Is Your Hand Lotion The Problem?


Bette Dowdell

The incidence of thyroid disease doubled in the last thirty-or-so years. Auto-immune diseases, which relate to the endocrine system, are skyrocketing. So, too, are diseases of the brain, such as autism, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer Disease.

A significant part of the problem is the dangers that lurk all around us as part of everyday life in the 21st Century. Most were created by people–and can be changed by people if we make enough noise about what they’re doing to us.

One of the menaces the fly in under the radar is parabens. I know, I know. Almost everybody reading this will say “para what?” Don’t feel left out if you’ve never heard the word before. How do you think they became so prevalent without being noticed?

Manufacturers of lotions, potions and cosmetics add parabens to their wares to extend shelf life. There’s methyl paraben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, propelparaben, and so on.

Parabens are estrogenic. That is, they imitate estrogen in the body. They bind to our estrogen receptors, keeping real estrogen at bay. However, these pretenders can’t function as estrogen in any way, the body tries to compensate and things go south.

Men may grow breasts, little boys take a lifetime hit in their testosterone levels, little girls can experience an early puberty and women end up in all kinds of grief: PMS, menopause woes, etc. Everybody’s endocrine system takes a hit.

So what to do? Well, you could read labels. You’ll need a magnifying glass and a lot of patience, but that’s one choice.

Or you can patronize companies that don’t use parabens. If manufacturers who make a point of not using parabens start making big bunches of money, other companies will see the light. Your choices and your dollars have power.

Jason Natural Products makes a wide range of great products; I particularly like their lotions and shampoo. I use their shampoo for color-treated hair and like it a lot.

I also like Kiss My Face’s lotions and toothpaste. I like their Triple Action toothpaste because of a different health threat–sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate , another topic for another day. Jason’s makes toothpaste, too, but I’ve never tried it. If you have, let me know what you think. Tom’s of Maine has a big reputation, but I don’t know why. One trip through their ingredient label convinced me not to buy the stuff.

Noah’s Naturals has a facial moisturizer that I really like. I’ll be trying more of their products in the future.

You can also rely on Avalon Organics products. They have great fragrances in their shampoos and lotions.

Burt’s Bees disdains parabens in their products, as well. [Author’s note: Since I wrote this article, Clorox bought Burt’s Bees, so read the labels carefully.]

All of these products are readily available at health food stores and on-line.

About the author: Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be one. She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work–or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.