Why you should say buh-bye to that bargain-basement face wash

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What happened when young women did a beauty product fast, and stopped using traditional drugstore products? Their levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals dropped significantly, a study found.

The 100 teenagers in the study abandoned their potentially toxic makeup, shampoos, and lotions in favor of chemical-free brands for just three days, but the results were almost immediate, Berkeley News reports.

“Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals,” study lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, told Berkeley News. “Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”

This is a big deal since the scientific community hasn’t exactly cranked out tons of studies about how slathering on beloved beauty products containing things your skin can absorb may affect your health (besides this one on parabens, that is).

So while organizations like the Environmental Working Group and lots of non-toxic beauty brands have been trumpeting the issue for ages, this study adds support to the reasons you should say see ya later to the $5 face wash and $6 shampoo you’ve used since high school.

Not sure what’s lurking in your beauty bag? Here’s how to decode those beauty labels to spot problematic ingredients—and FYI “100 percent preservative-free” may not be as good as it sounds.

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