The Grooming Manual
Have you ever thought about whether your men’s skincare products or men’s grooming products contain toxins that could lower your testosterone or lower your sperm count? You probably haven’t but here's the bad news – many do contain ingredients that have been linked to those side effects.
Phthalates and Other Ingredients
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastic flexible and harder to break. They're often found in grooming and skincare products as well. Unfortunately, phthalates are often undetected in men’s grooming products because they usually get lumped into the non-specific ingredient “fragrance”.
Phthalates are known endocrine disrupters and affect the glands responsible for your hormone levels. According to various studies, phthalates have been known to lower normal testosterone levels and male growth hormones, warp genital development, lower sperm counts, reduce sperm motility, and damage sperm as well.
While most studies linked to toxins in grooming products are done on mice, many of these studies have been done on humans. According to other research, men’s testosterone levels have been declining the past two decades. This can't be absolutely linked to phthalates, but it's possible that ingredients such as phthalates and others like them have helped contribute to the issue.
Why Are These Ingredients Allowed?
How can a chemical like this end up in a men’s skin care or men’s grooming product? The US is not very strict when it comes to skincare ingredients. It took until 2015 for Congress to ban certain phthalates even from just children’s toys.
There are very few laws in the US about what you can or cannot put in a skincare product. Almost 90% of the over 11,000 grooming and skin care ingredients known to the FDA have never been evaluated for safety, while over 1,100 of those ingredients have been banned for use in the European Union.
Your skin absorbs anywhere from 64% to 100% of anything you put on it due to its porous nature. This means that if any of the skincare or grooming products you use have toxic chemicals, they are being directly ingested into your body from your skin.
How to Avoid Harmful Ingredients in Your Skincare Products
How do you prevent yourself from using a men’s skincare or grooming product loaded with toxins?
Easy. Use natural men’s skincare or natural men’s grooming products. While natural is a relative word, you can do research on the ingredients in the product you’re about to buy.
Some small levels of chemical preservation are sometimes necessary to keep a product good longer than a few days after opening. You should look out for brands that don’t fully disclose what’s in their products.
Look out for the word “fragrance” on an ingredients list. Fragrance on a bottle can quite possibly mean anything. It’s a “catch-all” ingredient that could have any number of potentially harmful chemicals within it.
The next time you’re considering buying a men’s grooming or men’s skin care product, take the time to make sure you’re using a product that won’t hurt the boys downstairs. No one likes coming up short in that department.