Cosmetics and Skincare Products Are Health Hazards

We pay a lot of attention to what we put in our bodies, but what about everything that goes on our bodies?

Many commercial cosmetics and skincare products cause health problems, including cancers. These are absorbed through our largest organ, the skin. On average, women use products containing 168 ingredients a day.

As consumers we must protect the health and safety of us and our loved ones. We pay a lot of attention to what we put IN our bodies, but not much thought goes in to what we put ON our bodies.

What we put on our bodies, goes in our bodies.

Did you know that the European Union has banned or restricted the use of 1400 ingredients from products, while in the U.S. only 30 are banned?!

Cosmetics and Skincare are Harmful for Our Health

This means that in North America we are on our own in protecting ourselves from these harmful products.

To see which dangerous products you and your family are using, I encourage you to check your products’ safety at Environmental Working Group.org . A quick search of any product in the database will pull up its safety rating, why it’s received that rating, and what it is doing to you.

Fortunately I discovered BeautyCounter a year ago (I wish I had sooner!). These products are rigorously tested for safety and high-quality.

Cosmetics and Skincare are Harmful for Our Health

During my doctoral studies I was shocked to learn some scary information regarding environmental exposures and our health. I had no idea that everyday products, like shampoo, body wash, lotions, lipstick, etc., were likely impacting my hormones, periods, fertility, mood, metabolism, and increasing my risk of cancers (Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2012).

Especially as a woman with PCOS, my endocrine and reproductive systems are already in overdrive just to function. Then I was throwing in endocrine-disrupting chemicals which wreak hormonal havoc (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2011).

I actually feel angry just thinking about the widespread use of these chemical-laden products, without any public education, discourse, or even warning labels.

BeautyCounter provides me with comfort knowing I am using safer products. They exclude 1800 ingredients which have shown to be harmful, or don’t yet have enough data to be sure. As a result, I’ve recently become a BeautyCounter consultant.

We believe in:

  • educating the public with evidence-based science,
  • urging governments to increase beauty industry regulations, and
  • producing safer products which don’t compromise quality

Shop BeautyCounter Here

Cosmetics and Skincare Products Are Harmful

If you have any questions or would like to chat about BeautyCounter and our safer skincare and cosmetics, feel free to email me at drdylancutler@gmail.com.

In health,

Dr. Dylan Cutler, PhD

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Top 3 Supplements for PCOS

Find out which three supplements Dr. Cutler recommends the most frequently for her clients with PCOS, and why.

FAQ: What supplements Should I take for PCOS?

This is one of my most frequently asked questions from women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in my private practice and on social media. My answer will depend on the type of PCOS you have, your symptoms, your lifestyle, possible deficiencies, and other factors. However, there are three supplements that come out on top in terms of high-quality research, benefits, and little likelihood of harm.

It is important to state that managing PCOS is complex and therefore requires a combination of supplements and lifestyle changes. As their name implies, supplements are merely a ‘supplement’ to a healthy lifestyle grounded in sound nutrition, daily movement, adequate sleep and rest, stress management, a support network, and mindset work.

MAGNESIUM

Women with PCOS are up to 19 times more likely to be deficient in magnesium than the rest of the population. While we’re not sure why this is, it is concerning because low levels of magnesium can increase our risk of type 2 diabetes. Women with PCOS are already at increased risk of developing diabetes!

During my PhD I published a clinical study in Food Science & Nutrition which assessed dietary intake in women with and without PCOS. One of the findings was that magnesium intake was decreased in women with insulin-resistant PCOS. Also, the more magnesium that women with PCOS consumed, the lower their testosterone and inflammation were.

Supplementing can benefit in several ways. There is plenty of research on the benefits of magnesium for the general population which may also apply for PCOS. Studies have shown magnesium can help address insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, improve PMS symptoms, and lower blood pressure. These are all commonly seen and experienced by women with PCOS.

Natural Calm Magnesium Iced Tea
Photo by Dylan Cutler

I supplement with Natural Calm magnesium citrate to ensure I am consuming enough magnesium each day. The raspberry-lemon flavor makes a delicious hot or iced tea (recipe here)! The recommended daily amount of magnesium for a women over 19 is 320 mg a day.

Omega-3

Along with the brain and mood-boosting benefits that omega-3 fats are known for, like reducing anxiety and depression (previously discussed here), they also have specific implications for women with PCOS.

Supplementing with omega-3 may help regulate periods and decrease testosterone. Omega-3 can also lower reproductive hormones such as LH and the LH to FSH ratio (typically increased in PCOS). Finally, omega-3 has been shown to increase adiponectin which is an anti-inflammatory cytokine.

Photo by Tatyana Nekrasova

I recommend an algae-based omega-3 supplement instead of a fish oil supplement as fish oil can be contaminated with environmental pollutants, such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Vitamin D

Women with PCOS are more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D than women without PCOS. These low levels have even been linked to insulin resistance, obesity, infertility, and hirsutism associated with PCOS.

Studies show that when women with PCOS supplement with vitamin D, insulin and glucose levels seem to improve, inflammation subsides, and testosterone decreases.

While the best source of vitamin D is the sun, this option is limited if we live in the Northern hemisphere, wear sunscreen, or stay indoors. Therefore, supplementing can help.

Photo by Brian Garcia

When choosing a vitamin D supplement, look for D3 and at least 1500-2000 IU a day (recommended by The Endocrine Practice Committee). For vegans, be aware that some D3 supplements are vegan while others aren’t.

This article is sponsored by Natural Calm Canada.

In health, Dr. Dylan Cutler

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Top 3 Supplements for PCOS

Disclaimer: As the sole author of Phruitful Dish, I have based my posts on my own experiences and personal knowledge. However, I am not a medical doctor. The information in this blog is not intended as medical advice. Nutritional and supplemental choices should be made in consultation with your health care provider. This blog is intended to inspire and encourage readers to educate themselves on how nutrition and lifestyle are important and often overlooked aspects of health. Therefore, please use the information at your own risk. Occasional links may be provided leading to third party websites. The existence of these links does not infer a responsibility or an endorsement of the linked site, its operator, or its contents.

Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies for Blood Sugar Management

Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free cookies that support hormonal health and blood sugar balance.

Baking (especially cookies) is one of my favorite self-care activities whether it is on my own, with friends, family, or kids. Both baking and cooking can be soothing for our mental state as it requires being mindful. Mindfulness is simply the act of paying attention to the present moment. When we are baking, we have to put our phones down and get our hands dirty! One study even found that baking easy, simple recipes can enhance focus, creativity, and happiness.

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

Plus, with the ingredients in these cookies, baking can be beneficial for our physical health! I’ve created a cookie with plant-based protein, antioxidants, and superfoods that our hormones and blood sugar will love. I also left out several typical cookie ingredients that can wreak havoc on our hormonal and metabolic health, like refined sugar, oils, and dairy.

Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

I used Nanopro vegan protein powder which is made from non-GMO yellow pea, brown rice, and chia seed. This combination provides all essential amino acids. It is particularly high in lysine which is important for calcium absorption and collagen production. The main sources of lysine in a vegan diet are beans, peas, and legumes.

Plant protein powders can often be difficult to digest. People often find they cause bloating or abdominal discomfort. Nanopro contains ProHydrolaseTM which assists the protein to break down, digest, and fully absorb.

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

Try out these cookies for yourself and tag me on Instagram @phruitfuldish!

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops vegan protein powder (Biopharma Scientific in vanilla toffee)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup almond milk or water
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more water or protein powder depending if the batter is too dry or wet.
  4. Place spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Store in freezer for a cool treat.

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Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

This post was sponsored by Biopharma Scientific.

For more healthy treats check out these recipes.

Disclaimer: As the sole author of Phruitful Dish, I have based my posts on my own experiences and personal knowledge regarding nutrition and PCOS; particularly that gained in obtaining my doctorate degree in obstetrics and gynaecology. The information in this blog is not intended as medical advice, and it is not endorsed by my employers or institutions I am affiliated with. Nutritional choices should be made in consultation with your health care provider. This blog is intended to inspire and encourage readers to educate themselves on how nutrition can be one important part of a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, please use the information at your own risk. Occasional links may be provided leading to third party websites. The existence of these links does not infer a responsibility or an endorsement of the linked site, its operator, or its contents.