How Beauty and Personal Care Products May Affect Your Fertility

Perfluorinated Chemicals

One of the most harmful yet common ingredients in today’s beauty and personal care products are perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, “PFCs are a large group of manufactured compounds that are widely used to make everyday products more resistant to stains, grease, and water. For example, PFCs may be used to keep food from sticking to cookware, to make sofas and carpets resistant to stains, to make clothes and mattresses more waterproof, and may also be used in some food packaging, as well as in some firefighting materials. Because they help reduce friction, they are also used in a variety of other industries, including aerospace, cosmetics, automotive, building and construction, and electronics.”

Although these chemicals are ideal for other industries, they should not be utilized in cosmetics and other personal care products. The reason for this is that the half-life on these chemicals when ingested or introduced into the human body is several years.

Although that alone may not seem all that concerning, it’s what these chemicals do to your body once they are inside for that time period that makes them so dangerous. According to research, PFCs disrupt normal endocrine activity, reduce immune function, cause adverse effects on multiple organs, including the liver and pancreas, and cause developmental problems in rodent offspring exposed in the womb.

As these are all extremely important aspects of your system being affected, it’s no wonder why these chemicals are considered highly dangerous for pregnant women and women’s fertility as a whole.

Coal Tar Pigments

This may seem outlandish to say, but countless products use coal tar as a pigment such as mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick. This pigment method actually has some pretty shocking effects on anyone using it whether they are hoping to protect their fertility or not.

Derived from petroleum, these pigments are a known carcinogen and can lead to various forms of cancer—including ovarian cancer, asthma attacks, headaches, endometriosis, and severe fatigue (to name a few). As you may have guessed, these effects are not the kinds of things you want to deal with just by wearing eyeliner or putting on lipstick—and they’re also not the kinds of effects that promote fertility either.

PH Stabilizers

Although most stabilizers by themselves aren’t necessarily harmful, there are some that can seriously affect your body’s pH balance. The reason for this is that these stabilizers are used to thicken products and make the texture more ideal for use and the pH balancing of these products is essential to not cause harm to the body.

However, some brands found online claim to have natural stabilizers but actually use processed chemicals to stabilize their products instead. Similarly, many companies also claim to have a balanced pH product when the product actually leans too far on a particular side. These products can actually harm your skin and your body significantly and are the reason why some products like popular deodorants have even burned individuals in the past.


Considered one of the most dangerous yet highly common ingredients on this list, phthalates are often used as solvents in cosmetics and other personal care products. However, according to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), this ingredient can do significant damage to your lungs, liver, kidneys, and even your reproductive system.

The negative effects phthalates have on the reproductive system have shown to leave test animals completely infertile and the same effects have been seen in human test patients as well. Yet, despite all of this information, phthalates can be found in thousands of cosmetic products worldwide.

Key Takeaways

In the end, there are countless harmful ingredients to look out for in cosmetic products when hoping to keep your fertility intact. That’s why it is so important to carefully read through ingredients lists on products and be aware of what each element is and does to your body. If you still don’t feel safe with these products, you can always opt for natural product lines that focus on safe, eco-friendly alternatives to modern cosmetics and personal care products. After all, the gift of life is one of the greatest things mother nature has provided us with. So, why forego this wonderful experience for a lip gloss or hand cream? Beauty may sometimes be a pain as the old saying goes, but no amount of beauty is worth infertility.

If you have concerns about your fertility status, request a free telephone consultation with one of our leading fertility specialists or call (415) 673-9199 to schedule an in-office appointment. Laurel Fertility Care has three convenient locations in San Francisco, Modesto and Fresno, California.