Skip to content
Sacred + Wild Ltd.Sacred + Wild Ltd.
Endocrine Disruptors: Understanding the Risks, Where They Are Found and How to Avoid Them

Endocrine Disruptors: Understanding the Risks, Where They Are Found and How to Avoid Them


In the intricate dance of human biology, the endocrine system plays a crucial role, regulating hormones that influence growth, metabolism, reproduction and more. Yet, this delicate balance can be disturbed by an all pervasive threat in our everyday environments: endocrine disruptors. These substances, found in various products and materials, can interfere with hormone functions, posing significant health risks. In this article, we explore their nature, the dangers they pose, prevalent sources such as microplastics and the beauty industry, and how to make cleaner lifestyle choices to minimize exposure.

What are Endocrine Disruptors:

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the endocrine system's normal function, mimicking or blocking hormones and disrupting their natural signals. They can affect various organs and systems in the body, leading to adverse health effects, including developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune disorders. These chemicals are ubiquitous in modern life, found in everyday items ranging from pesticides and food additives to plastics and personal care products.

Why Are Endocrine Disruptors So Dangerous:

The insidious nature of endocrine disruptors lies in their ability to wreak havoc on the body's hormonal balance, even at low doses. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to a myriad of health concerns, including infertility, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, certain cancers, and neurological disorders. What makes them particularly concerning is their potential to cause harm across generations, as prenatal exposure can impact fetal development and predispose offspring to health issues later in life.

Microplastics as Carriers for Endocrine Disruptors:

Among the myriad sources of endocrine disruptors, microplastics stand out as significant contributors to environmental and human exposure. Microplastics, tiny plastic particles less than 5mm in size, have permeated various ecosystems, contaminating air, water, and soil. These minuscule pollutants not only pose ecological threats but also serve as carriers for endocrine-disrupting chemicals, absorbing and releasing compounds that can find their way into the food chain and ultimately into our bodies.

Endocrine Disruptors in Beauty Products

The beauty industry, revered for its promise of youth and vitality, paradoxically harbours a host of potential health hazards. Many personal care products, including cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances, contain a cocktail of synthetic chemicals known to disrupt endocrine function. Ingredients such as phthalates, parabens, and triclosan are commonly found in these products, posing risks to consumers' hormonal health with repeated use.


Making Healthier Choices:

In the face of such pervasive threats, adopting cleaner lifestyle choices becomes imperative for safeguarding health and well-being. Fortunately, there are steps individuals can take to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors and make informed decisions...


Do your research and read the label: 

Become a savvy consumer by scrutinizing product labels for potentially harmful ingredients. Buy from smaller brands with natural sourcing and certified organic ingredients. Every product has its ingredients on the label however they can be misleading - if you don’t recognize an ingredient then it’s likely a chemical made in a lab and most likely toxic. Consult apps such as Yuka and Beat the Micro Bead which have an extensive database of products graded on the amount of chemicals they have and the health risk they present. Watch out for the umbrella terms “fragrance” or “parfum” - these could be anything but many are known to be endocrine disruptors.  Swap synthetically fragranced candles made of paraffin wax or GM soy wax with beeswax and essential oils.

Choose certified organic beauty:

The recent Soil Association campaign “Five Cosmetic Ingredients to Leave Behind in 2024” highlights common endocrine disrupting chemicals that will never be found in products carrying the Soil Association and Cosmos logos:

Parabens -

  • On ingredient lists they are listed as Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Polyparaben and Butylparaben.
  • They are used as a preservative in cosmetic and personal care products including make-up, moisturisers, shaving foam and hair care.

4- Methylbenzylidene camphor (may also be called Enzacamene) -

  • Used as a UV Filter in sunscreens.
  • In 2024 the EU announced it was banning the chemical due to evidence of endocrine disruption. All products containing the ingredient have to be reformulated, or removed from the market by 2025.
  •  It is also banned in the USA and Japan - but is currently still allowed to be used in the UK.

Phthalates -

  • Used to dissolve and bind different ingredients together in cosmetics.
  • Used as a stabiliser, solvent, or fixative for artificial fragrances, meaning they often won’t be in the ingredient list (it will just say “Fragrance)
  • Most found in nail varnishes, hairsprays, perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and even period care products.

Oxybenzone (may also be called Benzophenone-3) -

  • Used as a UV filter in sunscreens.
  • Sunscreens containing the ingredient have been banned from sale in Thailand, Hawaii and Palau due to its negative effect on coral reefs.

Triclosan -

  • A preservative used to prevent the growth of bacteria in cosmetics and personal care.


Choose natural alternatives across the board: 

Opt for products made from natural, plant-based ingredients, free from synthetic fragrances, phthalates, parabens, and other known endocrine disruptors. Whilst there is now a wealth of luxury natural cleaning products and skincare options on the market, high performing natural makeup is a little harder to find - Content Beauty is an brilliant shop and online resource with all the latest brands.

Minimize Plastic Use: 

Reduce plastic consumption by opting for glass, stainless steel, or other eco-friendly alternatives for food storage and beverage containers. Avoid heating or microwaving food in plastic containers, as heat can facilitate the release of harmful chemicals. Opt for beauty products in glass or aluminium.

Replace Non Stick Cookware:

The non-stick coating on pots and pans are laced with perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which have been shown in studies to affect sex hormone levels.  Replace non-stick cookware with cast iron, ceramic or stainless steel.

Upgrade Your Water Filter:
Invest in a quality water filtration system to remove contaminants, including microplastics and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, from tap water. Basic filters reduce concentrations of chlorine, lead and other toxins, however, endocrine disruptors are a lot smaller so bypass most filtration systems.  For a small price a high-quality carbon-based filter will remove these too. The Berkey system is fantastic and their entry level travel size is affordable.


Get An Air Purifier:

There are eight known endocrine disruptors currently polluting the atmosphere including phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, brominated flame retardants, pesticides, alkylphenols and perfluorinated chemicals. A purifier in your bedroom is a great way to reduce your exposure while you sleep.

Advocate for Change: 

Support initiatives and policies aimed at reducing the use of endocrine disruptors in consumer products, advocating for stricter regulations and transparency within the beauty and personal care industry.


Endocrine disruptors pose a significant threat to human health and the environment, with sources ranging from microplastics to the products we use daily. By understanding the risks associated with these chemicals and making conscious lifestyle choices, individuals can mitigate their exposure and promote a healthier, cleaner future. From opting for natural alternatives to advocating for systemic change, each action taken contributes to a safer world for generations to come.



Our brand values and ethics run right through the core of the business and impact every decision we make - from using the most effective natural and organic ingredients, which are never tested on animals or genetically modified and the vessels our products our housed in, to the mycelium boxes and cardboard and dye used for our cartons - we are constantly working to support ethical and sustainable manufacturing processes.

We will never use any ingredients in our products that are harmful to you or Mother Earth, and we refuse to join in the green washing that plagues our industry. We will go above and beyond to use cutting edge sustainable and circular manufacturing processes, and when the solution we want won’t work right now, or we make a mistake, we will be transparent with you and strive for better next time. 

Shop the range here 



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..

Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping