Phthalates are types of phthalic acid used to add flexibility, transparency, longevity and durability to plastic products. In the cosmetics and beauty industry, phthalates are commonly used in most cosmetics and personal care products, including nail lacquers and hairsprays.
Unfortunately, phthalates have a strong link to breast cancer development. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and its effect in women includes the onset of breast cancer, early breast development in young girls and even reproductive birth defects in men and in women. Some research also suggests a strong link between phthalates and obesity because the chemical compound causes endocrine disruption and metabolic interference, two precursors to obesity.
Phthalates are typically banned by some cosmetic brands however, because most beauty companies are not exactly forthcoming when it comes the ingredients of their products, phthalates are not listed prominently on the label. Some beauty brands do not disclose phthalates at all because of a major loophole in the law! Phthalates are often added on grooming products like deodorants, perfumes and colognes. Hairsprays and moisturizers are also known to contain phthalates.