Cosmetics use and age at menopause: is there a connection?

Research regarding the ovarian toxicity of cosmetics is sparse. This review recommends further definitive studies regarding exposure to cosmetics and age at menopause.

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Volume 106, Issue 4, Pages 978-

Authors:

Erika Chow, M.S., Shruthi Mahalingaiah, M.D., M.S.

Abstract:

Cosmetics contain a vast number of chemicals, most of which are not under the regulatory purview of the Food and Drug Administration. Only a few of these chemicals have been evaluated for potential deleterious health impact: parabens, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and siloxanes. A review of the ingredients in the best-selling and top-rated products of the top beauty brands in the world, as well as a review of highlighted chemicals by nonprofit environmental organizations, reveals 11 chemicals and chemical families of concern: butylated hydroxyanisole/butylated hydroxytoluene, coal tar dyes, diethanolamine, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, parabens, phthalates, 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, siloxanes, talc/asbestos, and triclosan. Age at menopause can be affected by a variety of mechanisms, including endocrine disruption, failure of DNA repair, oxidative stress, shortened telomere length, and ovarian toxicity. There is a lack of available studies to make a conclusion regarding cosmetics use and age at menopause. What little data there are suggest that future studies are warranted. Women with chronic and consistent use of cosmetics across their lifespan may be a population of concern. More research is required to better elucidate the relationship and time windows of vulnerability and the effects of mixtures and combinations of products on ovarian health.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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