What’s the best deodorant for teen girls? Science has the answer. In this article, we’ll discuss the findings from the study a group of researchers at UC Berkeley School of Public Health conducted on 100 young women in their teens. The goal of the study was to determine the impact that chemicals in the personal care products they put on their bodies were having in their bodies. The study primarily looked at the exposure of teenage girls to hormone disruptors in cosmetics, pinpointed the ...
What’s the best deodorant for teen girls? Science has the answer.
In this article, we’ll discuss the findings from the study a group of researchers at UC Berkeley School of Public Health conducted on 100 young women in their teens. The goal of the study was to determine the impact that chemicals in the personal care products they put on their bodies were having in their bodies.
The study primarily looked at the exposure of teenage girls to hormone disruptors in cosmetics, pinpointed the primary sources of this exposure, and then created and put into practice an intervention to lessen this exposure. Their research findings were shocking and remarkable.
Read on to discover how this research can help you make more informed decisions regarding your kid’s deodorant.
A Summary of The Research Done On 100 Teenage Girls at UC Berkeley
Girls are more exposed to a truckload of hormone disruptors in their cosmetics. So, the Health and Environmental Research in Make-up of Salinas Adolescents (HERMOSA) study aimed to examine how they get exposed to these chemicals and demonstrated how using low-chemical products can lower the levels of these chemicals in girls' bodies.
UC Berkeley scientists and high school-aged youth research assistants got to work on the study. The research assistants recruited participants, conducted interviews, collated data, and educated the community on the dangers of teenage exposure to these harmful chemicals and how to avoid it.
After enrolling 100 Latina teens, they examined their personal care products and made an inventory of them, measured the chemicals in their bodies from their urine samples, and found a high percentage of these hormone disruptors in their urine:
Then, they devised an intervention to see if they could reduce the chemical levels they found in the participants’ urine.
Why Are Chemicals Like Phthalates, Parabens, Oxybenzone, and Triclosan Particularly Dangerous for Teens?
These chemicals spell bad news for several reasons, and science can attest to that. But for this article, we want to highlight how these chemicals can affect the development of teen girls.
While no conclusive research currently relates these chemicals to poor health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. But what makes these chemicals harmful, especially for our little ones? Let’s discuss them in detail.
Phthalates, pronounced [THAL·ates], are found in a wide range of consumer products, such as food, lubricating oils, detergents, and the star of this article – personal care products. They help make plastics flexible and soft and can get into your body by taking in food wrapped in plastic or exposed meat and dairy products, using phthalate-containing cosmetics, and inhaling dust from carpets that contain the chemical.
Why should you be wary of phthalates in deodorants for your teen girl? In this teenage stage, our girls are growing, developing, and changing; this is when their bodies are most vulnerable. Any substance that interferes with hormonal changes in this developing state can alter or prevent certain developmental stages. Phthalates might be one, as research shows they are endocrine disruptors, so they may interfere with or mimic your body’s endocrine system.
The result? Immune, reproductive, and nervous system problems.
Pronounced [PEH·ruh·bnz], parabens are another family of endocrine disruptors commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic products. While they do you an excellent service by preserving the growth of harmful microorganisms in your products, they may also cause harm to the body.
How? Parabens disrupt hormones, which may result in reproductive issues, cancers, early (precocious) puberty in girls, and more. Even worse, these chemicals easily get absorbed into the skin, so it doesn’t take much time before they wreak havoc in the body.
Oxybenzone is a naturally occurring compound found in several flowering plants and commonly used to make sunscreens because of how well it absorbs the harsh UVB rays. If it only stopped at that, it wouldn’t be on our list; research shows our bodies readily absorb this chemical, and it can remain in the bloodstream for unknown periods.
Apart from posing a danger to our coral reefs, oxybenzone in our kids’ deodorants may also cause:
Increased risk of cancer
Life-long adverse conditions
Reproduction problems, and more.
This chemical is certainly not what you want in your kids’ deodorant.
Triclosan is another preservative that doesn’t only stop at preventing microorganism growth but goes a step further to affect health and function. According to a 2019 study on 1182 couples who intended to conceive, high triclosan levels had connections with an increased risk of abnormal menstruation and female infertility.
So the chemical may affect female reproduction and fertility, which is typical of an endocrine disruptor. Researchers are currently working on finding other ways triclosan may affect health, such as cancer and the potential breakdown of the chemical into other compounds on exposure to UV rays.
While the research is not conclusive on how these chemicals can affect our health and the health of our little ones, we should avoid contact with them as best as we can.
The Shocking Results On These Young Women After Just 3 Days
The intervention they used was to give these teen girls low-chemical products for three days. After three days, they collected a second urine sample and compared the levels of hormone disruptors before and after the intervention; the results were shocking!
Findings from the research showed placing the participants on a 3-day low-chemical product usage caused a 28% reduction in phthalates, 44% in parabens, 35% in oxybenzone, and 36% in triclosan. They concluded that:
the chemicals we use in our products do get into our bodies
we can limit our chemical exposure by reading product labels and using products with little to no chemical composition