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Beauty Products May Harm Baby’s Development

Beauty Products May Harm Baby’s Development

Serena Williams signed a five-year endorsement deal with Nike. American Ballet Theater prima ballerina Misty Copeland landed an Under Armour deal (we’re thinking ‘cause under that grace is pure steel). These top athletes dodged one of the unrecognized risks of endorsements—touting products that turn out to be, well, potentially toxic! Plenty of Hollywood stars—think about who’s endorsing those luscious lips, locks and looks—haven’t accomplished that smart move.

Turns out a whole bushel-full of personal care products, from shampoos and soaps to makeup and other cosmetics, can interfere with healthy fetal development and a healthy birth.

According to a study, women with higher blood levels of butyl paraben, (a preservative in cosmetics) were more likely to have babies of lower birth weight. That puts a child at risk in later life for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and obesity. Those women were also more likely to have premature babies at risk for breathing, heart, brain, gastrointestinal, metabolic and immune system problems. High levels of the antimicrobial triclocarban (in anti-bacterial soaps) was associated with shorter gestational age at birth. And propyl paraben, in lotions and soaps, was associated with decreased body length at birth. 

So moms-to-be (even if it’s years away), here’s one more reason to read labels on every personal care item you’re buying and just say no to ingredients that the researchers say are part of a “growing body of evidence showing that endocrine-disrupting compounds can lead to developmental and reproductive problems.” 

Medically reviewed in December 2018.

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