the most common however there are many more. One of the hazards of summer is the xenoestrogens which are often found in sunscreens. It is important to realize that while you may not get a lot of exposure in any one product, the sum total of all of the products you use can put you in the danger zone so your best bet is to scrutinize ingredient lists and use only organic products.

Since xenoestrogens are synthetic they are not biodegradable. They are also fat soluble and stored in your fat cells. If you are overweight you have more storage space for these chemicals which can also cause cancer and disrupt your body in other ways.

So does your makeup make you fat? How about your skin and hair care products? Or cleaning and lawn care products? You can't control the quality of the air you breathe, but you can change what you put on your skin. A good source of information about specific products is available at the website for the Environmental Working Group.

Street Talk

It isn't necessary to put anything on the skin. I don't and I don't think anyone notices any difference

  about 1 decade ago

You may be right and you are very lucky if you can get by without some skin care products.. I find the older I get the more I feel like I need moisturizer....and lots of women especially would feel naked without their makeup...and how about shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, contact lens solution? There are lots of personal care products we use that have toxins in them...and its a good idea to be wary of them all. Thanks for your comment.

  about 1 decade ago
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