I am Tianna James, the founder/owner of Bamboo Beauty. I’m also a Fertility Awareness Educator and my mission is to encourage women to practice holistic reproductive healthcare by teaching women how to identify any changes associated with ovulation and the normal phases of the menstrual cycle. When you learn how to pay attention to your fertility signs and chart them, you have developed body literacy.
Because our menstrual cycle health is a mirror of our overall health, when using Fertility Awareness, it becomes possible to identify things such as ovulation, vaginal infections, signs of hypo/hyperthyroidism, PCOS, pregnancy, miscarriage, and hormonal imbalances.
We’ve all learned in sex ed. that females have two primary sex hormones; estrogen & progesterone. We have a hormonal cycle that occurs between these two and also a few others. This symphony of hormones trigger each other, flooding and tapering in a regular rhythm each cycle/month.
Improper balance of these hormones causes certain conditions:
- …and so much more.
THINGS THAT CAUSE HORMONAL IMBALANCES
First and most common: Hormonal contraceptives…duh. Any sort of birth control method like the pill, the patch, implants, and IUDs are endocrine disruptors. They literally shut off our own endocrine system and take over. Now you have this man-made ‘regulated’ cycle. Isn’t that a common reason some women begin birth control?
Some other causes of hormonal imbalances are acute & chronic stress and environmental stress (pollution & chemicals). Lots of chemicals mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors, in turn, contributing to elevated estrogen levels. These are called environmental estrogens.
The menstrual cycle has two phases: preovulatory phase and postovulatory phase. Ovulation is the dividing point between the two. Before ovulation (preovulatory), estrogen is the dominant hormone. After ovulation (postovulatory), progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. This flooding and tapering of the two occur rhythmically each cycle. Estrogen causes things to grow. Under the influence of estrogen, the lining of the uterus (this is what sheds off during menstruation) grows during the preovulatory phase. Another example of estrogen causing things to grow is when a young girl approaches puberty, you’ll start to notice her breast growing fuller and her hips growing wider. This is a sign that her estrogen levels are starting to rise.
With an inundation of environmental stress in today’s society comes hormonal imbalances. Because of this, instead of the natural interplay between estrogen and progesterone that we as women should be experiencing, estrogen levels stay high throughout the entire cycle. Ever heard of estrogen dominance?
Where is this environmental stress coming from? Air pollution, chemicals in water and food and…wait for it…
OUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS!!
So yes, we’ve all noticed a progression of people becoming increasingly conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies, like what we’re eating. We have come to understand the effects that our diets have on our health. But what about what we’re putting ONTO our bodies? The idea that we’re exercising and trying to eat well, then go and slather ourselves with chemicals such as parabens and silicones is counterproductive.
Human skin is not impenetrable. We know this because we see how medicines are delivered through the skin in the form of patches. Birth control patches and Nicotine patches are examples. Skin is a powerful organ that absorbs anything that touches its surface. Through the hair follicles and sweat & sebaceous glands. It takes 26 seconds for chemicals to enter into the bloodstream and reach the liver to be filtered out then flushed away by the kidneys.
The liver plays a very important role in women’s health. It metabolizes hormones which are the bodies’ chemical messengers. The liver undergoes a detoxification process to excrete waste after our bodies are done using them.
But our liver wasn’t designed to handle the chemicals from our beauty products. A study done by the Environmental Working Group concluded that the average woman uses 9 personal care and cosmetic products each day, containing nearly 126 different chemicals. These chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicones, fragrances, and artificial dyes have been shown to mimic estrogen and are endocrine disruptors. Toxic exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals present in cosmetics can compromise liver function. The overall chemical burden from environmental estrogens can cause an impedance to the detoxification process that our liver goes through, resulting in estrogen buildup or ‘estrogen dominance’.
Estrogen-related conditions are fibroids, thyroid dysfunction, endometriosis, PCOS and breast tumors. If you were to do a Google search of these conditions individually, you’ll find that they all have ‘abnormal growths’ in common. A hormonal imbalance of estrogen dominance is the root cause.
As previously mentioned, we all understand why it’s important to watch what we put INTO our bodies. We make efforts to eat less junk food. But what about JUNK BEAUTY? Skincare products are the food for our skin. Just as junk food is loaded with synthetic chemicals, so is junk beauty. It’s time to become more aware of this FACT and ditch this toxic relationship with toxic beauty products. No one should have to compromise their health for beauty. It’s time to take a stand against toxins in our personal care products and shift our mindsets into becoming activists who want a better kind of beauty.
At Bamboo Beauty, part of our goal is to teach people that you don’t need chemicals to have great, effective cosmetic treatments and great hair and skin. We want to help you become savvy enough to spot ingredients that you should stay away from. We’re committed to teaching you how to read labels to determine the good and bad ingredients, so you can select skin care products that are the most beneficial for you.
Stay tuned… As we evolve, we will continue to spread truths so that you are able to make fully informed decisions when it comes to your beauty practices.