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5 Takeaways From The Olaplex Fertility Scare and What You Should Know About Chemicals and Fertility

A woman using Olaplex

There’s been a lot of conversations swirling around on social media recently about Olaplex No. 3 and its link to fertility issues. The real concern is over an ingredient called butyl phenyl methylpropionol also known as lilial. 

This ingredient has recently been listed as a prohibited ingredient in all cosmetic products in the European Union due to its classification as toxic to reproduction. While it’s banned in the EU, it’s still an approved ingredient in the United States and this has brought some concern over products like Olaplex No. 3.

Olaplex has since put out a statement that they are no longer using lilial in their products, but this hasn’t stopped the conversation about the use of unsafe ingredients in the products we use every day.

Over the years many brands have reformulated their ingredients to reduce the risk of being exposed to harmful ingredients that can lead to infertility and other health-related concerns in accordance with the FDA, but it’s important to note that the beauty industry is largely unregulated.

We have learned a lot over the years and are now recognizing the impact that certain ingredients and products have on our fertility, but there is still a lot of research to be done to help us navigate all of the ingredients we come across in our daily routines. 

So what can you do to decrease your exposure to harmful ingredients in personal care products?

Do Your Research

One of the best ways to protect yourself from harmful ingredients is to do your research and educate yourself. There are some invaluable resources out there to help guide you in making the switch when it comes to your personal care products such as cosmetics and hair care products. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is dedicated to helping you get the facts about what brands avoid harmful ingredients.

Don't Fall for Marketing Terms

There are no legal standards in the beauty industry when it comes to terms such as “pure”, “natural”, or “organic”, so it’s important to do your own research or even use apps like Think Dirty that help you shop for cleaner beauty products.

Choose Products with Simpler Ingredient Lists

While doing research will help you figure out which brands are less likely to have harmful ingredients, it can take some time to figure out exactly which brands you want to stick with. In the meantime, you can also choose products that have simpler ingredient lists and fewer synthetic chemicals. Avoiding products with “fragrance” will help you on your path to finding safer alternatives.

Do It Yourself

Choosing to make your own products is a great way to avoid harmful chemicals that you are unsure of and can also be a fun activity (think a spa party with your friends). If you are finding yourself short on time or just not the DIY kind of person, check out your local farmers market and you’ll often find someone who makes these products already.

Don't Panic

We are exposed to potentially harmful elements on a daily basis, but there is no reason to panic. There is still research that needs to be done and some research shows that the impact of these ingredients is minimal, so the best thing you can do is make small changes like the ones listed above to help reduce your risk of exposure to harmful ingredients.

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